What is a Community of Practice?

In this issue of the WST newsletter we are focusing on Communities of Practice and specifically the CoPs already established here in UCD, we have been in contact with different types of CoP to find out what they are, how they came together, how they work and how participation in these communities can benefit us as individuals.

What is a CoP?

Communities of Practice are different from clubs and other informal gatherings by virtue of the type of group they are and the outcomes they aim to achieve.

Communities of Practice can be defined as sustained learning partnerships among people who share a skill, knowledge requirement or goal for something they do with the aim of learning, sharing and developing how to achieve more in a particular sphere as they interact regularly.

In short, CoPs are defined by the engagement with the elements of Domain, Community and Practice. The Domain is the common ground shared; the Community is the people involved and the Practice is the activity that drives the shared engagement. If you are involved in any regular meeting of colleagues where knowledge about a certain element of work is shared or generated, you could be a member of a CoP. There are different types of CoPs, some are ongoing, some have short term purposes and some develop to have amore formal structure than others. Some are in person and some have made the shift to remote or hybrid. The format can take many forms.


If you are interested in setting up a Community of Practice. Register your interest for training and supports here

If you are already in a Community of Practice or if you think that your group may be a CoP then complete this here

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