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UCL's Communities of Practice initiative wins prestigious award

24 May 2019

UCL was presented with an ‘Excellence in HR’ award at the annual UHR conference, held last night in Manchester, to celebrate the most exceptional initiatives and projects in Higher Education Human Resources.

UCL CoP award winners

(Pictured left to right) Daniela Bultoc – Head of Communities of Practice, Jodie Trumper – Co-lead for the HR Community of Practice, Rebecca Allen – Co-lead for the Data and Insight Community of Practice, Wes Durdle – Co-lead for the Internal Communications Community of Practice.

UCL’s Communities of Practice initiative triumphed in the “Organisational development and culture change" category, which recognises initiatives that achieve transformational culture change, greater staff engagement or collaboration to enable the university to meet future challenges and uncertainty.

UCL currently has over 1,000 Community of Practice members and over 40 Community of Practice led projects across the institution. The communities help to bring people together using collective knowledge to co-create and continuously improve practice. Being part of a community of practice helps staff to learn from each other by sharing knowledge and expertise, and to work together on self-selected projects, co-creating an end-to-end view of their service and a vision of excellence. 

Daniela Bultoc, Head of Communities of Practice at UCL, said:

“Introducing Communities of Practice has made a real impact at UCL. The Communities have proved to be an empowering, grass-roots model which have led to positive cultural change, encouraging collaboration across professional services and academic areas by bringing together colleagues who work in similar practice areas. The UCL Communities of Practice provide staff with opportunities to learn from each other, share knowledge and expertise, have a collective view of excellence and improve their practice. We would like to recognise all the staff who are part of a Community of Practice for their great work and commitment to this exciting, new way of working for UCL.”

Speaking on behalf of UHR, Helen Scott said:

“UCL were able to give the judges so much tangible information about the outputs of the project. They’ve moved away from silos, empowered people to solve problems and make change using collective knowledge to create better practice. The initiative has had a huge impact on the organisation and its approach to development and culture change, involving so many individuals and solving knotty problems.”

CoP leaders on winning the award

 “It’s been really rewarding seeing colleagues in diverse data analysis roles across the institution have the opportunity to work together. We challenge and learn from each other, and have created a central management information Data Catalogue as well as guidance for effectively visualising data. We are all better analysts and UCL is a stronger university as a result.”  Rebecca Allen (Data and Insight)
“Although at times it has been tough the overall experience has been great! Last August we hosted the first UCL wide HR Conference, with approximately 150 delegates. It was a great event and I hope one which will be repeated regularly. All five of the HR CoP projects we started have now moved into business as usual, which is a testament to how hard the project leads and teams worked.” Jodie Trumper (HR)
“It's been a pleasure seeing the concept really flourish across UCL. The value that CoPs have added to our work is obvious, whether that’s from helpful project outputs like our CAM Plus Portal space on SharePoint, from training and ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions, or simply from helping colleagues break down the barriers of siloed working and solve problems together. I’m excited to see what comes next!" Wes Durdle (Internal Communications)

Universities Human Resources is the key organisation for HR professionals in higher education in the UK. Find out more about the entry on the 2019 UHR Awards for Excellence.

Find out more about UCL Communities of Practice.

Daniela Bultoc with Community of Practice group