Who is eligible?

We offer two types of membership:

1) national-level cooperatives and organisations that unite or federate groups of cooperatives may become Full Members while

2) other kinds of organisations that are not themselves cooperatives, but that support them in some way, can become Associate Members.


Those eligible to become Full Members are:

  • National union or federation of cooperative organisations
  • National confederation of cooperative unions (apex organisations)
  • National cooperative business organisation with majority individual ownership (a cooperative society working at the national level whose members are not only people but can also be enterprises - i.e. a mixed
  • Individual cooperative organisation (primary or grassroots co-operatives)
  • International and regional (supranational) federations or unions of cooperative organisations (organisations with membership in multiple countries)
  • Mutual organisations that comply with the ICA Statement on Cooperative Identity.


Those eligible to become Associate Members are organisations that are not otherwise eligible to be full members, including:

  • Organisations that are supporters of cooperatives
  • Government departments and agencies
  • Organisations that are owned and controlled by cooperatives (entities that are not cooperativas themselves but that are owned entirely by cooperativas (not individuals)
  • Educational, research and other institutions that promote or finance cooperatives and the co-operative movement (training institutions and semi-autonomous institutions with no cooperative members)
  • Organisations entitled to full member status, but that are not ready to apply for full membership (for a limited time).


Please note that full membership requires applicants to be representative of the cooperative movement in their country, such as having membership in more than one region, having a significantly large membership base, or representing many sectors.

Applicants should also be well established and have the capacity to pay their subscriptions as well as participate in the regional or global General Assemblies.