Professional Recognition

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Why apply for 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.

We’ve had some great feedback from UCA colleagues who have attended our professional recognition workshops. In addition to providing a valuable opportunity to review their teaching practice, participants particularly enjoy the opportunity to meet colleagues from other campuses and develop their professional network.

Our teaching qualifications are recognised by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) as part of the accredited University 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 Unit 7003 or Unit 7007 of the UCA CPD framework route.

Routes to professional recognition

You can achieve professional recognition in three ways:

  1. through our non-taught, experiential route. This requires you to prepare a portfolio of evidence that meets the criteria for your chosen level of recognition, and attend four workshops during the summer break. Or
  2. by completing our taught PGCert or MA in Creative Education. Candidates who complete the Postgraduate Certificate and MA in Creative Arts Education may be eligible for one of either the HEA Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA) or Senior Fellow (SFHEA) awards. Or
  3. by a combination of the two that involves completing some of the taught PGCert units and preparing a portfolio of evidence.

The examples below indicate some typical routes taken by UCA staff (click to enlarge):


Applying for professional recognition

Application form for Professional Recognition Qualifications

Before applying for either unit ECAE7003 or ECAE7007, please ensure you have attended an ‘Introducing HEA Fellow’ workshop and familiarised yourself with the UCA Professional Recognition Handbook 2017-18 . Once you have signed up to the unit, you will get access to an online resource of supporting materials to help you get started in your evidence gathering. It is also strongly recommended that you attend the ‘Reflecting on your practice through P-SR’ (for all levels of recognition) and the ‘Coaching and mentoring for learning and teaching’ (for Descriptor 3, Senior Fellow applicants only)

The final date for applications to the units for professional recognition is Friday 21 December 2017

Dates for 2018 professional recognition workshops

Unit 7003 (Associate Fellow or Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

  • Thursday 7 June 2018 (Rochester)
  • Thursday  21 June 2018 Epsom)
  • Tuesday 03 July 2018 (Rochester)
  • Thursday 19 July 2018 (Epsom)
  • Friday 03 August 2017 – submission date

Unit 7007 (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

  • Tuesday 29 May 2018 (Rochester)
  • Thursday 14 June 2018 (Epsom)
  • Tuesday 10 July 2018 (Epsom)
  • Thursday 26 July 2018 (Rochester)
  • Friday 03 August 2018 – submission date

To help you gather evidence for your portfolios, you may find the following useful in reflecting on your current practice:

Descriptor 1 and 2 UKPSF Diagnostic

Descriptor 3 UKPSF Diagnostic

We also provide a series of accompanying webinars and workshops to prepare you for the professional recognition unit. Some of these are compulsory if you sign up to the unit.

LT workshops to support recognition 2017-18

To make bookings on these, please keep an eye out for workshop promotions which are circulated via the University email. For a list of current workshops, see link below:

Please note that all applications for Associate Fellow and Fellow of the HEA must include evidence of reflection on practice through the university’s Peer-supported review scheme.

For further information about HEA recognition at UCA, please email Annamarie McKie at

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