MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center


Institute of Co-operative Studies (ICS)

The Institute of Co-operative Studies (ICS) is the training arm of MASS-SPECC dedicated to providing co-ops with information, knowledge, and skills development opportunities. Their education and training programs cater to board members, members of various committees, managers at all levels and staff, combining theory and practice to enhance competencies. ICS actively involves both internal and external resource persons in developing competency-based curricula and training for different co-operative positions.

As an accredited training provider by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), ICS conducts regular programs for member-cooperatives using a blended learning approach to reach more target groups. At the heart of its courses, whether ideological or technical, is the promotion and strengthening of the Cooperative Identity to ensure the competitiveness of cooperatives as values-based and principled enterprises.

Here are some of the training programs offered by MASS-SPECC's ICS:


    Management Development Program (MDP):

    A comprehensive training program designed for middle managers of co-ops. It combines theory and practice to enhance their managerial skills and competencies.

  • Master in Entrepreneurial Management (MEM) (2)

    Master in Entrepreneurial Management (MEM):

    A specialized training program in partnership with the University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P). It is designed for co-op managers who wish to earn a master's degree in management, focusing on social entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Co-operative Development and Management

    Co-operative Development and Management (CDM) Level IV:

    This program is TESDA-accredited and offers the first-ever qualification approved by TESDA for co-ops. It provides comprehensive training on co-operative development and management, equipping participants with essential skills and knowledge in improving the operation of their respective cooperatives.

  • Developing Staff Co-operators

    Developing Staff Co-operators:

    An asynchronous education program specifically designed for rank-and-file co-op staff with limited opportunities to attend training. It aims to enhance their understanding of the co-op's nature and purpose, and the centrality of members, ultimately improving their effectiveness as frontliners.

  • Function-Specific Training

    Function-Specific Training:

    ICS conducts regular training sessions for co-op board members, committees, managers and staff. These programs focus on specific functions and responsibilities within co-operatives, providing participants with specialized knowledge and skills tailored to their roles.

  • Member Education Program

    Member Education Program:

    ICS has developed a comprehensive member education program that covers pre-membership and continuing education for co-op members. The program aims to standardize member education by co-ops and improve the delivery of this important member activity.

  • financial

    Financial Literacy Program:

    ICS offers a financial literacy program designed to enable co-ops to conduct financial literacy sessions for their members. The program provides materials and resources to educate members on essential financial concepts necessary to improve their economic status and well-being.

These and other training programs offered by ICS cater to the different educational needs of co-op leaders, managers and staff for the continuous improvement of their performance.

In addition to training, ICS handles the research activities of MASS-SPECC. Each year, ICS consolidates key figures from the audited financial statements of member-cooperatives, allowing co-operatives to compare their own performance with their peers in the region and the whole of Mindanao. ICS also conducts research studies for individual co-operatives on request. Additionally, it partners with external research institutions in conducting special studies on specific topics like the contribution of the co-op sector to the local economy, economic well-being of members, and the financial performance of co-operatives and their prospects overall. Research studies undertaken by ICS contribute to a better understanding of the co-operative landscape, assist co-ops in making informed decisions, and support the continuous development of the co-operative movement.