Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching



What is the UKPSF?

A comprehensive set of professional standards and guidelines for everyone involved in teaching and supporting learning in HE, it can be applied to personal development programmes at individual or institutional level to improve teaching quality.

The framework identifies the diverse range of teaching and support roles and environments. These are reflected and are expressed in the Dimensions of Professional Practice. The UKPSF clearly outlines the Dimensions of Professional Practice with HE teaching and learning support as:

  • Areas of activity undertaken by teachers and support staff.
  • Core knowledge needed to carry out those activities at the appropriate level.
  • Professional values that individuals performing these activities should exemplify.

1. How do I apply?

Attend an Introduction to TSL@ USW seminar. You can book on via iTrent by clicking here*. Email your HOLTSE/DEAN/DEPUTY DEANand let them know you would like to be put forward to apply.

2. Do I need to attend the “Introduction to TSL@USW” if I am already a Fellow of the HEA or have attended a similar session in the past?

The session is not compulsory for anyone, it is recommended however for all applicants. Whether you are already a Fellow or have attended a similar session, it would be beneficial to refresh your memory and revisit the UKPSF.

3. I can’t attend any of the “Introduction” sessions – does this mean I have to wait until the next round of these sessions?

Please email fellow@southwales.ac.uk or call Lyndsey on 01443 6 54850 to make alternative arrangements.

4. I am a Research Student – am I able to apply?

For information, you can attend an Introduction to TSL@USW seminar. You can book on via iTrent by clicking here* or book onto a bespoke session via the Graduate Research Centre.

You can apply if you have been employed by USW for more than one academic year and can demonstrate an understanding of specific aspects of effective teaching, learning support methods and student learning. Most typically, early career researchers with some teaching responsibilities would apply for the category of Associate Fellow (e.g. PhD students, GTAs, contract researchers/post-doctoral researchers etc.)

5. Why would I want to apply for the FHEA? What is the benefit to me?

Fellowship brings you a range of benefits: –

  • Consolidate personal development and evidence of professional practice in your higher education career;
  • Demonstrate 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 higher education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;
  • For individuals, to identify their expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters – FHEA;
  • Recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.

6. Do I have to pay to apply for for Professional Recognition?

There is no fee for individuals employed by the University of South Wales.

For partner college colleagues, please contact your college to check if it has HEA subscription status.

7. How long will it take me to apply?

Once you have been nominated by your faculty to go through a particular round, the whole process takes about five months. This includes claim writing/mentor engagement/assessment period/moderation period/exam board/decision.

8. What support is available?

See the TSL@USW Deadlines, Panels and Workshops page for details of support and to book onto our range of seminars and workshops.

9. What is an Introductory workshop?

These workshops will be run throughout the year on all campuses and will be open to anyone thinking about preparing a future claim i.e. people can attend more than once, and a year or more in advance of their ‘slot’, in order to maximize preparation time. See the TSL@USW Deadlines, Panels and Workshops page to book onto a workshop.

10. I am currently a Fellow, how do I apply for Senior Fellow?

You have a number of options register your interest: –

11. I teach on an HE course at a USW Partner College – can I still apply for Fellow / Senior Fellow?

Yes you can apply through our scheme and receive a 50% discount on the fee (see details on the Advance HE website).

12. I am an Hourly Paid Lecturer – is the scheme open to me?

Yes, if you are a member of USW staff and are treated as such with all of the same support and opportunities as a full-time member of staff.

13. I support students but I’m not in a teaching role – can I still apply for Fellowship?

Yes, if your role supports teaching and learning you are eligible to apply for Associate Fellow/Fellow.

14. If I attend one of the CELT workshops, do I have to commit to submitting an application to the next panel?

No you are welcome to attend any CELT seminars and/or workshops with no obligation.

15. How often are the TSL@USW panels?

THE TSL@USW run three panels three times a year with deadlines and panels in: –

  • February
  • June
  • October

Please see the TSL@USW Deadlines, Panels and Workshops page for dates of all upcoming deadlines and panels.

16. Who are the decision makers?

The decision makers are a pan University team with representatives from FBS, FCI, FCES, FLSE, CELT and an External Examiner.

17. How would getting this benefit me?

The HEA knows from student surveys such as our Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) and the HEA-HEPI 2017 Student Academic Experience Survey that students care about good quality teaching. By aligning your practice to the UKPSF you show that you are committed to improving the quality of your teaching and supporting of learning to enhance the learning experience of your students.

A comprehensive framework and guidelines for everyone involved in teaching and supporting learning in HE, it can be applied to personal development programmes at individual or institutional level to improve teaching quality.

18. What are the benefits to us as an institution?

At a time when the higher education sector is increasingly focused on teaching excellence, the UKPSF provides an external indication that a standard has been met and that as an institution we are committed to improving the student learning experience. A nationally-recognised framework for benchmarking success within HE teaching and learning support, the UKPSF is used by institutions to:

  • enhance the quality and prominence of teaching and learning activities;
  • inform the professional development programmes for staff;
  • provide an environment in which staff are encouraged and supported to develop their practice.

19. What is “Remaining in Good Standing”?

It is implicit within the UKPSF, and required by the HEA, that all categories of Fellowship remain in good standing. A person or organisation is said to be in good standing if they have fulfilled their obligations. It is the responsibility of individuals to ensure they remain in good standing and continue to work in line with their relevant Fellow descriptor standard (as outlined in the Framework) and the HEA Code of Practice. All Fellows should therefore be able to demonstrate compliance with (at least) their awarded level at any given time.

All those who have been awarded HEA recognition should record their professional development activity to ensure that they remain in good standing. We support development, and compliance with all categories of Fellowship, through workshops, seminars and conferences, research and resources.

20. How do I become a Mentor on the TSL@USW scheme?

Go to the Mentoring and Assessing page to learn more.

21. How do I become an Assessor on the TSL@USW scheme?

Go to the Mentoring and Assessing page to learn more.

22. I’ve been asked to write a reference – what does that involve?

A template is provided for referees that sets out what is expected. It can be downloaded from the TSL@USW Blackboard organisation.

23. Who do I go to with queries about my application?

In the first instance your mentor, HOLTSE or TSL@USW Scheme Lead or email fellow@southwales.ac.uk.

24. Where can I find all the dates for seminars and the submission dates?

Please see the TSL@USW Deadlines, Panels and Workshops page for dates of all upcoming deadlines and panels.

25. What happens if my application is “referred?”

You will have the opportunity to work with a member of the TSL@USW team to refocus and strengthen the claims to represent it to the next panel.

26. What are the Workload expectations for claimaints?

  • Writing a claim / preparing an oral claim and accompanying narrative takes about 3 days of writing, editing, reading etc.
  • However, the preparation for the writing process is often long and spread over a few months, if not longer. Involving periods of reflective writing, case study sourcing, reading books, journals, professional and other policy documents, tracking through past lesson plans, external examiners reports, feedback etc this phase is critical as colleagues start to understand their practice in the terms of the UKSPF, own it and draw together a claim for professional UKHE teacher recognition.
  • Attending an early Introductory workshop can be very helpful to set people off on the right track and, with their ASM, plan a likely timeline.
  • Mentors will be allocated to claimants once a Panel nominations list to a specific panel has been received by fellow@southwales.ac.uk.