What do we normally mean when we think of a practice like education as being ‘governed’? We may be referring to some guiding values or regulating ideals that frame the practice of teaching as a whole or to a consensual system of professional norms that are more or less self-regulating and steer specific conduct, however imperfectly, in given directions. Reference may also be made to sets of formal rules and regulations, policies and procedures, which are somehow handed down and require practitioners to behave in certain ways. It is not difficult to identify such prescriptions and their sources. We can point, for example, to statutory laws and contractual obligations which authorise corporate and individual conduct, as well as to institutional regulations and other more local administrative requirements, and think about ‘practice’ as disciplined performance or responsible professional activity working within such codified policy parameters (Becher and Kogan 1992). Such a view regards practice as governed by a system of external and internal controls. However, it is not merely by reference to the obvious existence of these instruments of control that one is able to answer the question ‘How is my practice governed?’ A more complete answer needs to go beyond the written and unwritten rules of practice and its operating values to address both the formation of practice requirements and their effects. The question as posed is actually a question about metapractice, i.e., it is a question of ‘How, in practice, is my practice governed?’