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Higher Education Academy

Why become a member?

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) supports the work of the HE sector. Its vision is for students in UK higher education to enjoy the highest quality learning experience in the world. Their Professional Recognition Scheme has been developed to support our aim of raising the status of teaching in higher education. Through the scheme you can become a Principal Fellow, Senior Fellow, Fellow or Associate Fellow. Gaining Fellowship offers staff an opportunity to reflect upon their professional practice in respect to teaching and learning.

The changing HE context, for example the report of the Browne Commission 2010, is making ever clearer an expectation on all colleagues to have teaching accreditation. Our Vice-Chancellor has reminded staff of the importance of recognition. The University Teaching and Learning Strategy 2013-2018 has a target for all academic staff to gain Fellowship of the HEA. The university is already ahead of many in the sector for this target.

To ensure that the university meets its targets and staff are supported in this process the Teaching and Learning Institute offers guidance to colleagues who are interested in applying. Anyone considering Fellowship is advised to discuss their route to recognition with their line manager.

See the HR policy on HEA Recognition for more information on eligibility and fees

The HEA also awards National Teaching Fellowships, a national teaching excellence scheme, read more

Application process

The professional recognition scheme is linked to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) developed by the Higher Education Academy. As stated on the HEA website:

"The UK Professional Standards Framework provides a general description of the main dimensions of the roles of teaching and supporting learning within the HE environment. It is written from the perspective of the practitioner and outlines a national Framework for comprehensively recognising and benchmarking teaching and learning support roles within Higher Education."

See the HEA website for more details on the UKPSF and fees 

Applications are made online by creating an HEA MyAcademy account. Full details and guidance about how to apply can be obtained by requesting an HEA information pack.

The Academy provides a recognition and accreditation service which enables staff providing teaching and/or learning support to be recognised, depending on their role and experience as:

  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA)
  • Fellow (FHEA)
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA)
  • Principal Fellow (PFHEA)

You can work towards these different categories of recognition either by Individual Direct Application on the basis of your experience in teaching and learning or via the University's accredited courses:

If you are in the process of completing your application and would like feedback at draft stage please contact the Institute team via email:, and we will arrange an appointment for you.

The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
QS 4 Star Logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award

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