Our Virtual Community of Practice (V-CoP) brings together a group of 12 IAG/Employability Practitioners who share a passion for developing and implementing transformative employability provision for young people in the UK, Italy, France, Ireland and Finland.

The Good Guidance Stories 2.0 project blends self-paced study with inter-active Action Learning Sets and a Community of Practice. As a result, all 12 CoP Practitioners have benefitted from personal and professional competence enhancement, primarily through their co-creation of Case Studies as participatory learning tools.

The case study method is based on the principle that real education consists of the cumulative and unending acquisition, combination and reordering of learning experiences.

There are two fundamental principles underpinning the case method.

  • First, the best-learned lessons are the ones that students teach themselves, through their own struggles.
  • Second, many of the most useful kinds of understanding and judgement cannot be taught but must be learned through practical experience.

Drawing upon the value of the democratic co-production agenda, the peer-to-peer learning exchanges have led to the co-creation of seven brand-new competence-based Case Studies, which will be used to formulate models to rethink roles, relationships and mindsets, at a local level.

In total 14 Action Learning Sets were held. All 12 CoP members took part in Action Learning Set (ALS) sessions complemented by 6 Virtual CoP Meetings; meeting 20 times overall from October 2019 until May 2020. On average, the ALS sessions lasted approximately 1-hour, whilst the CoP Virtual Meeting lasted for approximately 2-hours – that amounts to around 25 hours of online knowledge and learning exchanges and practice cooperation through the Virtual Community of Practice.

More information on the Case Study competences and the Case Studies produced can be found here.

Click on the names of the CoP members below to find out more about their background and what they do.

“Very useful to stop and reflect on the work done”

“It could give an organisational view of what is working well and what might need to be changed and/or developed.”

“Developing a case study is an effective and original way to better understand one’s own practice and the skills and attitudes needed. It is also a great tool to compare it to those of other practitioners. This enhance my daily work”

Action Learning Sets

Action Learning sets are frequently referred to as an effective personal development tool. Essentially, action learning sets can encourage exploratory and innovative learning environments where new ways of working can exchanged, experiences shared and problems can be effectively solved. The Good Guidance Stories 2.0 Action Learning Sets provided a supportive environment  for IAG/Employability Practitioners engaged in the Community of Practice to raise real life problems aligned to their case study production, raise challenging questions, and discuss sensitive issues. Equally, the Action Learning Sets provided a non-traditional learning environment that fostered a shared commitment to real action and change.

Members of the Action Learning Sets:

  • became mentors to each other
  • learned with and through each other
  • were expected to ask questions and seek answers
  • were challenged and supported
  • needed to be positive and open-minded about issues/problems and possible solutions
  • worked collaboratively on real problems and implementing solutions
  • were committed to learning by doing

“My first CoP: great! Each member learns to interact and together they create something completely new. This makes CoP a very interesting way to learn to see in a new way. An important feature of CoP is that it is voluntary; another one is that there is no hierarchy.” 

“Reading through the notes on the three core elements of the Facilitator Resource Pack allowed me to identify where these elements are already in use in my own place of employment. Our wider company operates as a Community of Practice, within which different teams take part as an Action Learning Set and all of this falls under a model of Co-Production”. 

“It is very useful to know the definitions and theoretical concepts of a CoP and its main features and benefits. It really needs people who are willing to commit and give their time to this community. Therefore, such learning and community building should also be approved by the organization’s management.” 

“In my daily work, I would use a CoP for sharing tools and methods for youth guidance in order to solve problems and face challenges”.