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Experienced Pathway to HEA fellowship

The Academic and Professional Pathway for Experienced Staff (APP EXP) is a continuing professional development programme which has been accredited by Advance HE to confer the status of Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow. This pathway supports experienced staff in their engagement with the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) 2023 and helps them to evidence their engagement through either a dialogic or written route.

We define staff as all those who teach and support learning at the University of Warwick – within our definition we therefore include postgraduate researchers who teach.

Further information about this pathway can be found below. Please note, the information below and the APP EXP handbook are currently being updated in line with PSF 2023 - the UKPSF 2011 materials are included here to given an idea of what to expect.

Please be aware that those embarking on APP EXP will need to have a minimum of between 6 and 12 months remaining their employment contracts with the University of Warwick. Students who teach may be eligible to apply for Associate Fellowship through APP EXP but they may also wish to consider the APP PGRLink opens in a new window pathway.

Transition from UKPSF 2011 to PSF 2023

Higher Education providers, such as Warwick, who have Advance HE accredited programmes, are updating their provision based on PSF 2023. During the roll out of the updated pathway APP EXP is able to accommodate only limited numbers of new participants.

  • Those currently registered on APP EXP will need to submit before 31st August 2024, after which date their registration will expire. APP EXP Mentors and Assessors will be busy supporting these colleagues.
  • New registrations based on UKPSF 2011 are now closed. If you do not know whether you are registered or not, please contact the APP EXP team.
  • Staff interested in gaining professional recognition through APP EXP can add their name to the mailing list. Once information become available we will send out details of how to apply for a place on the pathway. Please note that during the transition period there is a process for expressing interest in the pathway. Staff who best address the criteria will be selected from those who express their interest.

Advance HE, formerly the Higher Education Academy (HEA), is the UK national body which champions teaching quality. Their mission is to support the higher education community in order to enhance the quality and impact of learning and teaching. HEA fellowships play a key part in this, enabling individuals to demonstrate their expertise against the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) at different stages of their career.

HEA fellowships are a recognised measure of success across the Higher Education sector, both in the UK and internationally. Employers are increasingly looking for fellowship status as a condition of promotion and appointment.

However, the main benefit of gaining a HEA fellowship is a personal one. Preparing your application gives you a unique opportunity to reflect on your academic practice and identity. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a process that encourages research, reflection and development. It also allows you to look back over your achievements and accomplishments, acknowledge your strengths, and identify your next professional and career goals.

Once you have successfully completed the process you will be able to identify your expertise with the use post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA).

There are four categories of fellowship and they are awarded on the basis of individual experience and the ability to evidence success and impact within your sphere of influence. The first step to a successful application is to select a category of fellowship appropriate for you. In deciding which category of Fellowship to apply for at this stage in your career, you will need to determine which of the four Descriptors of the Framework is most appropriate to your practice. Your professional experience and current responsibilities will determine your eligibility for the award of Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA), Senior Fellow (SFHEA) or Principal Fellow (PFHEA). Remember that assessors will not decide which category you belong to on the basis of your application, but whether you meet the criteria for the category you are applying for.

Click hereLink opens in a new window to download an overview of the four categories of Fellowship and take some time to familiarise yourself with the Descriptors. The APP EXP introductory session will help you to decide which category of Fellowship is relevant to your particular context.

The University of Warwick is accredited to award all categories of fellowship. This means that you can apply for HEA fellowship through our Pathway for Experienced staff APP EXP (D1-4). This pathway supports your engagement with the UKPSF and helps you to gain recognition for your experience through either the written or dialogic route. Your APP EXP mentor can help you decide which route to is most suitable for you and identify the appropriate category of fellowship. The Academic Development Centre (ADC) also run regular introductory sessions to support you in these initial decisions. Regardless of which route you choose, you will be provided with support to help to develop your application.

The University of Warwick is accredited to award all categories of fellowship. This means that you can apply for HEA fellowship through our Pathway for Experienced staff APP EXP (D1-4). This pathway supports your engagement with the UKPSF and helps you to gain recognition for your experience through either the written or dialogic route. Your APP EXP mentor can help you decide which route to is most suitable for you and identify the appropriate category of fellowship. The Academic Development Centre (ADC) also run regular introductory sessions to support you in these initial decisions. Regardless of which route you choose, you will be provided with support to help to develop your application.

The pedagogic dialogue requires you to explore how you meet the criteria of the PSF through a formal conversation, which will be informed by the evidence you have provided in your written submission. The dialogue will foster a collaboratively reflective approach to exploring the values and assumptions which underpin what you do and why. In particular, the pedagogic dialogue will focus upon how aspects of your practice relate to the PSF. Dialogues are usually held on MS Teams and are recorded for moderation purposes and to ensure the quality of the process.

The duration of the panels depend upon the category of application:

  • AFHEA - 30 minutes
  • FHEA - 60 minutes
  • SFHEA - 75 minutes
  • PFHEA - 90 minutes

 

The written route requires you to evidence in writing how your role, responsibilities and experience meet the criteria of the PSF for the category of fellowship you are seeking to achieve. Your application will include a self-evaluation grid where you offer summary evidence against each criteria and a reflective narrative of professional practice, which is then considered by a panel of independent assessors.

The Pathway begins with an introductory workshop, designed to introduce the two routes (written and dialogic) and to help you decide which route and category of Fellowship is most appropriate to your experience, context and individual preferences. Attendance at the introductory workshop will enable you to register on the Pathway.

You will then work independently, supported by your mentor with whom you will meet at least twice, compiling the required documentation and evidence relating to your engagement with the UKPSF.

You might also choose to attend CPD workshops offered by the Teaching and Learning Unit or the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA). We would strongly recommend that you also attend an APP EXP writing and dialogue preparation retreat which have been designed to support participants on their chosen pathway to Fellowship.

Once complete you can upload your application on the APP EXP Moodle area and assessment will be arranged by LDC.

A range of opportunities are available for APP EXP participants. These include regular network meeting appropriate for your category of application, termly writing and dialogue preparation retreat, meeting with your mentor and accessing the Moodle site.

If you have any questions contact appexp@warwick.ac.uk

There are no time constraints on achieving fellowship through the APP EXP pathway. Discussions with your mentor will help to understand when you are ready to submit your application.

 

Applications submitted on the written route will be considered holistically, considering all evidence submitted across your application. For those taking the dialogic route, the application is evaluated entirely upon the evidence presented in the pedagogic dialogue.

APP EXP assessors are drawn from across University academic and professional services departments and have themselves gained fellowship of an appropriate category. The panel will be looking for evidence that your approaches to teaching and/or supporting learning are grounded in an understanding of how learners develop knowledge and practice within your discipline and in ways appropriate to your role. Your evidence should therefore be reflective, not just descriptive. The panel will also look for indications of how you evaluate your effectiveness and how you develop your approaches in the light of your experience and continuing professional development.

  • Applications for AFHEA and FHEA will be considered by a panel of two independent colleagues from a department other than your own, both will have at least FHEA recognition.
  • Applications for SFHEA will be considered by a panel of three (two from 1st September 2022) independent colleagues from a department other than your own, both will have at least SFHEA recognition.
  • Applications for PFHEA will be considered by a panel of three independent colleagues, all of whom have PFHEA, with one being external to the institution and two of which from a department other than your own.

Should your application be judged as providing insufficient evidence for meeting the criteria, it will be referred back to you with constructive advice on how to revise it effectively. If the panel agree that limited additional evidence and/or only minor changes to your application are required to meet the criteria, additional written evidence will need to be submitted which will then be assessed by the same panel.

If a significant amount of further evidence is required your resubmission would sent to a different set of assessors. Those applicants pursuing the dialogic route will be required to attend a dialogue with a new panel of assessors.

Your mentor will offer further support and advice as to when it would be appropriate to resubmit your application.