Communities of Practice

What is CoP?

The term Communities of Practice (CoP) was coined by Lave and Wenger (1991). CoP are formed when people collaborate with a common passion, share, and develop knowledge through regular interaction. CoP have been widely recognised in promoting social learning, leadership development, and in bringing about changes to an organisation.



As part of the Teaching Excellence Initiatives, the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Education (DVCE) has supported academic and professional staff to develop their Communities of Practice (CoP) for innovation and best practice in Higher Education. This initiative was established by the Educational Enhancement Unit (EEU) in October 2018 and successfully funded 15 cross faculty CoP.


Benefits of CoP participation

Following on from the establishment of the CoP, the EEU undertook a survey in July 2019 of the leads and their participants, to help identify the benefits gained from their participation in a CoP.  The results were separated into the following four key areas; 

Social Capital

  • Ability to network and collaborate
  • Increase opportunities to network within and outside of UWA
  • Capitalising on networks and information for opportunities 
  • Collaborate to produce innovative solutions

Social Learning 

  • Ability to harness collective knowledge
  • Engage in sharing and understanding best practice
  • Ability to witness skills applied by others in different areas
  • Engaging and exchanging ideas with like minded people


  • Acquire knowledge on resources available at UWA
  • Gain access to available resources 
  • Create and facilitate sharing of resources for practical implications
  • Ability to gain more insights at UWA

Professional and Personal Development

  • Platform to share work accomplished
  • Gain reassurance and validation from colleagues
  • Understand personal identity at UWA
  • Developing facilitation and leadership skills 

How do I establish a CoP at UWA?


How to join an existing UWA CoP


Further Information on UWA CoP

Refer below for further details on the current UWA CoP, the support and resources provided by the Educational Enhancement Unit and formalising the CoP to ensure their sustainability at UWA.