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Growth in fellowship as Advance HE publishes annual review of accredited CPD schemes

10 Oct 2022 | Advance HE Seventh annual review of accredited continued professional development schemes published today.

Fellowship numbers continue to grow globally, with more than 163,000 fellows recognised around the world, including 13,949 based outside the UK, at the beginning of October 2022, according to the latest review of Advance HE accredited continued professional development (CPD) schemes. 

The seventh Annual review of Advance HE accredited CPD schemes 2020-21 reflects on the award and use of fellowship reported by Advance HE accredited institutions, drawing on data from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. This summary report brings together information submitted by 134 higher education providers with an accredited CPD scheme in their annual report to Advance HE.

Advance HE fellowship aligns professional development to the UK Professional Standards Framework - the globally-recognised framework for benchmarking success within higher education teaching and learning support. The Professional Standards Framework is currently under review, which has involved a sector-wide consultation, with a revised version is due to be published in January 2023.

Highlights for the period 1 August 2020-31 July 2021

  • The majority of fellowships awarded continued to be via Advance HE accredited provision in 2020-21 at 174 accredited institutions; 146 in the UK and 28 outside the UK.  
  • 15,291 fellowships in total were awarded in 2020-21 – a slight decrease of 148 (-0.96%) compared to 15,439 fellowships awarded in 2019-20, likely to be as a result of other priorities for staff and institutions during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • 2,014 of those fellowships were awarded via direct application to Advance HE - an increase of 238 (+13.4%) on fellowships awarded via direct application in 2019-20 (1,776).  
  • 88% of 130 DVCs/PVCs responding in 2020-21 reported that fellowship is used within their institutional career promotion pathways.
  • In 2020-21 the number of HEP accredited CPD schemes accredited at each category of fellowship increased at all categories, other than Principal Fellowship. 
  • Senior and Principal Fellows are continuing to be used at an institutional level to drive strategy and policy, as well as leading learning and teaching projects and initiatives. 

Kathryn Harrison-Graves, Director of Membership and Accreditation at Advance HE said, 

“This seventh annual review of accredited CPD schemes continues to provide detailed insight into the operational aspects of scheme management as well as the impact schemes have at an institutional level.  

“The reporting period for 2020-21 was of course disrupted by Covid-19 which affected institutions’ ability to operate accredited provision effectively, so the slight decrease in fellowships awarded by accredited HEPs in 2020-21 in comparison to 2019-20 is not surprising. 

“However, despite these difficulties institutions’ annual reviews clearly articulate that Advance HE accredited provision and the resulting fellowship are continuing to have a positive impact at an institutional level and are continuing to be used and further embedded within institutional processes and policies around teaching and learning and career promotion pathways.”

Advance HE is committed to working with and supporting institutions to continue to successfully operate accredited provision by: 

  • addressing institution-level impact with a Collaborative Development Fund project around ‘Utilising the Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning for Strategic Change’. The output of this project will be a series of eight case studies published in October 2022 related to the strategic use of accredited provision intended to support senior leaders to best use their provision to promote institutional priorities.  
  • undertaking the Professional Standards Framework Review 2022. Following extensive stakeholder consultations, a revised PSF will be launched at the end of January 2023. In preparation for any changes following the PSF review outcomes, Advance HE will work closely with accredited institutions to develop appropriate support, resources and transition plans. 


Download the Annual review of Advance HE accredited CPD schemes 2020-21 

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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