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Annual review of Advance HE accredited CPD schemes published

21 Oct 2020 | Kathryn Harrison-Graves We've published the fifth annual review of our accredited continuing professional development (CPD) schemes. Kathryn Harrison-Graves, Director for Membership and Accreditation, discusses the key points of the report.

Since its introduction in 2014-15, this annual report has provided valuable insight into the operation of Advance HE accredited CPD schemes. As ever, I am grateful to Advance HE member institutions and the accredited programme leaders within them for providing the self-reflection that makes this report possible.

The report shows the maturity and increasing embeddedness of schemes with 88% of DVCs/PVCs reporting that Fellowship is now explicitly embedded within promotion criteria. This helps to promote a parity of esteem between education and research and offers career progression for education-focused staff. It is clear from the evidence provided by these senior leaders that accredited schemes and the Fellowships they award are integral in supporting institutions to deliver high-quality teaching and learning, with accredited CPD schemes being embedded in institutional policy and strategy.

I am delighted to see that engagement with Fellowship across the sector is continuing to grow, with a 7% increase from 2017-18. In this 2018-19 review we have tried, for the first time, to understand what institutions are doing to ensure their CPD schemes are inclusive and encourage diverse staff from across their organisations to seek professional recognition. Only 14% of institutions specifically referred to the support they provide to underrepresented groups to achieve Fellowship and, while I have witnessed first-hand some excellent examples of inclusive practice within accredited CPD schemes, this seems to be an area for consideration over the coming year.

I am also delighted to read that Senior and Principal Fellows continue to be drawn upon to deliver institutional teaching and learning initiatives. I hope that these experienced individuals can support institutions and colleagues through the changes to pedagogic practice that may be required in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is clear that workload pressures and resourcing remain an issue for many leaders of accredited schemes. This is likely to be an area under increasing scrutiny in the current context and the team at Advance HE will work with the sector over the coming months to ensure that process of accreditation does not unduly add to these pressures. Streamlined, effective processes that allow resources to be focused on supporting colleagues to enhance their practice needs to be our shared goal as we look towards the future.

My thanks again to the accredited scheme leaders for the thorough and thoughtful responses they provided within the institutional reviews submitted, and my particular thanks to Joanne Davies for her work in producing this comprehensive report. All of us at Advance HE look forward to continuing to work closely with our network and accredited institutions across the globe to provide impactful professional recognition for those who teach and support learning.


Advance HE accredits continuous professional development (CPD) programmes which are delivered by higher education providers both within the UK and internationally, aligning professional development to the UKPSF. Find out more 

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