Discussion of communities of practice in workplace learning is widespread. Here the authors seek to consider how we can make use of communities of practice theory in practical teaching in a formal undergraduate educational context. The concept of what the authors call the double shift is discussed; a shift from the workplace as community of practice to the educational institution then the shift back from the educational context to the workplace. The authors describe methods used to manage the transition between different communities based on reflection linked to the development of Continuing Professional Development programmes. They conclude that the learning that takes place in an educational context is in a dynamic relationship with the community of practice of the workplace and the methods proposed can contribute positively to this relationship.