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NTU Teaching Development Framework (NTU TDF)
Guide to Applying for HEA Professional Recognition
via the NTU TDF
Professional Services Staff who teach and support
learning in HE
(Permanent and Fixed-Term / Part-time / Full-time)
This guide provides information about applying for the appropriate level of
HEA professional recognition via the NTU Teaching Development Framework
Scheme accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
September 2015
Centre for Professional Learning and Development (CPLD)
Feedback or queries about this guide, please email [email protected]
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1. What is HEA Professional Recognition?

What it IS
o Four different levels of recognition that demonstrate how your higher
education teaching practice meets national professional standards set out in
the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF, November 2011):
 Associate Fellow (AFHEA)
 Fellow (FHEA)
 Senior Fellow (SFHEA)
 Principal Fellow (PFHEA)
o HEA professional recognition is retrospective – you need to have built up
experience of HE teaching and have been reflecting on your practice to
enable you to have relevant evidence for an application.

What it ISN’T
o It isn’t something you do before you teach at NTU.
o It’s not a teaching qualification – it does not prepare you to teach. If you
want to learn how to teach effectively in higher education you should
complete a suitable professional development programme. For further
information about programmes available at NTU, see the Learning and
Teaching section of the CPLD Course Directory on the CPLD website.
2. HEA Professional Recognition at NTU
Our new University Strategy makes a continued commitment to high quality teaching
and to the professional recognition of this. Early indications suggest that professional
recognition of teaching practice data could also form an element of the proposed
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which may have significant implications for future
university funding. (A speech by the Minister for Universities and Science in September
2015 regarding the forthcoming Green Paper provides some context). A revised Learning
and Teaching Professional Development Policy has been introduced with effect from this
month to articulate and support NTU’s aims to have our teaching recognised. The Policy
was approved by Academic Board following consultation with, amongst others, the
Employee Information and Consultation Forum. The new Policy replaces the 2012
version.
The revised policy continues to set out NTU’s expectations about HEA professional
recognition and teaching qualifications required by staff who teach and support learning
at NTU. The Policy can be accessed here, along with a guide designed to support local
planning and implementation.
3. Benefits of HEA professional recognition?


Demonstrates to students and current/future employers your commitment to
professional teaching practice development
Provides structure for performance development and review, CPD and career
progression
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


Portable recognition of learning and teaching practice – recognised nationally
Supports changes to practice required as a result of e.g. emerging technologies,
changes to assessment policy etc.
Can be used to underpin effective peer review/observation
Feedback from NTU staff who hold HEA professional recognition highlights a number of
benefits including:
 ‘Helped me make sense of what I did and why – great opportunity to stop and take
stock. And I understood the standards much more.’
 ‘It was a surprise to see how much I’d developed in my teaching practice – and how
much I did. Gave me a really good sense of achievement, especially as it’s easy to
lose sight of the impact we have when we’re caught up in the day to day rush!’
 ‘I could see that supervising research students is an important part of teaching in
HE.’
 ‘My teaching practice was a lot more effective than I thought it was going to be
when I first saw the standards.’
 ‘Enabled me to have the first real conversation about my practice with my colleagues
in a long time…I want to have more.’
4. What are the national Professional Standards?
The national standards comprise 6 areas of core knowledge and 4 professional values as
shown in Table 1 below.
UKPSF Core Knowledge Standards (‘Ks’)
K1
K2
K3
K4
K5
K6
The subject material
Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and
assessing in the subject area and at the level of the
academic programme
How students learn, both generally and within
their subject/ disciplinary area(s)
The use and value of appropriate learning
technologies
Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of
teaching
The implications of quality enhancement for
academic and professional practice with a
particular focus on teaching
UKPSF Professional Values Standards (‘Vs’)
V1
V2
V3
V4
Respect individual learners and diverse
learning communities
Promote participation in higher
education and equality of opportunity for
learners
Use evidence-informed approaches
and the outcomes from research,
scholarship and continuing
professional development
Acknowledge the wider context in which
higher education operates
recognising the implications for
professional practice
Table 1: The 10 national Professional Standards (UKPSF, November 2011)
Applicants demonstrate how their practice across particular areas of practice activity
meets those professional standards. Those areas of activity are shown in Table 2
below
UKPSF Areas of Activity
A1
A2
A3
Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
Teach and/or support learning
Assess and give feedback to learners
3
A4
A5
Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their
pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices
Table 2: The 5 NTU and national Areas of Practice Activity (UKPSF, November 2011)
5. What the professional standards mean at NTU
The national professional standards are defined in our institutional framework, the NTU
Teaching Development Framework (known as the NTU TDF).
For further information see the Guide to the NTU Professional Standards for Teaching
and Supporting Learning on the CPLD website.
6. What level of recognition can I apply for?
If you have been in a role in which you teach and/or support learning at higher
education level, you may be eligible to apply for recognition. Roles might include:




Learning Adviser supporting students studying in higher education
Library and Information Services advisers supporting student and/or staff
development in the NTU Colleges and Schools
Academic Development Officer/Consultant/Manager promoting and supporting
academic practice and quality standards
Professional Development Consultant/Manager supporting the professional
development of staff who teach in HE
The level of recognition you might be eligible to apply for depends on the scope and
impact of your higher education teaching and/or learning support practice.
 At Associate Fellow and Fellow levels, you are required to demonstrate the
standards in your own practice.
 For higher levels of recognition, at Senior and Principal, you are also expected to
demonstrate wider and more sustained impact on other people’s teaching and/or
learning support practice at team, institutional, national and international levels.
 For further information see table 3 below and discuss with your line manager – if
uncertain, please remember you are required to achieve only the minimum
requirement for your role.
HEA Associate
Fellow
HEA Fellow
HEA Senior Fellow
HEA Principal Fellow
Staff are expected to
demonstrate:
 A broad awareness,
understanding and
critical application of
appropriate areas of
core knowledge and
Staff are expected to
demonstrate:
 A broad awareness,
understanding and
critical application of
appropriate core
knowledge and
Staff are expected to
demonstrate:
 A thorough awareness,
understanding and
critical application of
appropriate core
knowledge and
Staff are expected to
demonstrate:
 A thorough awareness,
understanding and
critical application of
appropriate core
knowledge and
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professional values to
inform their professional
practice in at least 2 of
the 5 areas of activity of
the UKPSF
professional values to
inform their professional
practice across all 5
areas of activity of the
UKPSF
professional values to
achieve a key impact on
high quality HE teaching
and learning within the
team, department, or
discipline across all 5
areas of activity of the
UKPSF
professional values to
achieve a sustained
impact on high quality
HE teaching and learning
across the institution
and/or sector across all 5
areas of activity of the
UKPSF
Table 3: Extract from the Guide to the NTU TDF Professional Standards for Teaching and
Supporting Learning in HE available on the CPLD website showing what applicants are
required to demonstrate at each level of HEA professional recognition.
7. What’s required in an HEA professional recognition via the NTU
TDF ?
From September 2015 Anyone applying for HEA Associate Fellow professional recognition is required to
submit:
o a critically reflective 1200 word (+/-10%) application in which they evidence
all 10 professional standards across 2 of the 5 areas of practice activity (A1A5).
o 2 references prepared by 2 Referees, one of whom is the person who
completes their annual PDCR (permanent staff) or supervision (those on
fixed-term contracts)
Anyone applying for HEA Fellow professional recognition is required to submit:
o a critically reflective 3000 word (+/-10%) application in which they evidence
al 10 professional standards across all 5 areas of practice activity (A1-A5)
o 2 references prepared by 2 Referees, one of whom is the person who
completes their annual PDCR (permanent staff) or supervision (those on
fixed-term contracts)
Anyone applying for HEA Senior Fellow professional recognition is required to submit:
o a critically reflective 6000 word (+/-10%) application in which they evidence
al 10 professional standards across all 5 areas of practice activity (A1-A5).
The application contains a Reflective Account of Practice (RAP) and Case
Studies.
o 2 references prepared by 2 Referees, one of whom is the person who
completes their annual PDCR (permanent staff).
Anyone applying for HEA Principal Fellow professional recognition will need to apply to
the Higher Education Academy direct. For full information about what is required see
the HEA website.
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8. How do I apply?
Staff at NTU are able to apply for HEA professional recognition via the HEA-accredited
NTU TDF Scheme managed by the Centre for Professional Learning and Development
(CPLD). Find information about applying for HEA professional recognition via the NTU
TDF Scheme in the NOW Learning Room ‘HEA Professional Recognition: Information for
Staff’ listed under the Staff role on your NOW homepage (log into NOW required).
The information provided in the Learning Room includes:
 Applicant checklist
 Application templates
 Referee guide and reference templates
 Examples of evidence
 Guidance to evidencing the professional standards
 Writing workshops for applicants
 1:1 advice sessions for applicants, mentors and referees
Anyone applying for HEA Principal Fellow professional recognition will need to apply to
the Higher Education Academy direct. For full information about what is required see
the HEA website.
9. How long does it take to prepare an application?
When you are planning your workload, allow the following allocation appropriate to the
level you are applying for:
10-20 hours for HEA Associate Fellow by written application
20-30 hours for HEA Fellow by written application
70 hours for HEA Associate Fellow via PGCAP Module 1
25-35 hours for HEA Senior Fellow
25-35 hours for HEA Principal Fellow
This includes time to familiarise yourself with the application requirements, professional
standards, select appropriate evidence, and draft and review your application before
completing a final version.
10. What will help me prepare to apply?
The key thing is to regularly review your HE teaching and/or learning support practice,
and keep the information to give you a source from which you can select relevant
practice examples for your application.
You can do this by building your own portfolio where you keep notes from your
evaluation of your practice.
The following things will help you build good foundations in critically reflecting and
evaluating your teaching practice:
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11.

Keep copies of your session plans/ individual activities/course design/course
reviews and resources to record your approach.

Reflect on your teaching and/or learning support approach and methods by
noting:
o What did you do and how? (how would you describe your approach or
methods?)
o Why you choose to do it that way? (what informed your choice of approach
or methods?)
o What impact did your practice have on student learning? (how did it
support active and independent student learning? How well did it enable
students to address the learning outcomes?)
o How you know? – what information do you use to evaluate your teaching
practice and why? What does it reveal about the effectiveness of your
practice?

Ask more experienced colleagues to observe/review your practice and give you
feedback. Use managerial, peer, student and other sources of evaluation and
feedback to help you identify strengths and weaknesses of your practice, and
aspects you would like to enhance.

Access professional development (courses, workshops or online guides) to help
you identify things to try out in your own teaching. To find available resources,
go to the CPLD website.
Ready to start?
Use the Applicant Checklist in Appendix to get going and track your progress.
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Appendix:
Applicant Checklist
Before I start my application

Read the NTU Learning and Teaching Professional Development Policy
September 2015 and policy guide available on the CPLD website to identify
whether I need to/can apply for HEA professional recognition, and which
level.
Locate the guidance I need in the NOW Learning Room ‘HEA Professional
Recognition: Information for Staff’ (log in to NOW required) about applying
for HEA recognition.
Agree with my line manager:
- Whether to apply and which level
- The date I will submit my application
- Names of my 2 Referees (one needs to be the person who does my
PDCR)
List my application as a specific objective in my PDCR objectives.
Allocate to this work as part of my overall workload plan using guidance in
Appendix 1 of the NTU Learning and Teaching Professional Development
Policy Guide available on the CPLD website.
Arrange with both Referees a mutually convenient deadline by which my
references will be ready, and ensure they have a copy of the Referee Guide
and reference template from the NOW Learning Room ‘HEA Professional
Recognition: Information for Staff’ (log in to NOW required).
Read the information in the NOW Learning Room ‘HEA Professional
Recognition: Information for Staff’ (log in to NOW required) about support
available to applicants and book onto any workshops as appropriate.
Preparing my application
Download the appropriate application template from the NOW Learning
Room ‘HEA Professional Recognition: Information for Staff’ (log in to NOW
required) and save it securely in my own files.
Plan and complete my application using guidance provided.
Email copy of my application to both referees to read before they prepare
my references.
Get PDF copies of both references back from my Referees.
Proof-read my final application document and ensure all required sections
completed prior to submission (e.g. word count!).
Submitting my application
Upload electronic PDF copies of my application and references to the
appropriate HEA Applicants Learning Room drop-box as per instructions in
the application template.
NTU TDF HEA-accredited Scheme, CPLD, September 2015
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