CAWP is a method for defining what good practice is in a particular context and for assessing and explaining it so that practical development can be guided. The method is intended for co-operative use of human factor researchers or ergonomists and practitioners, such as human resource experts or development engineers, managers and inspectors.

This method aims to enhance the system productivity and safety in such a way that also the workers’ wellbeing increases and efficiency is promoted further. The logic is that recognition of the real current work demands and understanding of the current state of the practices guides the development activities into a direction in which the resources and competences match better the demands, which in turn promotes the workers’ wellbeing and their ability to do their work well. 

CAWP uses three main concepts: core task, working practice and expert identity. The concept of core task refers to the essential content of a particular work or activity. It means the objectivities and outcome-critical content of work or an activity that should be taken into account by the actors in their working. The core task comprises the demands that should be met in order to achieve the efficiency of the entire socio-technical system in the current societal and economical environment. Working practices are defined as a person’s or a group’s learned way of coping with the different demands of the core task by operating and conceptualising the object of work, co-operating with others and constructing expert identity. The expert identity concept has been developed for defining emotional-energetic demands of the work and thus also for capturing issues related to wellbeing. It aims at explaining and promoting the competence, self-confidence and the experienced responsibility development needed to cope with the very demanding situations at work, such as process disturbances in safety critical domains or uneventful situations challenging the motivation of the workers (See also Nuutinen 2006).

Nuutinen, M. (2005). Contextual assessment of working practices in changing work. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 35(10), 905-930.