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There will be opportunities each term to attend an APP EXP writing and dialogue preparation retreat. This is an opportunity to set aside time to work on your application. You can book a place on a retreat through the APP EXP Moodle page.

If you have any questions contact



There are four categories of Fellowship and they are awarded on the basis of individual experience and the ability to evidence successful and effective 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 UKPSF 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 here to download an overview of the four categories of Fellowship and take some time to familiarise yourself with the Descriptors. The introductory workshop on the APP EXP will help you to decide which category of Fellowship is relevant to your particular context.



At the core of your application for Fellowship through the dialogic route is a Pedagogic Dialogue. We invite you to explore how you meet the criteria of the UKPSF in formal conversation with a panel of independent assessors. Prior to the dialogue you will compile and submit a portfolio of evidence and documentation in support of your application. As your application for Fellowship is assessed through the dialogue alone the written element is primarily formative.



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. The fellowships play a key part in this, enabling individuals to demonstrate their expertise against the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) at different stages of their career.



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 dialogue.

Members of the panel are selected for their understanding of the UKPSF, as well as for their knowledge and experience of learning and teaching in higher education. The pool of panelists includes education specialists from the Teaching and Learning Unit (LDC) and practitioners from a range of disciplines. The panel will be looking for evidence that your approaches to teaching and/or supporting learning is grounded in an understanding of how learners develop knowledge and practice within your discipline 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 independent colleagues from a Department other than your own, two of which with at least SFHEA and the other with at least FHEA recognition.
  • Applications for PFHEA will be considered by a panel of three independent colleagues, one of which with PFHEA and external to the institution and two of which from a Department other than your own and with at least SFHEA.

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 APPEXP (D1-4). This pathway supports your engagement with the UKPSF and helps you to gain recognition for your experience through two possible routes: the Written Route or the Dialogic Route. The first step is to find a Fellowship mentor who can help you decide which route to undertake and identify the appropriate category of fellowship. The Teaching and Learning Unit (TLU) will also run introductory workshops throughout the year 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.


There are no time constraints on achieving Fellowship through the APP EXP Pathway. Your mentor will offer you advice as to when you are ready to submit your written application or undertake the Pedagogic Dialogue.




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, your resubmission will be assessed by the same panel. If you are taking the Dialogic route this additional evidence will be submitted in writing.

If major revision and/or substantial additional evidence is required on a written route application, your resubmission might be sent to a different set of reviewers. Those applicants pursuing the dialogic route will be required to attend a Pedagogic Dialogue with a new panel.

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



The Pedagogic Dialogue requires you to explore how you meet the criteria of the UKPSF through a formal conversation, which will be informed by the evidence you have provided in your supporting documentation and portfolio of evidence. 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 UKPSF. The Dialogue will be audio-recorded for moderation purposes and to ensure the quality of the process.

The duration of the panels is:

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



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.



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 the 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).


The written route requires you to evidence in writing how your role, responsibilities and experience meet the criteria of the UKPSF for the category of Fellowship you are seeking to achieve. You will compile evidence and documentation in support of your application in an ePortfolio, which is then considered by a panel of independent assessors.