Skip to main content

ASPIRE Professional Recognition Pathway

ASPIRE Professional Recognition Pathway

Welcome to the ASPIRE Professional Recognition Pathway, the University of Exeter's experiential route to fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE). All key information for applicants, assessors, and mentors is found on our dedicated SharePoint site, but we’ve summarised key information below to help you navigate this and answer any initial questions.

Which levels of fellowship can I apply for?

There are four categories of fellowship available through the Professional Recognition Pathway:

  • Associate Fellowship: for AFHEA, you'll be 'able to provide evidence of effectiveness in relation to a professional role(s)’. This will typically include at least some teaching and/or learning support responsibilities, sometimes undertaken with the assistance of more experienced teachers or mentors.
  • FellowshipFellowship requires 'evidence of broadly based effectiveness in more substantive teaching and supporting learning role(s)’. Applicants are likely to be established members of one or more academic and/or academic-related teams. At Exeter, the PRP is the principal route to FHEA for colleagues in Professional Services, on Associate or Research only contracts, or for E&R or E&S Lecturers exempt from the otherwise mandatory Academic Professional Programme.
  • Senior Fellowship: here you'll need 'evidence of a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning’ and to demonstrate your influence over others’ education practice, such as through the organisation, leadership and/or management of specific aspects of teaching and learning provision.
  • Principal Fellowship: PFHEA is suitable for those who can provide ‘evidence of a sustained and effective record of impact at a strategic level in relation to teaching and learning’. This strategic influence and impact may be either internally across the institution, or more broadly across (inter)national settings.

To determine which category is best for you and your experience to date, use Advance HE’s Fellowship Category Tool.

Who is eligible to apply?

You’ll be eligible to make an application for fellowship via the PRP if:

  • you've been working at the University of Exeter for nine months when you submit your application;
  • you have:
    • approximately three years' experience in HE for FHEA;
    • at least three years’ experience in HE for SFHEA, including sustained experience influencing colleagues’ practice;
    • typically three to five years of strategic impact for PFHEA.

How do I apply?

You can apply through either a written or dialogic submission in which you will reflect on your practice to date, demonstrate how you meet the descriptors of your chosen level of fellowship, and evidence the UKPSF against which our fellowships are currently accredited. Please note that the new 'PSF 2023' will be used from our next ASPIRE reaccreditation in September 2024.

With the exception of PFHEA applications, we run rolling deadlines throughout the year, so you can apply when you are ready. PFHEA applications are assessed at three panels during the year (one per term).

When you feel that you are prepared to proceed with an application, we ask you to complete an ‘Intention to Submit’ form, which you can find on the relevant fellowship pages of our SharePoint site. This will typically trigger a 6-week timeline for your submission, so we recommend identifying and working backwards from a suitable date for submission before you complete the form.

What support is on offer?

We recommend that all applicants attend our regular Guidance Workshops, and we offer fortnightly writing spaces for you to dedicate time to crafting your application at any point in the year. Further information about these events, including links to book your place, is found at the bottom of our SharePoint homepage.

Each fellowship Sharepoint page also includes guidance on preparing an application, including exemplars, support with evidencing the UKPSF dimensions, and help with reflecting on your practice. Just navigate to the grey sections towards the bottom of each descriptor page.

In the meantime, please do get in touch via with any questions or comments.

Principal Fellows of the Higher Education Academy