Communities of practice


1.”Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis”

Reference from:  Wenger, E., McDermott, R. & Snyder, W.M.  (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press,  p.4

2. A community of practice (CoP) shares a specific interest that becomes a source of identification. This identity creates a sense of commitment to the community as a whole, not merely connections to a few linking nodes.

A CoP is about creating a ‘doing and learning environment’ for a network of individuals with common problems or interests who get together to:

  • Explore ways of working
  • Identify common solutions
  • Share good practice and ideas
  • Learn

Typically they pool resources related to a specific area of knowledge to support more efficient and more effective practices.

Reference from NHS Scotland – Quality Improvement Hub – Communities of Practice


View the DH Knowledge Management Framework – e-learning on Communities of Practice 

KM Postcards

Collaboration – KM Postcard from NHS Digital

Read Enabling Change through Communities of Practice learning paper by National Voices for more information on CoPs and practical advice