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Advance HE fellowship demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and provides recognition of practice, impact and leadership in teaching and learning.

Recognition of your expertise

We award four categories of fellowship that recognise your role in teaching and/or supporting higher education learning:

These four categories reflect the diverse roles of those who teach and support learning in higher education, from positions where teaching and learning is only part of the role, to senior professionals with strategic impact on teaching and learning at an organisational, national or international level.

Fellowships are awarded based on evidence of personal professional practice that meets the requirements of the Professional Standards Framework 2023 (PSF 2023), the standards framework for the higher education sector. The category of fellowship you can apply for will depend on which of the four Descriptors of the PSF 2023 is most appropriate to your practice and professional experience.

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

Associate Fellow

Associate Fellowship is suitable for you if your higher education teaching and/or support of learning practice enables you to evidence some PSF 2023 Dimensions (at Descriptor 1). By achieving Associate Fellowship you will be able to demonstrate that your practice with learners is effective and inclusive within your higher education context.
Associate Fellow


Fellowship is suitable for you if your teaching and/or supporting learning practice with higher education learners enables you to evidence depth and breadth across all PSF 2023 Dimensions (at Descriptor 2). By achieving Fellowship you will be able to demonstrate that your practice with learners is effective and inclusive within your higher education context.

Senior Fellow

Senior Fellowship is suitable for you if you have a sustained record of leading or influencing the higher education practice of your colleagues or other peers that teach and/or support high quality learning. You will be using your own effective and inclusive practice across all PSF 2023 Dimensions (at Descriptor 3) as a basis for your work. By achieving Senior Fellowship you will be able to demonstrate that you are effective at leading or influencing practice to enhance student learning within your context.
Senior Fellow

Principal Fellow

Principal Fellow is suitable for you if you are a highly experienced individual whose practice involves a sustained record of effectiveness in strategic leadership of high-quality learning. You will need to show the extensive impact of your work on high quality learning (within or beyond your institution, or across a discipline or profession), incorporating all PSF 2023 Dimensions (at Descriptor 4). By achieving Principal Fellowship you will be able to demonstrate your effective strategic leadership and extensive impact on higher education learning within your context.
Principal Fellow
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Why consider Fellowship?

Fellowships are embedded in the UK and have been adopted by increasing numbers of higher education institutions globally, from the Americas to Australasia. As of July 2023, there are over 174,000 fellows across the world.

Fellowship brings you a range of benefits: 

  • Consolidates personal development and evidence of professional practice in your higher education career; 
  • Provides a valuable measure of success and is increasingly recognised by international institutions; 
  • Demonstrates commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development; 
  • Fellowship is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion; 
  • For individuals, to identify their expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA); 

To make it easier for you to find out everything you need to know about Fellowship, we have created a downloadable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document.

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The Professional Standards Framework 2023 (PSF 2023) 

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. 

The PSF 2023 is an 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. 

Find out more about PSF 2023 and the review
PSF 2022-23 cover image
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Fellowship Category Tool

Our Fellowship Category Tool has been designed to help you understand which category of Fellowship most closely reflects your current practice and to reflect on your ongoing professional development and career aspirations.

After you have answered a series of choice questions, which will take around 10-20 minutes, you will be shown your results and a PDF report summarising your responses will be sent to you.

Use the Fellowship Category Tool
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Applying for Fellowship

Fellowships are awarded on the basis of a successful and effective demonstration of one of the four PSF Descriptors. There are two different routes to becoming a Fellow:

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

We have a number of services available to support you if you are thinking of applying for one of our categories of Fellowship, from our Fellowship Application Builder online course (designed for Descriptor 2 of the PSF) to Senior and Principal Fellow Writing Retreats designed to help you create an application that fully reflects your practice. 

Your route to Fellowship
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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
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Application fees

Application fees vary depending on the route you take to Fellowship, with individuals from subscribing institutions benefiting from discounted fees.

   Category   Accredited Provision (individual from a member institution)  Accredited Provision (individual from a non-member institution)   Direct application to Advance HE (individual from a member institution)  Direct application to Advance HE (individual from non-member institution) 
 Associate Fellow      No cost        £150      £150      £300
 Fellow      No cost        £220      £220      £440
 Senior Fellow      No cost        £330      £330      £660
Principal Fellow     No cost        £550      £550      £1100
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Update to eligibility in the UK and Australasia 

Following consultation in the UK and Australasian HE sectors in 2018, eligibility for Fellowship has been extended to include specific groups of higher education (HE) practitioners working in the UK and Australasia. Please refer to the Advance HE update on widening eligibility for further details.

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We have appointed a Fellowship and Accreditation Expert Advisory Group

Advance HE has formed a Fellowship and Accreditation Expert Advisory Group to provide expert advice and guidance to Advance HE staff, our Peer Review Quality (PRQ) Committee and ultimately the Advance HE Board on matters relating to Fellowship and accreditation services.

Advance HE has appointed 14 members, including a Chair, to the Fellowship and Accreditation Expert Advisory Group made up of UK and international Advance HE member institutions with a high-level understanding of higher education in a wide variety of contexts.

Find out more