Choices of workshops

Large large formation 04

Workshops offered by FECHIMM

To help your cooperative insure the success of its project, FECHIMM offers some 30 workshops covering the essential themes of life in a housing cooperative.


Legal aspects

Role and responsibilities of the Board of directors

A classic and a must for both administrators and members. On the menu: powers, duties and responsibilities of the Board under the provisions of the Cooperatives Act and the Civil Code of Quebec.

The Cooperatives Act and Internal by-laws – 2 workshops

In this two-part workshop, we will show you an example of internal by-laws recommended by FECHIMM, in accordance with the Cooperatives Act. You will see, with complete and structured information, key sections of the law governing the democratic life of your co-op.

Regulations on the allocation of the cooperative's low-income units

This workshop aims to help cooperatives who benefit from the Rent Supplement Program (RSP) of the Société d'habitation du Québec (SHQ) to comply with the new regulations on the allocation of affordable housing in Quebec, effective September 1, 2011.

Suspension and expulsion

Members do not only have rights, they also have responsibilities. Faced with an offender not interested in the objectives of the cooperative, the application of disciplinary measures requires judgment, nuance and expertise from the administrators in order for them to protect the group. To do this, they must act in accordance with the grounds and procedure prescribed by the Cooperatives Act.

End of operating agreements

If your cooperative is near the end of its operating agreement with a government agency (CMHC or SHQ), this workshop will help you understand the issues and impacts of this new reality and look at the actions you can take in order to prepare yourselves for this event. You will also be informed about the services available, the positions and actions defended by FECHIMM and other advocates of cooperative and social housing on this issue.


Finances

Understanding the financial statements

What is the purpose of your cooperative’s financial statements ? How to read them? How to analyze them? This workshop aims to familiarize yourself with these important documents and to identify questions that can be asked of the Board of directors and the auditor when they are presented to the general assembly.

Financial management

This workshop is specifically for the cooperative’s Board of directors and the Finance committee. We will present to you the basis of sound financial management. We will be addressing the role of the Board of directors, the treasurer and other committee members. FECHIMM’s recommendations concerning its operating rules and legal obligations in this matter will conclude the workshop.

The Acomba* accounting software

Professionalize your bookkeeping and accounting system with Acomba accounting software, available at FECHIMM. From the configuration of the system to the chart of accounts, from entering data to producing reports, this software will make life easier for your finance committee.

*Workshop offered in the at-home formula only

Preparing for the audit

Each year, your cooperative must prepare for the audit of its bookkeeping and accounting. This workshop will review the documents that the members from the finance and secretarial committees must produce for the auditor to do his work efficiently. The workshop also answers technical questions on that fiscal year.

Preparing the budget

Budget planning is an unquestionable good financial management asset. The workshop will help you become familiar with the different stages of budget planning. Follow-up of the budget and an example of an expense policy will be covered.

Calculation of the RSP (Rent supplement program)

The workshop on the calculation of rent supplement will enable participants to understand the process of an application for low-income housing, to control weighting each section of the application and to develop management tools to follow-up on grant applications.


Building

Maintenance expenses and budget follow-up

This workshop is as much for members responsible for property management as for finance committees and administrators. One topic only is addressed: expenses related to maintenance. We will see the annual maintenance budget, management of reserves, controlling maintenance expenses, long-term planning, organizing chores, registry for repairs, etc.

Inspection of homes and buildings and planning the maintenance

This workshop shows the procedure for the inspection of homes and buildings. You will also learn how to plan for repairs to be carried out on schedule. Finally, we will show you an ongoing maintenance schedule for your buildings, examples of notices and ledgers, tips and things to watch out for. The participants will also put their knowledge into practice by inspecting our premises!

Organizing the maintenance and administration of the building

This workshop will help you organize your building management committee, commonly known as the «maintenance committee ». We will be addressing the role of the committee, its mandates, its tasks and its calendar of events, along with a building management policy and a policy for distributing maintenance tasks in the common areas. You will leave with plenty of tools to help you in your work, such as a model of an organizational chart you can adapt to your own co-op.

Planning, implementation and monitoring of repairs

This workshop is to make you aware of your obligations as a landlord. It will allow you to identify what work should be carried out by professionals and what work can be done by the co-op. It will show you how to use a registry for your financial and logistical follow-ups, which criteria to choose from when selecting suppliers and to better understand the issues and steps of the bid analysis.


Participation and operating

Efficient general assembly

Your assemblies are chaotic and endless? The meeting lacks decorum? Give yourself the means to make these important meetings more effective and enjoyable. On the agenda: the types of assemblies, the role and mandate of the members' meeting, the preparation of meetings and professional tricks to facilitate meetings and defuse problematic situations.

Participation management and member contract

Rediscover the habits and attitudes that foster member involvement in the management of the cooperative in this workshop which presents the model membership contract recommended by FECHIMM. This workshop will help you put forward a preventive approach and to develop tools to stimulate the involvement of your members. A simple and effective procedure to manage the shortcomings of your members in their commitments and obligations to the cooperative will also be addressed.

My co-op, my choice!

Relaunch the commitment and involvement in your coop! Here is a workshop that is for all members, both old and new. A workshop that asks the right questions to reflect on attitudes to develop and maintain to be an active member involved in the management of the co-op.

Organizing management committees

In this workshop, you will learn how to better organize the work of your committee members. Take the opportunity to mobilize your members around a fair sharing of responsibilities and tasks. This workshop will allow you to better structure the co-op’s main committees while emphasizing collaboration.


Relationship between members

Life in a co-op : teamwork

Cooperative life is often synonymous with group life: committees, meetings, chores ... And teamwork sometimes rhymes with "happiness", but sometimes with "pain"! This workshop will help you understand the inevitable teamwork and to become aware of the different modes of interaction of each, so that teamwork becomes a pleasure.

Communication

Life in a housing cooperative is sometimes challenging and, in this context, being able to communicate is a great asset. This workshop aims to develop communication skills and to enable you to identify the elements that promote it. In short, you'll be better equipped to communicate better.

Managing common spaces : the building regulation

In this workshop you will learn to better understand the role of the good neighbourhood committee: how to implement the building regulations. We will see how to create and how to implement the building regulations. We will also be addressing the organization of the committee, its role, its mandates and the introduction of a procedure for handling complaints and planning the social activities in the co-op.

Introduction to mediation 1 : basic notions

This workshop is for all members, but especially for the board of directors who act directly in conflict management. Mastering basic concepts and the mediation intervention tools and techniques are on the menu.

Introduction to mediation 2 : practical aspects

(Prerequisite : Introduction to mediation 1)

This workshop offers practical exercises to apply the concepts learned in workshop 1. Thanks to simulated situations, you will have the opportunity to test your skills as a mediator.

Conflict resolution

Unresolved conflict can sometimes escalate into a major crisis, dangerously affecting the quality of life of your members. This workshop will help you understand the nature, dynamics and evolution of conflicts. It will also give you the keys to solve them.


Secretarial

Filing documents

The filing in your co-op leaves much to be desired? You are not sure what documents to keep? This workshop is for you! A practical exercise in filing will help you take action when you go back to your co-op.

Implementation of the secretarial management

The workshop aims to give you the basic tools for managing the secretarial work. You will learn to understand the legal responsibility of the committee responsible for the secretarial work. We will also address the mandate, the roles, the responsibilities, the tasks and the calendar of activities of the committee, as well as an information policy.

Organization of the secretariat and preparation of meetings

This workshop identifies for you the material and equipment needed to organize your secretariat. You will also make a budget and you will learn how to process incoming mail, how to draft notices of meetings and agendas of general meetings and other meetings. A whole bunch of practical tips will be offered.

Note-taking and writing minutes and letters

Attending this workshop, you will master the basic techniques that will mainly allow you to write clear, concise and complete minutes.

Use of information and communications technologies (ICT)

This workshop is designed to help you use information and internet technologies in order to ensure a more efficient way to manage your documents, the board and committee meetings, in addition to promoting community life through better communication with the members. In addition to a ready to use computerized filing system, in this workshop you will learn how to create a virtual workspace, how to use Skype, Facebook and the Google Agenda along with advertising web tools allowing you to put an ad for a vacant unit.


Selection and integration of members

Managing member selection

The selection of your members is of paramount importance: members are the heart of the cooperative. You will be presented with tools to help you make a selection, such as a model of a selection policy that will allow you to recruit the best members possible, in order to maintain the smooth running of the coop. A procedure for integrating new members will be presented.


For more info

Jean-Hugues Labrecque
Education coordinator
514-843-6929, ext. 241

Natalie Joseph
Education assistant
514-843-6929, ext. 246