A community of practice (CoP) is a group of individuals who share an interest in a common field and join forces to actively exchange practical knowledge and experience over a long period of time and to generate new knowledge together. Participation is voluntary and cannot be delegated. CoPs trigger collective learning processes that generate knowledge and experience that is continuously developing. They are extremely effective, help develop an institutional memory and generate new knowledge and skills that are channelled into cooperation systems and organisations. CoPs link up practitioners in a manner that transcends the boundaries of organisations (and of organisational units or countries), irrespective of the hierarchical position that these practitioners hold.
In the context of a municipality, CoPs can contribute to better collaboration across units and sectors and allow for more efficient working and learning structures.