Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching



The University of South Wales’ UKPSF Recognition Scheme (Teaching and Supporting Learning: TSL@USW) aims to support and enable:

  • A high quality learning, teaching and assessment experience for all students across the University of South Wales Group;
  • Creativity, innovation and continuing professional development in learning, teaching and assessment for all staff engaged in delivering programmes, and those supporting learning;
  • Evidence of professionalism and excellence in academic practice;
  • Conferment of Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

These aims in turn support the University’s Mission to: “transform lives, economies and communities through accessible, distinctive and responsive education, innovation and engagement”.

  • It provides national recognition of commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education;
  • It demonstrates that practice is aligned with the UKPSF;
  • It provides an indicator of professional identity for higher education practitioners, including the entitlement to use post-nominal letters:
    • AFHEA: Associate of the Higher Education Academy.
    • FHEA: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
    • SFHEA: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
    • PFHEA: Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • It is a portable asset, recognised by higher and further education institutions throughout the UK and increasingly recognised by the international higher education sector;
  • It facilitates participation in professional networks, including discipline based networks;
  • It presents an opportunity to reflect and receive guidance on professional development in learning and teaching related practice;
  • If offers a framework for ongoing reflection and professional growth in teaching and supporting learning.

The scheme is open to anyone:

  1. employed by the University of South Wales who teaches and/or supports learning. This might include postgraduates who teach, technicians, teaching fellows, research officers, lecturers, professors, library staff, student services staff, and so on; or,
  2. teaching USW Higher Education courses in partner colleges. Please note that, unless your College has a subscription status with the HEA (please see details on the link in the footnote), you will be required to pay the HEA a fee before you can download your certificate and use the HEA post-nominals.

The main requirements are that you are teaching / supporting USW Higher Education learners, and that the range and extent of your contribution to learning and teaching is sufficient to meet the descriptors for your chosen fellowship category.

The HEA offers the guidance in Table 1. (Please note this is indicative, rather than prescriptive):

Table 1: Indicative HE / HE in FE role profiles for all categories of Fellowship. 

 HEA UKPSF indicative role profiles

Download an accessible version of the role profiles image.

  • TSL@USW application process requires you to reflect about the way you teach and/or support learning.
  • You are required to critically reflect on your practice whichever of the two pathways (written or oral) to Fellowship you decide to take.
  • Your reflections of teaching/supporting learning support will be based on evidence gathered from e.g. student evaluations, peer review, discussions with colleagues, the good practice literature etc.
  • The application forms provide you with a structured format to help achieve this. In this way, the TSL@USW is not a ‘tick-box’ exercise that just presents you with a badge in relation to your experience and expertise. It requires a deeply reflective, ongoing evaluation of your practice which in turn ensures robustness of the scheme, provides an indication of the value of the Associate Fellow/Fellow/Senior/Principal Fellow status and ensures its comparability with similar programmes across the UK.