The University of Newcastle's Graduate Certificate in Co-operative Management and Organisation is an important first step for professionals who are interested in pursuing career opportunities in the member-owned (co-operatives and mutuals) and 'for purpose' (co-operatives and social enterprise) sectors. The Graduate Certificate comprises four online courses, making it an ideal program for those who require flexible and part time study options.
Each course in the Graduate Certificate is designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of how alternative business models operate and how they differ from investor owned business. The courses make use of international and Australian case studies as well as open access tools to guide you through the process of starting up and managing member-owned and 'for purpose' enterprises. It helps you understand the significance of these alterative models in the expanding sharing economy and how they provide sustainable outcomes by focusing on members, community and the environment.
Is it for you?
Are you looking for challenge and that will expand your professional expertise and give you a point of difference in the graduate market? Are you looking for employment in a business that is concerned about more than profit? The Graduate Certificate in Co-operative Management and Organisation is the only program of its kind in Australia. Co-operatives and member owned businesses have unique legal and economic characteristics that are neglected in the mainstream business and law curriculum. A qualification in this field will provide you with an advantage if you are interested in pursuing a career with businesses that are committed to principle, values and an ethic of caring for community
The program will help you to understand the internationally recognised co-operative principles and values and the important role that they play in guiding leadership and management of some of the world's oldest and most resilient businesses. You will learn about co-operative law in Australia and some of the legal and regulatory barriers faced by co-operative businesses and steps that have been taken to remove those barriers. A hand-ons and practical approach using online, open access tools will help you to learn about co-operative governance and the steps involved in starting up an alternative business model.
You will find out about recent trends in social enterprises and cooperative innovation, including platform co-operativism, 'tech for good' and social procurement. You will learn about new approaches to measuring social impact and the importance of non-financial metrics and social accounting. Learning from international and Australian examples, you will gain an understanding of how alternative organisational models can generate and sustain social innovation.
The co-operative, mutual and member-owned enterprises (CME) sector is much larger than you might think and it continues to grow both in Australia and worldwide. There are almost 3 million co-ops worldwide with more than 1.2 billion members, employing near 10% of the world's population. The largest memberships are in the United States, Japan and Brazil and the model continues to expand rapidly in Asia. Australia, has more than 2000 CME's, with one in seven people belong to a CME. Cooperatives and mutuals proved their resilience in the recent global financial crisis, and even in the current tighter Australian economy the latest IBIS reports (2014/2015) show that Australia's top 100 CMEs increased their annual turnover by 4%, median profitability by 15%, and combined assets were up 8%.
Co-operatives are leading the way in the promotion of sustainable and ethical business practices, the provision of public services and building stronger communities. One the one hand we are faced with the need for a growing range of service providers especially in the areas of care and accommodation. On the other hand we see that governments are increasingly withdrawing from the provision of these essential services and choosing to 'contract out' to the private sector. The current housing affordability crisis means that the next generation of young families will be seeking new and diverse solutions to finding secure, sustainable and affordable accommodation. Co-housing and housing cooperatives is likely to be an important part of this equation. Graduates with a good understanding of alternative business models are needed to advise those who are seeking to generate innovative solutions to these problems.
If you are looking to pursue a career in a sector that cares more about people than profit, the Graduate Certificate in Co-operatives Management and Organisation will give you the competitive edge you need. Perhaps you are interested in helping others to understand that there are alternative ways of doing business. In both instances, you will be better equipped to do so when you graduate with a deeper understanding of co-operative principles and values new and innovative co-operative solutions with relevance in a rapidly evolving global sharing economy.
This program will enable you to leverage your existing professional experience with enhanced skills to boost your career. The knowledge you acquire will increase your business value and equip you for a managerial role within a co-operative or other social enterprise or as a specialist adviser to this sector in a mainstream accounting, financial or legal organisation.