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Professional learning - level 4 Finding the right level Learning resources Recognition of professional learning Feedback

Professional learning - level 4

Level 4 focuses on developing strategic organisational leadership. It does not have an explicit teaching focus. Instead, it has a focus on tertiary education structures and settings such as schools, faculties, policies and systems.

This level supports staff in more senior and strategic leadership positions such as Professor, DHOS, HOS, ADLT and above. At this level, engaging with regulatory, strategic, national and international issues and networks to advance higher education outcomes and practices is the focus.

Finding the right level

Below you can view stories that reflect diverse staff roles, interests and learning objectives that are considered level 4 to help orient you to the appropriate resources for this level.

Cal - Executive

Cal is the Head of School for his discipline and is deeply engaged in assuring quality teaching and learning with a focus on innovating in the discipline and leading his staff to achieve improved student learning experiences and outcomes. Cal has been awarded for teaching excellence and has published in SoTL as well as in his discipline. He is interested in developing knowledge and skills in leading others in higher education and evidencing his leadership.

Maria - Library

Maria is a national library manager who is responsible for the delivery of the Library’s strategic goals relating to library learning and teaching. Maria participates in internal and external committees and promotes and oversees the development of Library learning and teaching services. She keeps up to date on contemporary practice and trends in higher education and uses this to guide her approach to implementing strategy and staff professional development. Maria is interested in building relationships and using evidence to advocate for the library’s systematic involvement in curriculum and teaching, ensuring the library is seen as integral to student success.

Rene - Faculty

Rene is the Dean of Faculty and leads many hundreds of staff responsible for educating thousands of students. She is a member of many internal and external Committees and is recognised in her discipline as a lead author in her field. She is keen to connect with other leaders from external institutions in Australia and overseas to broaden her networks and develop strategies to grow the reputation and impact of her Faculty and ACU. She is interested in learning more about higher education policy development and review as well as strategic management.

Learning resources

Professional Learning - level 4


Informal Learning


Reflective Practice and Collaboration


ACU Scholarship


Formal Coursework

Leadership in Higher Education Resources

ACU Academic Leadership Development Program

Teaching in the ACU Context


Teaching in the ACU Context

Working with the Academic Skills Unit

Values based decision making for leaders in Higher Education

Value Based Leadership in Higher Education Tool

Visiting scholar program

Visiting scholars (currently in development)

Masters in Higher Education

Masters in Higher Education (in development)

Recognition of professional learning

Once you are familiar and confident with the skills you have through these resources, you can now apply to be a Principal Fellow.

Principal Fellowship

Active commitment to and championing of all Dimensions of the UKPSF Framework, through work with students and staff, and in institutional developments. In addition, applicants must provide evidence of successful, strategic leadership to enhance student learning, with a particular, but not necessarily exclusive, focus on enhancing teaching quality in institutional, and/or (inter)national settings. Successful establishment of effective organisational policies and/or strategies for supporting and promoting others (e.g. through mentoring, coaching) to achieve high quality teaching and support for learning is a required achievement for Principal Fellowship. Further required evidence is the championing of an approach to academic practice that successfully integrates teaching, learning, research, scholarship and administration as well as a personal and sustained commitment to engaging in professional development related to academic, institutional and/or other professional practices.

Who to contact?

ACU supports staff interested in achieving any level of Advance HE Fellowship through mentoring. Please contact Fellowships.CEI@acu.edu.au for advice on Fellowship application support.

To prepare an application for a Teaching Citation or Award, it is recommended that you speak with your supervisor to identify School and Faculty options, then consult the CEI  website under Scholarly Development and Recognition for ACU wide opportunities and then AAUT (Australian Awards for University Teaching) for national awards.


For any feedback, to raise questions, or to to share comments on the professional learning program, send us an email at CEI@acu.edu.au. We look forward to hearing from you.

Page last updated on 16/01/2024

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