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Work Package 2: State of art analysis

WP2 helped to build the first two steps of the methodological process for arriving at a common cooperative professional profile and understanding the needed training supply. The process is sketched in the following figure and the work package has achieved sufficient results upon which to base the last step and work package three.

Product D.2.1. Comparative Study - Understanding the existing supply of training programs by partners

Product D.2.2. Bottom – up identification of the learning needs, Understanding the gap between existing and ideal profiles for managers in the coops

Results WP2.doc

Specifically, we come to summarize a proposal for formal and informal/non formal learning. As regards formal training, we already claimed that the course “on cooperation and mutuality directorship” in the UK and “social economy entrepreneur” in Romania, which are formalised can represent the pillar for the mobility training program and can give other countries methods for recognition and formalization of their courses. Other countries, which provide more specific courses and with academic teaching also (see Italy and Germany), can supply other specific knowledge and opportunities for training, although a formalization is needed as well as an increase in the number of hours of teaching. All countries need to apply ECVET and EQF and partners have to also consider the opportunity to work more in partnership with umbrella organizations for example to cover the participants’ fees.

As regards informal and non-formal training, WP 2 identifies that the mobility learning program should provide a strict integration among on-the-job and within-cooperatives training (informal) and structured meetings (non-formal) since both types of learning and especially this last one are considered very important. Our suggestion, derived from the data analyses carried out in the work package, is to consider that the mobility could be structured in workshops/seminars on one specific topic/unit at a time followed by visits to local cooperatives and comparisons with other practitioners in order to implement the ‘individual

experience’. Countries such as Italy, where many courses are provided with structured methods but are not as formal as in other countries, should be considered for non-formal learning experiences; all countries are however specialised in workshops. Moreover, learning managed by practitioners (as occurs in many countries) can be considered as the link between non-formal and informal.

As a final consideration, data that emerged from the focus groups conducted (product D.2.2) give further support to the idea already shared in the grid analysis (D.2.1): competences and topics proposed are very important in the managers’ training and can be learned not only in generic terms, but also by adapting theory and practice to the context of cooperatives and to the cooperative values and aims. In order to achieve a complete and detailed learning profile, we therefore feel obliged to give some advice to the partners for the following work packages. Firstly, regarding the existing gap in managers’ knowledge, although a real gap does not exist in terms of daily activity, formal training on all of the competences is deemed important, in particular for Financial Management, less so for Governance and External Stakeholder Management. Non-formal learning prevails in Cooperative Knowledge and Values and in Leadership. Special attention should be devoted to a better understanding of intrinsic motivations, the social impact, innovation and project management, which are not considered as belonging to the general culture or educational background of cooperative managers.

Finally, the possibility of common training programs with different types of managers and mobility through countries is supported since none of the competences are considered country oriented or specific to sectors, but transversal. The only things that stand out are some particular topics, which are considered by FTC-Italy and ADG-Germany to be country-specific, maybe due to regional differences. These answers confirm that competences and topics proposed in the analysis can be assumed to be good proxies for describing the profile of cooperative managers as a whole.