Knowledge management

The Knowledge and Library Services team is supporting knowledge management across UKHSA by providing and signposting a range of resources, tools and expertise to help us seek, share and use knowledge.

On this page you will find an introduction to Knowledge Management (KM) and our approach.
Please visit the following links for more information in these areas:

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management is about people and how we work together. It is about communicating, sharing and learning from others and building connections and networks which enable us to learn more and work better. It is about connecting people to the knowledge they need to make decisions and improve their practice.

Knowledge can be explicit (‘know-what’) and may be written down in manuals, procedures, lessons learned and research findings; or tacit (‘know-how’) residing in people’s heads and rooted in individual experience and which requires personal contact and trust to share effectively.

Knowledge management is the management of environment, cultures and ways of working to proactively stimulate knowledge creation, sharing and use.

Situations where knowledge is missing, or not used, can lead to more expensive and time-consuming training, a lack of learning from past practice, and costs through duplicating previous mistakes. Knowledge that is captured, shared and used helps with productivity, innovation and good practice, and allows new staff to become competent and self-reliant more quickly.

This short animation (4.5 mins) from the Environment Agency describes knowledge management and what it means for the way we work.

Our approach

We are using the Knowledge Principles for Government – a set of seven principles underpinning good KM practice – to help develop a common understanding of knowledge management and encourage the use of simple tools and processes to strengthen our approach to the way we seek, share and use knowledge.

We work with all UKHSA teams to help them assess and improve the way they use critical knowledge to achieve their business objectives. Our work is guided by the international standard for knowledge management (BS ISO 30401:2018 Knowledge management systems).

We are developing a KM maturity model for UKHSA – a self-assessment checklist – in collaboration with individuals across the organisation  to enable teams to map their current KM practice, identify strengths and target areas for improvement to support their business objectives. The model helps teams have a facilitated conversation about what they are already doing to share and use knowledge and areas where they want to improve and suggest practical ways to do this. There are lots of examples of good KM practice across the organisation, this model will help highlight these, provide opportunity to share what works as well as to plan more systematically how to do it better.

We encourage the use of simple KM tools and techniques to help individuals and teams seek, share and use knowledge to improve practice. Many people instinctively know they should be doing this, but it doesn’t always happen. Our KM toolbox describes some common tools, techniques and processes that help create the right environment for knowledge sharing and learning. 

A network of Knowledge Advocates is providing local ownership and support to their teams, and will become an active community of practice. Knowledge Advocates work across their teams, working with us to learn more about knowledge management; represent their teams’ ideas and ongoing requirements; spread good practice throughout the team; and shape a culture of knowledge sharing.

The Knowledge Management Advocates community of practice offers a space for people to share experience and resources, ask questions, pose solutions and support each other to facilitate and improve KM within their teams and across the organisation. Membership is open to all those with an interest in KM. The community uses MS Teams as its platform. To join the community of practice, contact [email protected].

If you would like to know more about the Knowledge Principles, Knowledge Advocates, and/or the KM maturity model, please contact: [email protected].

Useful resources




 Last Updated on 15th June 2023 by sgrey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email