UCL Human Resources


Communities of Practice Impact

Communities of Practice (CoPs) at UCL cover 10 different professional and technical services areas. Since 2017 CoPs have hosted around 200 Lunch and Learns and launched a number of impactful projects.

Impact survey

The 2021 Communities of Practice Impact Survey demonstrated the significant impact and benefit of taking part in a CoP at UCL.

CoPs bring people together 

CoPs help colleagues feel connected to each other and to the whole institution. Nearly all the respondents (92%) agreed that the CoP helped them form connections with colleagues whom they wouldn't have otherwise met – and said that CoPs help improve communication between different areas of UCL (90%).

They are an excellent idea to bring together people who would otherwise be scattered across UCL.

CoPs help you learn new skills

Most respondents agreed that they have developed their skills and/or gained knowledge about their practice because of their CoP (84%). 

They also said that they've been able to apply new skills and knowledge to their job (79%).

I have found out about training opportunities and new systems (e.g. Teams webinars) that I have applied directly in my role.

CoPs help make UCL a better place to work

Most survey respondents said that being in a CoP increases their sense of belonging at UCL (89%) and that CoPs help improve UCL’s workplace culture (88%).

They also agreed that their team or department benefits from them being in a CoP (83%).

It's a fantastic networking opportunity to share expertise amongst similar like-minded professionals across UCL.

CoPs help improve how things work at UCL

Most survey respondents agreed that their CoP and its outputs help improve service delivery in the practice area (80%), and that their CoP's activities directly benefit UCL (84%).

A lot of previous projects from this CoP have now been operationalised and have had a significant impact on daily work in this area, which is amazing.

External impact 

UCL is also leading the Higher Education sector in CoPs: in 2019, we were awarded the award for best organisational development and culture change initiative at the UHR (Universities Human Resources) Awards for Excellence in HR.

In May 2020, UCL hosted a seminar with Etienne Wenger-Trayner, who coined the term ‘Communities of Practice’, and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, who shared their expertise on CoPs and how they operate in online spaces.