Communities of Practice (COP)


The Communities of Practice (COP) Program is being developed to show how to make a specific theory/practice work in government. It is intended that the Program will focus on key concerns of practitioners. COP will build on the experience in public sector organizations be they federal, provincial/territorial/first nations or municipal, but will use a collaborative approach to improve it for broader usage in the public sector.

It is anticipated there are likely to be several COPs in operation at any one time, each with a specific area of interest, e.g. Portfolio Management; Change Management; Business Process Re-engineering (BPR); Obtaining the Savings from BPR; etc.

As part of the CPSEN objective to share experiences and develop tools to help all members, COP will have an opportunity at CPSEN Quarterly Learning Events to show their results, tools, techniques developed at the COP. It is also possible that there will be COP contributions at CPSEN’s annual Excellence Fairs. It is anticipated that, should protocols be developed during the COP project efforts, these protocols will be posted to the CPSEN Resource Centre.

Each COP will be made up of practitioners, both experienced and those wanting to learn. COP members will have their own access to the CPSEN’s interactive website as a tool for sharing information and the results of the COP.

COPS will be established in either English or French depending on the desires of the participants and it is anticipated that a COP could have broad participation, but with a core group of 10-12 participants simply to facilitate more intimate and productive working sessions.

The majority of the costs of the COP, apart from the CPSEN website and CPSEN Quarterly Learning Meetings, will be borne by the members of the COP i.e. meeting place, meeting tools, use of consultants etc. 

A proposal has been made to the CPSEN Board of Directors and John Thomas, a past CPSQA Chair, has selected to manage the Program.


One of the Professional Development Sessions at the 2015 Canadian Public Sector Excellence Fair, John Thomas and Édouard Larocque led a Session aimed at developing a Communities of Practice Project. Follow this link to the presentation made at that PD Session.