Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP): Exemption guidance notes

This guidance note is intended to help College Deans to assess requests for exemption from PCAP. This Certificate programme addresses the complex role of academics in terms of their identities as Researchers, Teachers, Managers and External Consultants.  It provides practical and theoretical frameworks to help individuals to understand and respond to the demands placed upon them as new staff in the University.

Whilst this note provides some guidance in respect of what level and type of teaching experience would justify exemption, it is left to the College to decide whether the member of staff has sufficient appropriate experience to justify exemption.

Evidence required

All new lecturers are expected to undertake the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice unless they either have an equivalent qualification from another institution or have more than 3 years full-time HE teaching experience.

In order to ensure consistency and an audit trail for decisions made in relation to participants being exempted from PCAP, a record of the following information should be gathered by the College:

  1. Number of years teaching experience (including the number of hours undertaken over the year). This would usually be in excess of 50 hours per year to qualify and can include the following activities: delivery of modules, tutorials, PhD supervision, dissertation supervision, external examining…
  2. Level of teaching undertaken. This would usually need to have involved developing a range of different modules, either for sole delivery or as part of a team, and assuming the role of module leader.
  3. Teaching observation carried out in line with peer observation practices of the College at Exeter (this may involve observing more than just lectures). Assistance can be sought from Education Enhancement.

Based on this information a College Dean can decide to exempt a member of staff from PCAP. In such cases, the College Dean may still require the member of staff to attend some ‘Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’ (LTHE) sessions/modules and other short courses including Doctorial Supervision (this is a requirement in cases where the person has little or no experience of supervision).

Details are available from or People Development.

Exempted staff should also be encouraged to apply for Fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy. Support is available to assist them with the process from Education Enhancement.