Professional Recognition

Why apply for HEA professional recognition?

Becoming an Associate, Fellow or Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy enables you to achieve professional recognition for your commitment to teaching. It’s also a valuable, transferable asset that looks good on your CV and can help your future employability.  More importantly, it is an opportunity to reflect on your teaching and improve the student experience all at the same time!

Our routes to professional recognition are recognised by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) as part of our accredited Creative Education CPD Framework. This is an internal framework that provides a process for Professional Recognition as set out in the UK Professional Standards for teaching/supporting learning in higher education.  Experienced academics or academic-related staff are encouraged to apply for either the HEA Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA) and/or Senior Fellow (SFHEA) awards via our Creative Education CPD Scheme..

We’ve had some great feedback from UCA colleagues who have made a claim through our Creative Education Professional Development Framework.  In addition to providing a valuable opportunity to review their teaching practice, participants particularly enjoy the meeting teaching colleagues from other campuses and develop their professional network.

What does an application look like?

These ‘quick guides’ explain what you need to do for each level of Fellowship:

This short video also provides an insight into the experience of applying for Fellowship.

Routes to professional recognition

You can achieve professional recognition in two ways:

  1. through our non-taught, experiential Creative Education CPD scheme. This requires you to present a claim that meets the criteria for your chosen level of recognition by tuning into fortnightly 1 hour ‘reflecting on your teaching through the UKPSF’ sessions,  meeting with a campus based mentor and attending a short preparatory session in the summer.
  2. by completing our taught PGCert in Creative Education. Candidates who complete the Postgraduate Certificate may be eligible for one of either the HEA Associate Fellow (AFHEA) or Fellow (FHEA)

The following diagram illustrates the journey through both routes:


UCA Creative Education CPD Framework


How do you apply for professional recognition?

If you are interested in applying for Fellowship, the first thing to do is find out which level of Fellowship is the best fit for your teaching experience. To do this, please use the Fellowship Category Tool.

Fellowship Category Tool

Once you have identified the appropriate level of Fellowship using the Fellowship Category Tool, please download and complete a ‘diagnostic’ form for your level. You will discuss this diagnostic with your mentor to determine how best to approach your claim for fellowship:

We support you through the Fellowship Programme with a series of webinars. These enable all applicants to meet and discuss their progress, while learning how to prepare evidence for your portfolio.

As part of your portfolio, you will also complete a number of Peer-Supported Reviews. These provide a way for you to receive feedback on an aspect of your teaching or supporting learning work. 

Please also take a moment to download and look through the handbook for your chosen level of Fellowship:

To reserve your place on the Fellowship Programme or to request further information, please email the Creative Education team at

Thank you for your interest in UCA’s professional development programmes!

2 Responses to Professional Recognition

  1. Pingback: Become a mentor in creative education? | UCA Creative Education Network

  2. Pingback: Opportunities for professional development | UCA Creative Education Network

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