The Brazilian Cooperative System did not have a structure capable of furthering the cooperativist culture and of training professionals in a systematic and state-independent manner. During the entire 20th century, Brazilian cooperativism developed through the informal dissemination of concepts, values and techniques.
In the 70´s and 80´s, cooperativism was regulated by Conselho Nacional do Cooperativismo - CNC (National Council of Cooperativism) and supervised by Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária - INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform), which was assigned the job of issuing an operating license to the cooperatives. Hence the cooperatives were under state control and intervention.
In 1988, during the process of organization, the Brazilian cooperative system made tremendous efforts in pursuit of the approval of the self-management of cooperatives ( autonomy of organization and operating without state interference in the management of cooperatives), the recognition of the cooperative act (as an act different from the commercial act) and the state´s commitment in the development of cooperativism.
As an immediate consequence, there were problems like: the indiscriminate dissemination of distorted concepts of cooperative management, occurring at the same time as accelerated growth in the organization of cooperatives at the boards of trade of the states, in response to the economic crisis of the times.
Concomitantly, both the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives - OCB, and of State Organizations - OCEs, started to make efforts to deploy a system for the dissemination of efficient standards of cooperative management, capable of producing the expected social and economic benefits.
However, the cooperative system was not prepared to guarantee the continuity of its fully-fledged growth or operation in line with its principles, in view of the opening and deregulation of markets, the scarcity of financing options and the increase in tax burdens.
In the last few decades, cooperatives that achieved their place in the national and local economy, getting through the structural changes that took place worldwide, perceived the need for investment in human capital to remain competitive in the rendering of services to their cooperative members on the long term.
This need was seized upon as a policy of the cooperative system at the XI Brazilian Cooperativism Congress upon deferral of the Deployment of the Self-management Program, which targets self-sustained development, expressed in the form of management quality, credibility before third parties and transparency before the social scenario. For this purpose it was necessary to create an organizational framework to foster education focused on the needs of cooperativism.
During the 90´s, agribusiness cooperatives, which assumed all the liabilities of the inadequacy of the agricultural policy that sustained the monetary policy in force at the time, experienced major financial and structural difficulties. This process unleashed the National Program for Revitalization of Agribusiness Cooperatives - RECOOP (Programa Nacional de Revitalização das Cooperativas Agropecuárias), for debt rescheduling, financing and restructuring of cooperatives.
SESCOOP - Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem do Cooperativismo originated in RECOOP, with the purpose of organizing, administrating and executing professional education, development and social furtherance of workers in cooperatives and of cooperative members, for all branches of activity, throughout the country.