Work-based learning is generated, controlled and used within a community of practice and brings new understanding to pedagogical principles as the role of worker becomes also that of learner. This paper presents a series of opportunities of this type of learning, which even enables students to work at a distance, using open-learning techniques, as self-managed learners in their work-related context. The author analyses the legitimacy of work-based knowledge in a higher education setting: this is crucial in understanding the differences and similarities both within the field of work-based learning itself and between work-based learning and more conventional educational programmes. Finally, a method of facilitating and managing such work- based learning in universities is presented.