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Your routes to Fellowship

Advance HE offers professional recognition for each category of Fellowship: Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow.

1) 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.

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

Fellowship can be gained by individuals internationally; institutions can gain accreditation through becoming a subscriber to Advance HE. 

Resources for referees, internal reviewers and mentors are available here.

Professional Standards Framework 2023

Find out more about the revised framework that emphasises effectiveness and impact, inclusion and context, as fundamental aspects of practice

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Which category is for you?

In deciding which category of Fellowship to apply for at this stage in your career, you will need to determine which of the four Descriptors of the PSF is most appropriate to your practice and professional experience. Each Descriptor sets out the requirements for a category of Fellowship as below:

Associate Fellow

Individuals applying for Associate Fellowship may be fairly new to a role in teaching and/or support for learning or may have a limited teaching portfolio; for example, some sessional/ part time staff or early career researchers with some teaching responsibilities. They may be new or experienced staff with specific roles in supporting HE learning such as technicians, librarians, professional staff, learning technologists, careers advisors, etc. It is not role dependent; you will need to explore whether you have sufficient evidence of appropriate teaching and or/support for learning practice to make a successful application.
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Fellowship is the appropriate category of fellowship to professionally recognise individuals from a wide variety of different contexts whose practice with learners has ‘breadth and depth’, enabling them to evidence all PSF 2023 Dimensions. This might be staff with substantive teaching responsibilities or professional staff with responsibilities to support HE learning across all Dimensions. It is not role dependent; you will need to explore whether you have sufficient evidence of appropriate teaching and or/support for learning practice at the ‘depth and breadth’ required to make a successful application.
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Senior Fellow

Senior Fellows lead and influence academic practice and higher education learning in a many different settings. Working with and through ‘others’ (e.g. colleagues, peers, mentees, etc.) they operate to support, guide and initiate change or lead / influence enhancement of practice in a wide range of global contexts. Their contribution is effective, benefitting students and their learning experiences in a variety of ways.

Senior Fellowship is not role dependent and there are many different contexts in which you might be leading and/or influencing the practice of others. You will need to explore whether you have sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of Descriptor 3.
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Principal Fellow

Principal Fellowship is not role dependent. Within your context, you will need to explore whether you have the extensive evidence of impact on high quality learning, at a strategic level, that is the basis for a successful application. For Principal Fellowship you need to be able to:

+ demonstrate a sustained record of effectiveness in strategic leadership of high quality learning; and

+ show that your leadership has had extensive impact.

Principal Fellows are a diverse community representing the full range of strategic leadership in higher education. For example, you may work in academic departments, professional or service departments, on senior or executive leadership teams, for a professional body, as independent consultants, or in other roles with impact on learning and teaching in Higher Education.

In order to evidence the ‘sustained’ and ‘effective’ nature of your work you need to explain the rationale and process of your work and evidence the impact resulting from it over a period of five to seven years.
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The Professional Standards Framework 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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Direct Applications

Applications are made online by logging into My Advance HE. Check your account details are correct so that you receive email correspondence. The application process is different depending on the category of Fellowship you wish to apply for. For Associate Fellow and Fellow the application consists of an Account of Professional Practice (APP), two supporting statements from referees and payment of a fee where applicable. If you are applying for Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow there are additional application requirements. 

We will be opening applications for fellowship for each of the four categories supported by the PSF 2023 on 12 April 2023, new guidance documents and templates are available in an information pack on each of the category of fellowship web pages.

We will continue to welcome applications made against PSF 2011 until 31 December 2023 for individuals already in the process of developing their application.

Accredited Programme/Scheme


If you have successfully completed an Advance HE accredited course, for example, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in teaching and learning or a continuing professional development (CPD) programme, you are eligible for Fellowship.

You will be informed by your programme leader if your course is accredited by Advance HE. Please note there may be an additional fee due.

Programme Leaders

If you are an Advance HE accredited programme/scheme leader or administrator, you will need to enter details of course participants after their successful completion of the programme, through the My Advance HE portal. You should have received the Advance HE guidance to support you to use the My Advance HE portal; please email if you have any queries or wish to access the guidance.

As a programme leader you may be contacted by individuals who have completed Advance HE accredited courses or programmes and asked to be registered for Fellowship via My Advance HE.

Application fees

Application fees vary depending on the route you take to Fellowship, with individuals from subscribing institutions benefiting from discounted fees. See the costs associated with each category of Fellowship by clicking on the links below:

Associate Fellow


Senior Fellow

Principal Fellow

Individuals who have successfully completed an Advance HE accredited course can apply for Fellowship by making a request to their programme leader where they studied to enter their details in the respective institution’s accredited provision section in the My Advance HE portal.

How the application is reviewed

All applications for Fellowships are appraised by experienced peer reviewers, chosen for their extensive knowledge and practice of review in teaching and learning. They include specialist educators and expert practitioners across disciplines. 

Applications for Associate Fellowship, Fellowship, Senior Fellowship will be reviewed by two peer reviewers, while applications for Principal Fellowship will be reviewed by three peer reviewers. Successful applicants enjoy a host of benefits on gaining Fellowship, so we recommend that you consider the applicant guidance for your chosen category and our FAQs carefully before submitting your application. 

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.
  • Fellowship Application Builder - a six-week online, self-directed course designed to enable individuals to use their experience of their teaching and supporting learning practice in higher education to develop a direct application for Fellowship.
  • Record of Educational Impact Support Session (RSEI) - a support session aimed at those who are starting the process of completing their Principal Fellow direct application, and who need more guidance on the Record of Educational Impact element.

All of these services can be delivered online.

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