Virtual Partnering in Practice (vPiP)


The virtual Partnering in Practice Project is a new initiative that aims to create a community of practice within a CPN-PREV network members who work in tertiary prevention.

What is a community of practice?

Communities of practice consist of a “group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” (Wenger-Trayner, 2015) Research shows that communities of practice are particularly helpful in learning contexts.. The vPiP offers a platform for its participants to share their experiences, develop strong partnerships and rely on each other for support and to improve their practice.

To this end, CPN-PREV is implementing the following set of activities for the community of practice to grow:

  • Holding monthly virtual meetings of the community of practice to discuss issues relating to intervention and clinical cases
  • Offering online spaces for information sharing and asynchronous exchanges
  • Conducting a research project to evaluate the impacts of the vPiP project on its participants’ practice

Why vPiP?

Since 2017, several initiatives have been implemented in Canada, including multiagency programs, called hubs or situational tables and multidisciplinary teams that involve practitioners from diverse disciplines, sectors, and/or agencies (e.g., social services, mental health, civil society organizations, law enforcement, education) to work collaboratively on risk assessment and interventions. In 2019, CPN-PREV conducted a Canada-wide mapping of existing initiatives, which documented many advantages, as well as significant challenges. A few particular challenges stood out:

PVR multiagency programs and multidisciplinary teams in Canada are very young (two years at most), where actors work in silos, and in small local and non-specialized networks, with little or no specific training (Hassan et al., 2019). There are also large areas in the country where these resources could not be identified or where frontline practitioners work without any support. In addition, none of these programs included a system for data collection upon which they can be meaningfully evaluated. This makes it impossible to establish “good practices” without first creating spaces for sharing these practices and assessing their outcomes/results. Indeed, interviewed practitioners expressed that “networking” was at the core of their needs (Hassan et al., 2019; Madriaza et al., 2019).Improving multiagency and multidisciplinary collaborations and practices in the PVR space is one of the most essential, yet challenging goals in this field (Fitzgerald, 2016).

The vPiP thus contributes in four unique ways to improving service delivery in the field of PVR in Canada.

  • First, it will provide a currently non-existent online synchronous and asynchronous space in Canada dedicated to the sharing of knowledge and practices regarding cases of violent radicalization among practitioners
  • Second, it will provide data on the outcomes of collaboration and networking among PVR multiagency and multidisciplinary teams in Canada.
  • Third, it will provide support to PVR practitioners regardless of where they are located across Canada, filling a major service gap in many cities and provinces in the country.
  • Finally, it will enhance coherence in risk assessment and case management tools/models among PVR practitioners in Canada, which will then lead the way for better-tailored interventions.