A Community of Practice (CoP) is defined as: a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. CoPs provide an environment in which professionals can share their practice experiences, develop and discuss areas of interests and build a sense of community. CoPs were initially developed to exchange information and knowledge but more recently are being used as tools to improve clinical and public health practice and to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based practice.
A successful CoP requires members to be participatory and is essentially led by its members. It is the member’s responsibility to ensure that the CoP stays relevant, engaging and offers value to the domain of interest. In the healthcare field, CoPs have been promoted as a tool to:
- Cross knowledge boundaries (all healthcare workforce)
- Generate and manage a body of knowledge for members to draw on (palliative care)
- Promote standardisation of practice (evidenced-based palliative care)
- Innovate and create new ideas, knowledge and practices
About our Community of Practice
The PEPA/IPEPA Community of Practice provides an opportunity for participants to share the ways in which they have changed their practice through undertaking a PEPA placement. Its purpose is to create a structure that allows PEPA/IPEPA placement participants and PEPA/IPEPA mentors to grow their knowledge and promote best practice to build common capability in the delivery of palliative care for people affected by life-limiting illness, across all levels of healthcare nationally, where PEPA/IPEPA operates.
The objectives of the CoP will vary over time, but will include:
- To provide a forum for collaboration where PEPA/IPEPA mentors add value to existing PEPA/IPEPA post-placement initiatives and activities
- To identify linkages and opportunities for collaborative strategic and technical projects and to coordinate the delivery of PEPA/IPEPA projects
- To report on progress and provide updates of PEPA/IPEPA palliative care placement outcomes
- To advise the other National Palliative Care Projects of PEPA/IPEPA placement outcomes occurring within palliative care and create an opportunity to collaborate on common issues of interest within the CoP
- To provide a point of contact for PEPA/IPEPA placement participants on the specific initiative or interest area affecting palliative care placements for the general healthcare workforce.
Membership and Structure
Membership of the CoP is open to all PEPA/IPEPA areas with an interest in palliative care or who share similar interests, goals, and or objectives.
The CoP will be facilitated by an online platform embedded in the PEPA/IPEPA website. It will be an outcome and learning experience blog-style site where PEPA/IPEPA managers will upload an overview of the PEPA/IPEPA placement participants’ workplace activity report and will enable PEPA/IPEPA mentors to review and comment on the learned experience outcomes.
Comments will be moderated by PEPA/IPEPA Managers in each state and territory as well as the PEPA/IPEPA National Project team. PEPA/IPEPA mentors will be invited to review PEPA/IPEPA placement outcomes within the CoP and comment on the outcomes each month. The comments made will align with the supportive feedback guide for PEPA/IPEPA blogs located on the CoP site.
All members are expected to share their expertise through their comments and if possible, link participants to other resources they have or are aware of which will be useful to all members.
The responsibility of PEPA/IPEPA National Project team and PEPA/IPEPA Managers will be to support the CoP members to learn from each other through:
- Posting each PEPA/IPEPA participant’s outcome experience where possible
- Facilitating group discussion to ensure that communication is appropriate and respectful
- Sending out regular messages to all CoP members about monthly outcomes and activities that have been uploaded.
- Wenger E, McDermott R, Snyder W. Cultivating Communities of Practice: a Guide to Managing knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA). Amy HI Lee received the MBA degree from the University of British Columbia, Canada, in. 2002.
- CDC. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/phcommunities/resourcekit/intro/index.html
- Wenger E, McDermott R, Snyder WM. Seven principles for cultivating communities of practice. Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. 2002.
- Ranmuthugala G, Plumb JJ, Cunningham FC, Georgiou A, Westbrook JI, Braithwaite J. How and why are communities of practice established in the healthcare sector? A systematic review of the literature. BMC health services research. 2011;11(1):273.
- Wenger E. Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. Systems thinker. 1998;9(5):2‐3.
- Li LC, Grimshaw JM, Nielsen C, Judd M, Coyte PC, Graham ID. Evolution of Wenger’s concept of community of practice. Implementation Science. 2009;4(1):11.