A communities of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, set of problems or an interest in a specific topic, who come together to fulfil both individual and group goals.
As the Communities of Practice Lead, I’m responsible for BACP’s Communities of Practice – a members-only, online community. I joined BACP in August 2022, brought in to launch the platform to the membership. It went live in October, has since had thousands of members visit the platform and is becoming a huge wealth of knowledge for its users.
The journey to a Communities of Practice began at the 2020 AGM when one of our members put forward a motion for a dedicated students forum, which was the catalyst for creating a member-wide Communities of Practice platform.
We brought in a group of members at the very start, so all aspects of the design were member focused and we officially launched in October last year. Those members are still with us today as the first cohort of users and every member now has access to the platform.
We currently have over 20 communities that were proposed by members, who have then gone on to champion that area of the platform. There's a huge range of topics being discussed and filling up with invaluable resources for peer learning.
So, why should our members use the Communities of Practice platform?
Well, it holds a growing library of practical resources, users can get to know other BACP members and discuss work-related topics in the protected forums, share best practice, or seek advice and information. And maybe even find a new area of therapy they’re interested in.
We have members posting about their research too, so there may be opportunities to get involved in some of the future studies being carried out.
From some of the discussions, we've also found keynote speakers for events and podcast guests, so it really is a collaborative atmosphere.
We're now eight months into the platform being live. We've had over 60,000 page views and we're getting requests for new communities every month.
Going forward, we would love to see more topics covered on the Communities of Practice platform. If you’d like to discuss setting up a new community please email us.