The Best Practice Unit (BPU) model constitutes a unique form of practice-based research. A variant
of the Community of Practice model developed by Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), the
BPU has the specific aim of improving professional practice by combining innovation and research.
The model is used as a way of working by a group of professionals, researchers and other relevant
individuals, who over a period of one to two years, work together towards a desired improvement.
The model is characterized by interaction between individual and collective learning processes, the
development of new or improved working methods, and the implementation of these methods
in daily practice. Multiple knowledge resources are used, including experiential knowledge,
professional knowledge and scientific knowledge. The research serves diverse purposes: articulating
tacit knowledge, documenting learning and innovation processes, systematically describing the
working methods that have been revealed or developed, and evaluating the efficacy of the new
methods. Each BPU is supported by a facilitator, whose main task is to optimize learning processes.
An analysis of ten different BPUs in different professional fields shows that this is a successful
model. The article describes the methodology and results of this study.