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Your routes to Fellowship

Advance HE offers professional recognition for each category of Fellowship: Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow.

1) Individual direct application to Advance HE - for those wishing to apply through submission of an evidence based account of practice supported by referees or advocates and which is peer reviewed.

2) Completion of accredited programmes: Advance HE accredits institutional programmes (programmes and continuing professional development schemes/frameworks) against each of the 4 Descriptors.

Fellowship can be gained by individuals internationally; institutions can gain accreditation through becoming a subscriber to Advance HE. 

Resources for referees, internal reviewers and mentors are available here.

Professional Standards Framework 2023

Find out more about the revised framework that emphasises effectiveness and impact, inclusion and context, as fundamental aspects of practice

Find out more

Which category is 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 and professional experience. Each Descriptor sets out the requirements for a category of Fellowship as below:

Associate Fellow (AFHEA)

Associate Fellowship is for you, if you are typically:

+ an early-career researcher with some teaching responsibilities (e.g. PhD student, graduate training assistant, contract researcher/ post-doctoral researchers)
+ new to HE teaching, have a limited teaching portfolio or teach part-time
+ a member of staff who supports academic provision (e.g. learning technologist, learning developer and learning resource/library staff)
+ a member of staff who undertakes the role of demonstrator/technician roles with some teaching-related responsibilities
+ an experienced member of staff in a relevant professional area who may be new to teaching and/or supporting learning, or who have a limited teaching portfolio
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Fellow (FHEA)

Fellowship is for you, if you are typically:

+ an early-career academic
+ in an academic-related and/or support role holding substantive teaching and learning responsibilities
+ an experienced academic, relatively new to higher education.
+ a member of staff with, sometimes significant, teaching-only responsibilities, including for example, within work-based settings
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Senior Fellow (SFHEA)

Senior Fellowship is for you, if you are typically:

+ an experienced member of academic staff who is able to demonstrate impact and influence through, for example, responsibility for leading, managing or organising programmes for subjects/disciplines
+ an experienced subject mentor or someone who supports those new to teaching
+ an experienced member of staff with departmental and/or wider teaching/learning support advisory responsibilities within your institution
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Principal Fellow (PFHEA)

Principal Fellowship is for you, if you are typically:

+ a highly experienced senior member of staff with wide-ranging academic or academic-related strategic leadership responsibilities in connection with key aspects of teaching and supporting learning
+ responsible for institutional strategic leadership and policymaking in the area of teaching and learning
+ staff who have strategic impact and influence in relation to teaching and learning that extends beyond their own institution
Find out more
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Introducing the Professional Standards Framework 2023 (PSF2023)

Launched in 2006 and last revised in 2011, the Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (PSF) has global recognition for raising the profile of teaching and learning in higher education. The PSF’s contribution to reward and recognition is unsurpassed, being used by individuals, institutions and national bodies.

Following a sector and evidence led review, the PSF 2023 is a more inclusive Framework that recognises the critical role of the context in which practice takes place and is more accessible to all professionals with a role in teaching and supporting learning.

Its focus on effectiveness and impact of practice drives attention to improved outcomes for learners across the global community. The concise, streamlined approach offers clarity and ease of use in professional development, leadership of teaching and learning, strategic enhancement and in fellowship and accreditation settings.

We will be opening applications for fellowship for each of the four categories supported by the PSF 2023 on 3 April 2023, new guidance documents and templates will be available from 1 March 2023.

We will continue to welcome applications made against PSF 2011 until 31 December 2023 for individuals already in the process of developing their application.

Find out more about PSF 2023 and the review
PSF 2022-23 cover image
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Direct Applications

Applications are made online by logging into My Advance HE. Check your account details are correct so that you receive email correspondence. The application process is different depending on the category of Fellowship you wish to apply for. For Associate Fellow and Fellow the application consists of an Account of Professional Practice (APP), two supporting statements from referees and payment of a fee where applicable. If you are applying for Senior Fellow (SFHEA) or Principal Fellow (PFHEA) there are additional application requirements. To start your application, click 'Find out more' for the relevant category to you and request an information pack.

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Complete the form below and we will send you an information pack about Fellowship.

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Accredited Programme/Scheme


If you have successfully completed an Advance HE accredited course, for example, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in teaching and learning or a continuing professional development (CPD) programme, you are eligible for Fellowship.

You will be informed by your programme leader if your course is accredited by Advance HE. Please note there may be an additional fee due.

Programme Leaders

If you are an Advance HE accredited CPD programme/scheme leader you will need to apply on behalf of your course participants after their successful completion of the programme, through the My Advance HE portal. Simply log in to My Advance HE and follow the online instructions.

As a programme leader you may be contacted by individuals who have completed Advance HE accredited courses or programmes and asked to be registered for Fellowship via My Advance HE.

Application fees 2020-21

Application fees vary depending on the route you take to Fellowship, with individuals from subscribing institutions benefiting from discounted fees. See the costs associated with each category of Fellowship by clicking on the links below:

Associate Fellow
Senior Fellow
Principal Fellow

Individuals who have successfully completed an Advance HE accredited course can apply for Fellowship by making a request to their programme leader where they studied to enter their details in the respective institution’s accredited provision section in the My Advance HE portal.

How the application is reviewed

All applications for Fellowships are appraised by experienced peer reviewers, chosen for their extensive knowledge and practice of review in teaching and learning. They include specialist educators and expert practitioners across disciplines.

Applications for AFHEA, FHEA and SFHEA will be reviewed by two peer reviewers while applications for PFHEA will be reviewed by three peer reviewers. Successful applicants enjoy a host of benefits on gaining Fellowship, so we recommend that you consider the Guide to Fellowship and FAQs carefully before submitting your application.

Please complete the form below to request an information pack, including FAQs and more information about applying for fellowship.

Do you want to support your staff to achieve Fellowship?

Advance HE offers Fellowship support to institutions through a structured process:

  • Fellowship workshops - sessions helping your staff understand Fellowship and the application process
  • Fellowship Writing Retreats - expert support providing a structured and guided environment in which to construct an application for Fellowship
  • draft Fellowship applications reviews - a consultant will review applications and provide annotated feedback, including points for further development.

All of these services can be delivered online.

Find out more