Skip to main content
Group meeting

Fellowship: Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to some frequently asked questions about various aspects of the Fellowship applications.

Professional Standards Framework and Fellowship

1. What is the Professional Standards Framework?

The Professional Standards Framework 2023 (PSF 2023) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education provides a general description of the main aspects of the role carried out by professionals that teach and/or support learning in higher education. 

The PSF has two components: Dimensions and Descriptors. 

Advance HE operates the Fellowship scheme and aligns its fellowships to the PSF Descriptors as follows: 

  • Descriptor 1 (D1) aligned to Associate Fellow 
  • Descriptor 2 (D2) aligned to Fellow 
  • Descriptor 3 (D3) aligned to Senior Fellow 
  • Descriptor 4 (D4) aligned to Principal Fellow 

2. How do I gain fellowship?

There are two routes to fellowship. Depending on your circumstances, you can:

Complete an Advance HE accredited course or scheme. Advance HE accredits organisations to award fellowship on our behalf. Only Advance HE accredited member institutions are entitled to accredited provision and a list of member organisations is available on our website. If your organisation is accredited to award one or more of the four categories of fellowship, you will be able to apply internally for one of these without a fee. See Q32-33 for further information. 


Make a direct application to Advance HE. See Q3 for further information.

3. How do I make a direct application for fellowship?

Advance HE applicant packs include all the guidance and resources you need to be able to develop and submit your application. Download the relevant PSF 2023 applicant pack from the links below for each category: 

Buff line

Applying for the right category of fellowship

4. How do I know what is the right category of fellowship for an application? 

Please use our free online Fellowship Category Tool (FCT) before starting your application, Answering the online questions about your work in teaching and learning should help you to check what category of fellowship is the best match for your current practice. 

Once you have completed the FCT, download the applicant pack for the relevant category of fellowship (see Q3). Read the guidance to check that this category is a good match for your current and recent practice; if not then download the guidance pack for the category you think is more appropriate. 

If, after reading through the PSF and guidance documents, and completing The Fellowship Category Tool, you are still unsure about which is the appropriate category of fellowship for you, then please get in touch

5. How much experience do I need to apply for a category of Fellowship? How long should I have been teaching and/or supporting higher education learning? 

This depends on the range of experience you have in higher education teaching and learning. Associate Fellowship and Fellowship relate to your effective teaching and learning practice with HE students; Senior Fellowship relates to your sustained influence and impact on the teaching and learning practices of your colleagues; Principal Fellowship relates to your sustained strategic leadership of higher education teaching and learning. 

The Advance HE PSF 2023 applicant packs outline the types of practice appropriate for each category of fellowship. Please see the links in Q3 and read the guidance for each category for further information. 

Buff line

Application fees, employment status and eligibility for member rates 

6. How much does it cost to apply? 

The fee for a direct application for all categories of Fellowship is on the Advance HE website and is subject to annual review. Employees of Advance HE Member institutions will be charged a subsidised rate (50%). If you are unsure of your institution’s Advance HE membership status, please check the list of Advance HE member institutions on the Advance HE website. If you are still unsure, please get in touch.

Please note that if an Advance HE Member institution chooses to make participation in an institutional Advance HE accredited programme or scheme contractual, any individual wishing to apply directly to Advance HE should choose ‘self-employment’ as their employment status and use a personal email address. They will be required to pay a full fee for the application; i.e. the fee will not be subsidised by the institutional membership.

7. As a PhD student or a work place educator, am I eligible for the member rate? 

HE Providers operate a range of different contracts of employment e.g. permanent, fixed term, part-time, fractional, Associate Lecturer, etc. 

Clinical educators or industry-based professionals working directly with an accredited member institution’s HE students may be classed as ‘employed’ by the institution for the purposes of fellowship, whether paid or unpaid for the educational role they undertake. 

Postgraduates may have a role in teaching and supporting learning as part of their PhD studentship/bursary; these individuals are deemed to be employed by the institution as they are contracted to deliver teaching but may not necessarily be paid for their work. 

Any undergraduate students able to make a successful claim for a category of fellowship are also covered by the institution’s Advance HE membership when accreditation services are part of this membership. 

8. What if I am not sure about my employment status? 

If you are unsure about your employment status, please consult the Human Resources Department at your organisation.

Buff line


9. What do I need to do to start a direct application?

You must create an account on MyAdvanceHE if you do not already have one.  Follow this quick guide to starting an application: Starting an application

Buff line

Submitting an application 

10. How do I submit my application? 

  • Prepare and write your application in the draft application template offline; this template is included in your applicant pack. (see Q3)
  • Obtain the Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements from appropriate referees/advocates (see applicant guidance for details) and have these ready to upload as pdf files. 
  • When you have all your application documents and payment arrangements ready to progress, you are ready to submit your application. 
  • Sign into the MyAdvanceHE portal and navigate to Fellowship. 
  • Click on View or make a fellowship application
  • Click ‘Edit’ in the application that you started earlier.
  • Copy and paste your application text from your draft application template onto the online system. This will be saved automatically as you progress. 
  • Please note that the Advance HE online application system only accepts plain text; it will remove any formatting from your text and will not accept diagrams, images, hyperlinks or any other documents/appendices such as curriculum vitae/resume. 
  • Upload your Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements as pdf files and submit your application.

11. Who do I contact if I am having issues signing into MyAdvanceHE?

If you have forgotten your password please click on the “Forgotten your password?” link at the bottom of the MyAdvanceHE log in page. 

If you no longer have access to the email address that you used to set up your account, please complete this form. Please do not set up a new account as it will not contain your application.

12. What are the deadline dates for review panels for Fellowship? 

There is no set deadline. Advance HE runs review panels for all categories of Fellowship throughout the year to ensure that individuals can apply at any point. It typically takes around 12 weeks from submission of your application to receiving your outcome, depending on the demand on the service at the time of your application. 

To ensure fairness, Advance HE does not provide a fast-track service and all applicants are assigned to the next available review panel. 

13. Can I download a copy of my application? 

You can download a copy of your application at any point during the application process. Your application record will remain on our system, which means you can return to it at any point. We recommend that you first complete and save your draft application offline using your draft application template (See Q10). 

You will receive an automated email every six months from Advance HE to remind you that your draft application is waiting to be completed. If you are no longer using the draft application function and wish to stop these emails, then please sign into MyAdvanceHE to delete the draft. 

The draft will remain available for you to access on request for two years, but will then be removed to comply with GDPR and the Advance HE retention policy.  

14. What format should my Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements be written in? 

All Supporting Statements /Advocate Statements must include verifiable information and should be written on the appropriate Supporting Statement/Advocate Template provided in your information pack (see Q3). Please ensure that each of your referees/advocates has dated their statement and provided contact details, as we may contact them directly to clarify points in their statement. 

15. What are the word counts for each category of Fellowship?

Please see the table below for the word counts for each category of Fellowship: 

Category Requirements for Advance HE direct application
Associate Fellowship 1,400-word limit for Reflective Narrative plus Context Statement (300 words) and citations (up to 200 words)
Fellowship 3,000-word limit for Reflective Narrative plus Context Statement (300 words) and citations (up to 500 words)
Senior Fellowship 6,000-word limit for Reflective Narrative and two Case Studies plus Context Statement (300 words) and citations (up to 500 words)
Principal Fellowship 7,000-word limit for Case Studies plus Statement of Context and Strategic Leadership (500 words), Record of Strategic Educational Impact (RSEI) (250 words) and Citations (500 words)

16. Can I apply in a language other than English? 

All applications for fellowship including accompanying Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements must be written in English. Advance HE is unable to accept applications or Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements written in another language. 

If English is not your first language and you are not able to provide your application in English, by prior arrangement we are able to accept a certified translation accompanied by the certification of translation. Please contact us for further guidance. 

17. What do I do if my referees/ advocates cannot write in English?

Advance HE will accept a certified English translation of your Supporting Statements/Advocate Statements. It is the responsibility of your referees/advocates to provide a certified translation for you to submit. They will be required to agree and accept the Declaration in the Supporting Statement Template upon completion. Where an application/supporting statement has been translated into English prior to submission to Advance HE, please also provide the certification of translation. 

18. I have drafted an application and would like someone to review it before I submit.

A review of a draft Fellowship application can be provided by a consultant. Find out more here.

Buff line

Payment options 

19. How do I pay the fellowship application fee? 

Unless your institution has given you a voucher code, you will be asked to pay the application fee when you submit your application. Once the fee is paid, your application will be allocated to the next available review panel.   

Payment is required by debit or credit card when you submit your application in MyAdvanceHE. You can pay this yourself at the time you submit or, if you are receiving financial support from your institution, there is an option for someone else to pay on your behalf (Q20). 

If you experience any issues in paying for your application through the online system, please get in touch.

20. My institution is paying my Fellowship application fee on my behalf, how does this work on My Advance HE? 

If your institution is paying for your application, you must select that option when you start the online application form (Q10). When you submit your application, you will be sent a payment link from MyAdvanceHE that you can forward to the individual at your organisation responsible for making the payment. They will need to follow the link to pay online with a credit or debit card. 

If your organisation is unable to pay by card, Advance HE can raise an invoice for them to pay by bank transfer. For payment by this method please ask your organisation for an electronic copy of a Purchase Order. You will need to log into MyAdvanceHE, click on My Profile and upload it in the Unpaid Invoices area.

Some institutions pre-pay for multiple applications in advance. If your institution has pre-paid for your application in this way, they will give you a voucher code to enter when you select your payment option.   

Buff line


21. How can I check if my application has been submitted successfully? 

When you submit your application, the status in your account will change to “Submitted (awaiting payment)”. You will receive an automated email confirming receipt of your application. 

Your application will not be put forward for review until the fee has been paid. If you are paying for your application yourself, please log in to your account, go to your application and click on the “Pay Invoice” button to do this. When you have paid for your application, the status will change to “Applicant”. 

22. How is my application reviewed? 

The applicant guidance (Q3) explains the review process by independent peer reviewers. The possible outcomes for your application are ‘Award’ or ‘Refer’. If your application is referred, you will be offered one opportunity to resubmit within four weeks, without further charge. You will receive feedback from the reviewers to indicate where you need to strengthen your application to meet the Descriptor criteria. 

On the second submission, the possible outcomes are “Award” or “Withdrawn”. 

23. What happens if my application is withdrawn? 

If the reviewers judge that despite revisions, the resubmission does not fully meet the requirements of the Descriptor then the final judgement is “Withdrawn”. The feedback will explain the judgement. This is the end of the review process; any future application would incur a full fee. Please note that any appeal must be related to Advance HE process not being adhered to, and not the review outcome.

24. How can I check what stage my application is at? 

If you are applying directly, you can view the status of your application by logging into your account at MyAdvanceHE.

Click on Fellowship then View or make a fellowship application. You will see a summary of any applications you have made. The “status” tells you what stage an application has reached: 

  • Draft: your application is still in draft form and a final version is yet to be submitted. 
  • Submitted (Awaiting Payment): there is payment due against the application before it can be processed. If you are paying for your application yourself, click on the “Pay Invoice” button. Once paid, the status will change to “Applicant”.
  • Fellowship- Applicant: your application has been paid for and is waiting to be processed and assigned to a review panel.
  • Allocated to panel: your application has been assigned to a panel ready for review.
  • Decision: Fellowship – Accepted: your application has been successful, and you will receive an email with instructions for accessing your certificate.
  • Decision: Fellowship – Referred: your application has been referred and you will receive an email with feedback and how to resubmit.
  • Decision: Fellowship – Withdrawn:  An application can be withdrawn if the resubmission was unsuccessful; if a resubmission is not made within the stated deadline; or if it has been left as ‘Incomplete’ for over one year. 

25. How can I find a copy of my Fellowship Certificate? 

When you are successful in becoming a fellow of any category you will receive an email from us informing you how to access your certificate. 

If you applied via the direct route, the email will be sent to the address on the account you used to submit your application.

If you were awarded fellowship via an accredited program, the email will be sent to the address registered by your organisation. 

The instructions will tell you which email address to use to log in. If you do not use the email address specified in the instructions, you will not be able to see your certificate. Log into your MyAdvanceHE account using the exact email address stated in the instructions. Click on My Profile, then My Certificates to request your certificate. This will be emailed to your inbox. If you cannot see this email, please check your junk/spam folder. If you continue to have issues, please get in touch.

26. I have two or more more categories of Fellowship, why can I only see one certificate?

If you have been successful in gaining more than one category of fellowship only the most recent achievement will be reflected in your account. Colleagues can only have one category of fellowship at any one time unless you have gained Associate Fellowship (Indigenous). If you would like a copy of your previous fellowship certificate, please contact us for a copy. 

27. I don't think I have an account. How do I access my certificate?

If you were awarded a Fellowship some time ago and have not visited My Advance HE before, then you will need to go through the sign-up process to activate your My Advance HE account. This process includes verifying your email address and creating a password. You will need to use the email address that your certificate confirmation email was sent to

28. I cannot access the email that my account was registered with. How do I access my certificate?

If you no longer have access to the email address you used when you were awarded Fellowship, please complete this form so that we can help you recover access to your account. To help us find your account, please include as much of the following information as possible: your certificate number, the year and organisation you worked at when you were awarded fellowship, your previous employer (s), previous email address(es).Please do not set up a new account as this will not contain your certification record.

29. I can't find my certificate in MyAdvanceHE

There are two common reasons why you may not be able to see your certificate:

1) You have been awarded fellowship via an accredited route, and fewer than 7 days have elapsed since your organisation registered you on our system. Your certificate is not generated until 7 days after you have been registered, so if you log in before then you will not be able to see your certificate. You will receive an email when your certificate is available.

2) You are not accessing the correct MyAdvanceHE account.

If you apply directly, your fellowship certificate is linked to the account that you used to submit your application, using the email address you registered at that time. To see your certificate, you must use this email address to log in to your account.

If you gain fellowship via an accredited course, your certificate is linked to an account created when your institution added you to our system. Your email address for that account is the one your institution registered for you. Please see Q25 for more in information.

30. If I am successful, what personal details are displayed on my certificate? 

Only your name and unique reference number will be displayed on your certificate. If you apply via the direct route, your name will be shown exactly as you have specified when you start your application. If you completed an accredited course, it will be what your institution enters on your record when they register you on our system. If you find that the details are incorrect on your certificate, please get in touch.

31. I can’t log into my portal account

If you cannot access your portal account, please do not create a new one. Complete this form so that we can help you recover access to your account. You should include information such as your previous employer (s), email address and certificate number to help us find your account.

If you create a new (duplicate) account, this will not be linked to your certificates, so you will not be able to view or retrieve them. To avoid duplicate information about you on our system, please ensure that you update your portal account with an email that you can access. You may wish to use a personal email address if you are moving between institutions, so that you do not lose access to your account.

Buff line

Accredited route 

32. How do I know if my organisation has an accredited programme? 

A full list of accredited programmes run by your organisation can be viewed from your MyAdvanceHE account. To see these, you must make sure that you have an Employer Relationship set up with your organisation. 

Log into MyAdvanceHE and select “Fellowship” from the menu at the top of the screen. Click Add course completers, or request access to add course completers.

This will show you the courses available at your institution. Do not request admin access, this is for Course Administrators only.

If you would like to apply to join a course you must get in touch with your organisational point of contact. If you complete an accredited course, make sure your Course Leader knows which email address to use when they register you. If they use a different email address to the one you signed up with, you will end up with two accounts on MyAdvanceHE.

33. How do I know who is the contact within my organisation to advise me about the accredited route? 

Please get in touch and a member of the team will introduce you to the Course Leader within your organisation. 

34. I can’t find an option to apply for Fellowship on the basis of completing an accredited programme as an individual. 

All applications for Fellowship via the accredited route are made by the Course Leader/ Administrator at the organisation where you completed your course. Please contact the Course Leader and they will be able register you on MyAdvanceHE to confer your fellowship with us. Please see Q33 if you do not know who your Course Leader is.

35. Do I have to use my organisational scheme or can I apply through the direct application route? 

We advise you to explore whether your organisation has an appropriate programme/scheme accredited by Advance HE, which would enable you to achieve an appropriate category of fellowship. 

This route to fellowship will provide organisational support through programmes and schemes which have been designed to work with internal structures and priorities. For example, as part of the probation process, many organisations require early career staff to undertake a formal qualification such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE/Academic Practice which has been designed to also lead to fellowship. Equally, promotional pathways may embed both fellowship and additional internal elements, which are not part of a direct application process. 

Consequently, Advance HE policy is to recommend that where available, individuals should participate in an appropriate accredited course/scheme at their own organisation. This will ensure that any specific contractual arrangements are met, and that successful Fellows become part of an established community of practice within their organisation. 

Advance HE will not deny an individual application, nor compel an individual to participate in an organisational scheme and the choice remains that of the individual. Please note that if an Advance HE Member institution chooses to make participation in an institutional Advance HE accredited programme or scheme contractual, any individual wishing to apply directly to Advance HE should choose ‘self-employment’ as their employment status and use a personal email address. They will be required to pay a full fee for the application; i.e. the fee will not be subsidised by the institutional membership.

Buff line

Course Leaders/Administrators

36. I am a Course Leader/Administrator and would like to add completers to a course, what do I need to do?

Full instructions for this are included in the Registering Accredited Course Completers guidance document.

37. I am a Course Leader/Administrator and have added a completer to the wrong course/used the wrong start date for the course, what can I do? 

Please see the instruction on p13 of the Registering Accredited Course Completers guidance document.

38. What will happen if I add a completer who has already been awarded fellowship at the same category as the accredited course, or a different category? I may not be aware of whether they already have fellowship? 

We carry out regular checks to avoid duplication as we appreciate you may not be aware of a completer’s historic Fellowship activities. If an individual completes an accredited provision which awards a different fellowship category than that which the individual already holds, this will replace the original award. 

Buff line

Further questions 

39. What if I have more questions about fellowship or accreditation? 

If you cannot find the information you need or require further assistance, please get in touch and one of our team will be able to assist you.