Learning from across the sector


How did we go from wanting to redevelop ENRoute to sitting in meeting rooms (sometimes in the rain) in universities as diverse as Cumbria and Kings? Well we have learnt such a lot from first year of ENroute operation; we have gathered views from colleagues on experiences of apply for HEA fellowship through ENroute and we have a Project Team and Project Board to support the redevelopment. We were sure some of the aspirations and issues we surfaced have been solved elsewhere but how to find out?

Looking outside the university at the wider HE landscape is important element of redevelopment, we wanted to know what is the wider engagement with the UKPSF and HEA Fellowship and what can we learn from our colleagues’ experiences across the sector?

To begin this process of we started with some basic internet scoping, looking at all Fellowship schemes across the UK higher education sector. While we all know this is not an exact science we did uncover some interesting statistics. From the 146 Universities we looked at across the UK, we found many, such as Edinburgh Napier, have set targets for academic colleague engagement with the UKPSF. Approximately one third of universities have their own HEA accredited scheme to support colleagues. With a total of two thirds of universities supporting colleagues via their validated professional development courses such as Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Wishing to gain insights from others we looked closely at the internal routes to accreditation offered. We found all in house accredited schemes offered a documentary/written route toward Fellowship, with many offering an oral route through a process of presentations or professional dialogue. We learnt how they operated and what the implications might be. That learning was crystallised in a report back to the Project Board. A lengthy and interesting discussion about our own experiences coupled with the learning from across the sector gave us some clear pointers about how we should go forward.

The increased interest in the UKPSF and Fellowship across higher education is reflected in the emerging literature slowly documenting people’s thoughts and early impact on professional development. These early papers (Cannell and Gilmour2013; Law, 2011; Turner, et al. 2013) have highlighted the opportunity it presents for raising the profile of professional development in learning and teaching across HE, in addition to providing a common language to support and structure this development.

Returning home and reflecting on our exploration (all be it basic) we now have a better idea of higher education landscape, this will help inform our redevelopment and aspirations as we move forward.


Cannell, P., and Gilmour, A., (2013) Staff: enhancing teaching final project report. The Open University in Scotland. Available at, http://www.open.ac.uk/scotland/sites/www.open.ac.uk.scotland/files/files/ecms/web-content/Staff-enhancing-teaching.pdf

Law, S., (2011) Recognising excellence in teaching and learning. The Higher Education Academy. Available at, http://www-new1.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/ukpsf/recognising-excellence.pdf

Turner, N., Oliver, M., McKenna, C., Hughes, J., Smith, H., Shrives, L., (2013) Measuring the impact of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning (UKPSF). The Higher Education Academy. Available at, https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/resources/UKPSF_Impact_Study_Report.pdf

Kathryn James, March 2015

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