The project

The Institute for Sustainable Work and Management (SWMI) brings together people and institutions with a common conviction that there is a lot left to learn, to create and to concretely do to improve the quality of work for employees and self-employed workers.
These people and institutions find themselves at the centre of 5 colleges (Leaders, Trade Unionists, Researchers, Consultants, Partners) which gives a singularity and a richness to the works of the SWMI linked with exchanges and confrontations between these actors with very different status.


The SWMI’s vision is to stand as the French-speaking reference organisation, ideas generator, approaches and practices, putting work and its quality at the centre of the society’s debate and of the social and economic efficiency of companies and other organisations.


The SWMI brings a fresh perspective on work inside companies and other organisations. It does so by respecting and promoting values of progress for all, which are reflected in its operating methods:

  •  Quality of work is a source of both performance and health
  •  Democracy at work and in the organisation of work must be developed, echoing democracy in society
  • The power of employees and self-employed workers to act on their own work must be reinforced
  • Management as a source of support must be enhanced
  • Institutional dialogue on quality of work criteria should be supported


The SWMI is at the same time:

  • A place for reflection, exchange, controversy and confrontation
  • a lever for innovative actions and experiments
  • an organisation for the promotion of significant achievements

Five missions contribute to this:

  • to help transform the organisation based on the work of employees and the self-employed workers
  • initiate experiments and evaluate the benefits for the various actors involved
  • share practices, constantly review them, formalise them to disseminate them
  • publish stances, summaries of controversies, results of actions and researches
  • develop an inter-college service offer in terms of interventions, researches, trainings, and events.

Action plan

The action plan developed is based on the project that was produced during the previous mandate.
It is broken down into two areas:

  • The “Development of the inter-college” in order for the SWMI to be a producer of services in terms of intervention, research, training and events; an initiator of experimentations and a bearer of regular (workshops) or more punctual (executive cycle) meetings;
  • The “Promotion of achievements and outputs, publication of stances and results” so that what is done is better valued and what needs to be done is better anticipated. On all the actions that are carried out, formulate the objectives pursued, open up the ways of working on them and focus on producing the associated deliverables for concrete purposes. This is to give greater visibility to the SWMI among socio-economic, academic and institutional actors.

These two areas “Development of the inter-college and Promotion of the SWMI” will find their resources in the reflective work and professional controversy conducted in our working groups and reflection. This process has been underway for several years and is a mark of the internal vitality and collective effectiveness of the SWMI.

The story of the SWMI

1989 : 20 HR consulting firms created the APRAT Association (Association for the exchange and improvement of consulting practices), to share their practices in assisting companies in two government programmes “Negotiated Modernisation” and “Changing Work”.

2008 : The APRAT created the project “Participatory innovation in the workplace”.

2011 : This project is transformed into the association SWMI, Sustainable Work and Management Institute, open to the consultants of the APRAT. From its creation, it has had a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee (Managers, Trade Unions, Researchers, Partners, Consultants) and multi-stakeholder working groups.

2016 : The members of the five colleges are now members of the association and are represented in all its bodies. Workshops bring them together on various subjects.

A word from the founding president

“Work and Health, an old question…poorly resolved. In 2011, a group of consultants wished to contribute to this question based on two observations drawn from their actions.

  • An organisation that empowers employees on a daily basis and builds on the work of each individual, increases the quality of work, improves health and produces performance.
  • Developing these organisations requires to deepen and widen the dialogue between all internal and external actors.

The SWMI was born:

  • Today, it brings together managers, trade unionists, researchers, consultants and partners to discuss and debate these issues in places where listening and innovation are privileged
  • Tomorrow, its development will allow it to experiment with its proposals, to deepen its exchanges and to make them better known.”

Alain Coffineau