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Community of Practice

A community of practice will run throughout the National Autism Trainer Programme (NATP), led by our dedicated Community of Practice Lead.

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The community of practice will focus on identifying, discussing, supporting, and disseminating core principles and best practices that promote autism understanding and acceptance. Membership will be open to all delegates who have completed the NATP course.

In preparation for the wider Community of Practice activities, we are currently running a series of online shared learning experience seminars. Find out more on the Seminar series.

We held our first NATP community of practice meeting in July 2023. NHS staff expressed their positive feedback regarding the ongoing support the community of practice will provide. In response to discussions in the first meeting, we will be giving additional support to newly qualified NATP Trainers. We offered an additional day of training on Thursday 28 September for those who completed the NATP course. We will also be creating a training companion document for NATP Trainers, which will include information on working with Experts by Experience, facilitator notes and an e-library of resources.

Dates for community of practice meetings

Invitations to upcoming meetings will be automatically sent to delegates who have completed the NATP training course. Delegates are welcome to join on any or all of the dates below. There will be two sessions each day, at 11:00-12:00 or 15:00-16:00 (the afternoon session will be a repeat of the morning session, choose your preferred time). Please note these dates for your diary:

  • 19 June 2024

  • 8 July 2024

"It was very informative. Gave me reassurance that there will be support all through." "Very interesting. It makes me want to start delivering the training as I am not alone, I can count on the support from the community of practice."

Three simple things you can do:

  1. Attend events and actively engage with colleagues and the community of practice.

  2. Share your practice and experiences, your good news stories, and your challenges.

  3. Feedback on how we can support you.

What we offer:

  • Co-ordination and learning from experience

  • Discussion of stress, anxiety, and autism

  • Autism research

  • The importance of language and terminology

  • Models of disability and ableism

  • Discussion: Does a behaviourist approach change behaviour?

  • Identifying and addressing gaps in knowledge

  • Legislative and regulatory updates

  • Discussion of delivery challenges

  • Adult learning principles

  • Presentation skills

  • Facilitation, assessment, and feedback

  • Resources and continuing professional development

  • Supporting collaborative work with co-presenters

  • Problem-solving

  • What is autistic quality of life?

More about the community of practice

  • Communities of practice are formed to promote social learning. Our community of practice will support training attendees to engage regularly with each other in a process of collective learning, in order to develop and improve understanding, through discussion, investigation, analysis and evaluation.

  • We believe that thinking together, combining participants’ individual experience and knowledge, reflecting on core issues, and working with a clear vision towards our joint goals, will ultimately produce positive results benefitting not only the community of practice, but also those it serves.

“Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”¹ 

Wenger-Trayner, E. & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015) "Introduction to communities of practice - A brief overview of the concept and its uses". [Accessed 28.07.2022]