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Training in Co-op Management

The Co‑op Difference is CHF Canada’s online training program in co‑op housing management. It equips you with the tools and knowledge to become a co-op housing management specialist.

Important Notice: The Co-op Difference is currently closed to new registration.

Please contact elearning@chfcanada.coop if you have any questions.

Training in co-op management: The Co-op Difference

Become a specialist in co‑op housing management. Try The Co‑op Difference Demo now to begin your adventure in online learning.

What will I learn?

The Co‑op Difference is CHF Canada’s online training program in co‑op housing management. It equips you with the tools and knowledge to become a co-op housing management specialist.

The Co‑op Difference does not duplicate the “nuts and bolts” training available in other property management training. Instead, the program addresses the unique knowledge and skills needed by co‑op housing managers.

The five modules in this course enable you to put the co‑op housing movement’s principles and best practices into action. You will:

  • learn how the co‑op’s environment – laws, government programs and principles embraced by the co‑op sector – affect Canada’s housing co‑ops
  • equip yourself to help a co‑op meet the Core Management Standards
  • learn solid skills, such as how to interpret financial statements, how to use financial forecasting tools and how to stay up-to-date on legal changes, and
  • use scenarios and real-life examples to grapple with the thorniest issues facing co‑op managers.

To find out more about the individual modules click on their titles below:

Module 1: The co‑op context

Canadian housing co‑ops have a proud history. This module introduces you to the co‑op movement. You will learn:

  • the seven co‑op principles and what they mean for co‑op housing managers
  • how co‑ops differ from other forms of housing, and
  • the role of sector organizations.

Module 2: Managing the co‑op difference

Managing a housing co‑op is different from managing other types of housing. This module equips you with the tools and knowledge for this unique role. You will learn:

  • how co‑ops are governed
  • how to recognize good co‑op management
  • the elements of a successful board/management team
  • how to support good governance at the board and membership level, and
  • how to support a democratic culture, serve co‑op members without overstepping your role and uphold the standards expected of an ethical professional.

Module 3: Managing the co‑op finances

No co‑op can survive without money. This module teaches managers how to fulfil their financial management responsibilities. Drawing on examples from the fictional Bellweather Co‑op, you will learn:

  • how to interpret a balance sheet, income statement, bank reconciliation, arrears report, investment report and auditor’s report
  • how to use a budget template and cash flow, capital reserve and long-term financial forecasting tools
  • how to recommend good financial controls, and
  • how to meet the co‑op’s reporting obligations.

Module 4: Meeting legal requirements

A housing co‑op is not just a community – it’s a legal entity, subject to a wide range of legal obligations. This module offers an overview of this legal environment. You’ll learn how the manager can help the co‑op meet its obligations and avoid legal pitfalls. You will also learn about the legal issues most important to housing co‑ops, such as human rights, privacy, membership, evictions, corporate records and board liability.

Module 5: Understanding Funding Programs

Almost all non-profit housing co‑ops in Canada were created using government funds – and it’s up to the manager to help maintain a good relationship with government regulators. This module looks at the core components of five government programs, known as the Section 61, Section 95, Federal ILM, the Housing Services Act and Homes BC.

You will also learn the common elements of rent-geared-to-income subsidy administration across Canada as well as the manager’s role in helping the co‑op uphold its responsibilities.

How much does it cost?

  • Individual modules: $150*
  • Five modules: $500*
  • Retake exam: $20* per module

*Prices do not include applicable taxes. Tax rates (either GST or HST) are determined by the location of the user.

How long does it take?

You can expect it to take approximately 35 hours to complete the five modules. You don’t have to do it all at once, but on your own time, at your own pace. You have access to each module for two months after completing the final exam. You must complete the entire program in one year from the date of your registration.

Completing the program

  • The Co-op Difference is recognized as an elective for the Institute of Housing Management’s (IHM) Property Management Certificate.
  • You can also take the program on its own and receive a certificate of successful completion from CHF Canada.

Recognition of prior learning

Find out more about how your experience and expertise as a co-op manager can be recognized through this program.