NCTSN Learning Collaboratives

The NCTSN Learning Collaborative (LC) and Learning Community (LCom) approach focuses on spreading, adopting, and adapting best practices across multiple settings, and on creating changes in organizations that promote the delivery of effective interventions and services. The ultimate goal is to provide high-quality training in best practices of trauma-focused treatments in diverse settings—including Network sites and their local communities—and to ensure the sustained use of those practices.

NCTSN Learning Collaboratives and Learning Communities (Lcoms) are developed for NCTSN member centers, but each LC also includes participants that are partner organizations to NCTSN centers. For information on applications and membership to NCTSN Learning Collaboratives, contact Nick Tise.

This page offers general information on LCs and LComs. You can also read detailed information on current, upcoming, and past trainings that the Network has conducted.

Page Contents:

FAQ: Learning Collaboratives and Learning Communities

What is a Learning Collaborative?

A Learning Collaborative is:

  • A model that focuses on adoption of best practices in diverse service settings and emphasizes adult learning principles, interactive training methods, and skill-focused learning.
  • A learning process that brings together teams from multiple NCTSN centers working on improving a process, practice, or system, and learning from their collective experiences and challenges.
  • A model that requires focused work by each team to adapt effective practices to their settings over the course of a 9 to 18 month learning process.
  • An ongoing learning process that includes the following components:
    • Approximately three in-person training sessions over the course of 9 to 12 months,
    • Follow-up consultation activities (through phone and Internet), feedback loops, and resources to support sustained learning, and,
    • Opportunities to practice new skills and share progress through the Collaborative.
  • A model that uses methods for accelerating improvement in settings and capitalizes on shared learning and collaboration.
  • A process designed to ensure organizational give and take about critical issues related to adoption and adaptation.

How does an organization join a Learning Collaborative?
A timeline for each upcoming LC will be posted on this Website, and announcements will be sent directly to the principal investigators of all Network sites. The first step for any organization is to target the intervention or practice the organization is interested in adopting. The process for joining a Learning Collaborative includes:

  • Optional Informational Calls. These calls are facilitated by faculty of the Learning Collaborative. They will present a brief overview of the goals of the LC and the intervention or practice. This is an opportunity for organizations throughout the Network to ask questions about both the intervention/practice and expectations of membership in the Learning Collaborative. Basically, these calls serve to see if there is a fit between the organization and the target population, the practice/intervention, and the Learning Collaborative.
  • Application Period. Following the informational calls there is an application period for Network sites to apply for consideration for inclusion in the Learning Collaborative. Criteria for inclusion are:
    • Readiness of the organization to adopt the practice or intervention
    • Willingness to utilize the Core Data Set and submit metrics
    • Ability to assemble a core team (senior leader, supervisor and clinicians) to participate in the LC
    • Ability to send a core team to all three learning sessions

Teams will be notified in a timely manner regarding the status of their application and the pre-work phase will begin shortly after notification.

What is a Learning Community?
A Learning Community (LCom) is made up of individuals from Network organizations that have a common interest in a subject or problem related to trauma who collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations.

A Learning Community does not include all of the elements of a Learning Collaborative but does include face to face contact, on-going sharing between participants regarding both barriers and solutions and incorporation of innovation learning opportunities between participants.

What other training activities can Network sites or other organizations become involved in?
The Training and Education page outlines all of the Network's training offerings.

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NCTSN Learning Collaborative Toolkit

The NCTSN Learning Collaborative Toolkit is a guide to successfully developing and leading a Learning Collaborative that not only provides effective training in NCTSN interventions, but also supports the organizational changes necessary to promote and sustain the delivery of these interventions. The Toolkit, which is divided into 11 modules, outlines sequentially the steps necessary to plan and conduct a Learning Collaborative.

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NCCTS Guidelines for Conducting a Learning Collaborative

Based on five years of experience in implementing the Learning Collaborative model, the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), in consultation with other NCTSN members, has developed The NCCTS Learning Collaborative Model for the Adoption & Implementation of Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment: NCCTS Guidelines for Conducting a Learning Collaborative (PDF). This document offers guidelines for conducting a successful Learning Collaborative.

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NCTSN Empirically Supported Treatments and Promising Practices

Fact sheets for interventions that have been the subject of Learning Collaboratives and Learning Communities, and a host of other treatments developed at Network sites are available here.


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