The Communities of Practice (CoP) has over 1,300 UK communities and upward of 57,000 UK members, it is the largest collaborative platform for local government and so can be a daunting place for newcomers. If you begin your CoP journey as a community facilitator, however, this feeling of uncertainty is amplified as you have the added pressure of having to master the many features of the CoP; the wikis, the forums, the libraries in order to provide a valuable service to your members and to make sure that your community thrives.
The Facilitators Community provides a lifeline to the beginner facilitator who is trying to take their first steps in the CoP right through to the most experienced facilitator who has a very specific enquiry. It provides a central hub of easily accessible information in plain English on how to manage every aspect of a community. The community includes everything from PowerPoint presentations to forum discussions and offers an open and welcoming environment for facilitators to raise issues. With around 440 members and over 150 items in the library, the Facilitators Community is a great success story in the CoP.
In this financially austere environment, the Facilitators Community provides the guidance to facilitators and so promotes a key goal of the Improvement Service to increase collaboration and so to improve outcomes and efficiencies in local government. The information and collective knowledge within the facilitators community is accessible and applicable to all who work with local government and can be found on the CoP platform. Therefore, the Facilitators Community is an invaluable asset, as what is clear in the CoP is that every thriving community has knowledgeable and active facilitators. In the end, it makes the CoP a more useful platform and less daunting for all.