PSF Pathway Programme - HEA Fellowship

What is HEA Fellowship?

HEA Fellowships are a globally recognised commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education.

A Fellowship is awarded if you have met the appropriate standards in teaching and supporting learning in higher education, aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).

Benefits of applying

Fellowship brings you a range of benefits:

  • Consolidates personal development and evidence of professional practice in your higher education career;
  • Demonstrates commitment to teaching, learning, and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development;
  • Provides a valuable measure of success that is increasingly recognised by UK international institutions as an important indicator that your professional practice is fully aligned with UKPSF practice
  • Highly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;
  • Identifies your expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters (SFHEA, PFHEA).

Gain recognition

The PSF Pathway Programme offers professional recognition for colleagues to achieve Senior and Principal Fellowship status. For those seeking Associate Fellow or Fellowship status, we have the EXPLORE@Brookes programme.

Fellowships are awarded on the basis of a successful and effective demonstration of the relevant UKPSF Descriptor.

  • Descriptor 3 - Senior Fellow (SFHEA) - If you have a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to higher education teaching and learning incorporating for example, the organisation, leadership and/or management of learning and teaching provision, HEA Senior Fellowship will provide recognition of and value to your professional practice.
  • Descriptor 4 - Principal Fellow (PFHEA) - If you have a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development, and you are seeking recognition of your experience, becoming a Principal Fellow may be for you.

How to register on the programme and next steps

  1. Complete the Fellowship Category Tool to determine which category is suitable for you.
  2. Send your results to This is your expression of interest.
  3. The PSF Pathway Co-ordinator will then meet with you to discuss confirming you on the programme.
  4. Once confirmed, a mentor will be allocated to you and access to our Moodle Site will be given. Also, a Google Folder will be provided to submit your completed claim.

Submission deadlines

  • There are two submission points each calendar year - the last Friday in February and the last Friday in July.  

Timescale for completion 

  • From when you start, you will have three opportunities to submit (meaning you will have a completion time range of approximately 18 months maximum). For example, if you start in September 2022, you can submit in February 2023 or July 2023 or February 2024. We encourage you to submit within 12 months of starting on the programme (usually the second available submission point).   
  • You need to be on the programme for a minimum of 4 months before submitting. If you want to complete your submission as soon as possible after entering the programme (and submit by the first submission point), the deadlines for expressions of interest are 1 November for a February submission and 1 April for a July submission.
  • You will be notified of the outcome within 12 weeks of the submission deadline.


“There's seldom time to reflect deeply on our teaching practice - but this scheme offers an opportunity to do just that. I particularly enjoyed connecting with colleagues who teach in different faculties across the University, and found the application process flexible and straightforward. Particular thanks to OCSLD for efficient, timely and tailored support.”

Dr Katharine Craik SFHEA

“The process was really worthwhile and I valued the opportunity to reflect on my work within the University and with sector bodies, and how this has been informed by my own skills and experience gained over 20 years in higher education. The conversations with my peer partner were particularly useful.”

Professor Sean Wellington