New framework, new challenges

You may have heard colleagues talking about it, you may be doing it yourself! In fact, hundreds of staff undertake training for teaching and learning skills and qualifications via the CREATE team. From new staff undertaking the Introduction to HE Teaching programme, to those embarking on any level of the HEA Fellowship scheme, to those on the PGCAP route, there are many ways to get trained up and recognised for your pedagogic practice. In this blog, I want to focus on a new development in how teaching and learning is framed in the sector.

If you haven’t heard of it already, AdvanceHE is a professional membership organisation that promotes excellence in higher education. The University of Bristol’s CREATE team run programmes accredited by AdvanceHE so that staff can get internationally recognised qualifications in-house. Staff get bespoke support, training, advice and relevant understanding within the CREATE PGCAP and HEA Fellowship programmes. CREATE run drop-in sessions, provide one-to-one support and all-day writing retreats, ensuring that staff can achieve their best at any level of qualification.

This week, AdvanceHE released a report on how they are updating their professional standards framework, the UKPSF. The framework covers all areas of values and competencies that are essential for good practice. In successive categories of fellowship, for example, more areas of the framework are expected to be covered by applicants. For a lot of staff, getting this qualification is essential to securing an academic role or promotion. Over 500 staff are currently enrolled on the (HEA) Fellowship Scheme alone at Bristol!

AdvanceHE put together a report on how they have changed the UKPSF. It is a revealing insight into what education professionals consider to be relevant to teaching and learning now and into the future. An extensive consultation was undertaken to ensure that any changes really reflect what the sector wants and needs. Over eight-hundred professionals in twenty countries were consulted!

Across the UK, it has been received really well, with many applauding its topical coverage and level of challenge. In particular, the document recognises the importance of inclusion and collaboration that acknowledges diverse voices and perspectives. I was very pleased to see a depth of appreciation for the importance placed on the context of teaching and learning practice. It was a little sad to see Education for Sustainable Development drop off the agenda during the review process, but I suppose it’s impossible to include everything.

For AdvanceHE, this framework is not just about recognising good practice as it is, but also is useful in driving the direction of where good practice should go. It’s about shaping standards that reflect values, competencies and areas of concern that matter most to higher education. The new framework means some updates to our processes, but the changes are welcome ones that will benefit our staff and students long into the future.

You can find out more about all of our academic staff development training opportunities here:

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