Background

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.”(1) CoP’s are usually informal, self-organising, and span across departments with members distributed throughout an organisation.

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 placement participants and PEPA 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 operates.

Objectives

The objectives of the CoP will vary over time, but will include:

  • To provide a forum for collaboration where PEPA 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 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 website. It will be an outcome and learning experience blog-style site where PEPA managers will upload an overview of the PEPA placement participants’ workplace activity report and will enable PEPA mentors to review and comment on the learned experience outcomes.

Comments will be moderated by PEPA Managers in each state and territory as well as the PEPA National Project team. PEPA mentors will be invited to review PEPA placement outcomes within the CoP and comment on the outcomes each month. The comments made will align with the supportive feedback guide for PEPA 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 National Project team and PEPA Managers will be to support the CoP members to learn from each other through:

  • Posting each PEPA 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.

Reference: 1. Wenger E, McDermott R, Snyder W.  (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA).