News Items - International Association of Packaging Research Institutes
IAPRI Changes from Working Groups to Communities of Practice
IAPRI Board of Directors has changed the IAPRI Operating Policies in the section 6.0 that refers, in the past to the Working Groups to now Communities of Practice (CoP).

President Jay Singh says “In IAPRI’s quest to have the Operating Policies as up to date as possible with the way IAPRI actually is operating these days the board has approved these changes related to Working Groups.” By definition, Working Groups are a small group of people that studies a particular problem or situation and then reports on what it has discovered and gives suggestions. A group of experts working together to achieve a specific goal.
Now there is a relatively new conceptualized concept even though the phenomenon it refers to is age-old. Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

The board was concerned that in calling these Working Groups, people may think that becoming a member of a Working Group sounds like you can expect a lot work to be done. That can initiate some resistance to join, but in practice our WG's are really functioning more as CoPs.

According to IAPRI Director Roland ten Klooster, “ At the moment there are more Communities of Practice active in the field of packaging in the Netherlands (those that I know are initiated by the Netherlands Institute of Sustainable Packaging, KIDV) and it shows that the threshold is low to step in (and out).”
Most of Operating Policy changes are simply changing the title of "Working Group" to "Community of Practice" or "working groups" to "communities of practice". But there are a couple of other operational changes as well.

You can view the 8/19/2021 version of IAPRI Operating Policies here.

IAPRI Communities of Practice

IAPRI CoP’s are groups of individuals within the IAPRI membership who share a common interest, concern, or a set of problems in an area of Packaging who come together (face to face or in a virtual environment) to fulfill both individual and group (community) goals.

A CoP is a technique for connecting these people in the spirit of sharing knowledge, learning, and collaborating.  CoP’s focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to enhance existing practices. The rely upon engaging on an ongoing basis.
How does the CoP benefit those that participate in them?
  • They can apply relevant in-depth knowledge that allows them to do their job better
  • They are able to obtain reliable knowledge support in finding solutions to their work-related issues and make sound decisions
  • They can transfer know-how by comparing their knowhow to others and contribute and strengthen the knowledge base of their organization
  • They can easily connect with like-minded people who share similar interests
  • They replace and update old and redundant technology with reliable and current technologies that may have been adapted from other basic and applied sciences
IAPRI currently has the following CoP’s and anyone from an IAPRI member can.
  • Packaging and Consumers
  • Distribution Packaging
  • Sustainable Packaging
  • Active and Intelligent Packaging
You can learn more about these CoP's at

Published: 08/30/21