Organisational Development

Community of Practice

Information about the University's Community of Practice (CoP) for Mentors.

What is the Community of Practice?

A community of practice is a group of people "who share a concern or passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger, 1991).

The CoP provides mentors with the opportunity to:

  • Share insights and best practice
  • Receive co-supervision from peers
  • Build mentoring capability
  • Practice and enhance knowledge.

The Community of Practice is open to all staff involved in an active mentoring relationship or waiting to be matched with a mentee. If you have not attended before, you are very welcome to join. 

The CoP runs on a regular basis and sessions tend to run around 12-2pm. View the mentoring workshops calendar to see upcoming sessions.

If you have any questions or would like any further information about the CoP, please contact Sam Bates at or contact the Organisational Development team.

Guiding Principles

  • Confidentiality – Mentors will be mindful not to share any details which could allow mentees to be identified. Situations discussed will be anonymised and generalised where seeking support or suggestions from peers.
  • Mutual respect – the Community welcomes experienced and new mentors in an environment of mutual respect, sharing and support.
  • Encouragement – the intention behind interactions in the Community is to boost confidence, share suggestions useful to other mentors and build practical knowledge for members.
  • Involvement – the group is as active and as energised as its members. Suggestions for improving or evolving the group are welcomed. 

What happens at a CoP session?

Sessions begin with a check in around mentoring with peer sharing and advice. There is then a focus on a particular theme related to mentoring, with discussion and practice.

Example Agenda

  • Introductions and check-ins
  • Peer sharing – celebrating success, challenge and learning in our practice
  • Mentoring theme – knowledge share and practice
  • Check out and session close

The schedule is dynamic and open to change as the Community evolves. 

View and download the slides from some of our previous Community of Practice sessions:

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Contact and advice

Organisational Development
Sussex House SH-230
01273 075533 (ext 5533)