What is HEA Fellowship?

AdvanceHE (previously the Higher Education Academy - HEA), provides formal recognition of professional practice in higher education teaching and learning support, through awarding Fellowships to academics, university teachers and higher education professionals. An HEA Fellowship can provide international, professional, peer recognition of your experience and expertise in university teaching, learning and the student experience.

Applying for an HEA Fellowship will support you to review, develop and demonstrate your practice across the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) - an internationally recognised framework for benchmarking success within higher education. It does this by engaging you in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development.

There are four categories of HEA Fellows reflecting a wide range of practical educational experience: Associate Fellow (AFHEA), Fellow (FHEA); Senior Fellow (SFHEA); and Principal Fellow (PFHEA). Achievement of one level of Fellowship will help you to progress to higher levels - and you will help others to do the same. That’s the beauty of “fellowship”.

At ACU we have over 75 Fellows, with representation across all faculties. In Australia there are 25 institutions participating in the scheme, with approximately 3875 fellows nationally. Internationally, there are more than 400 institutions participating with over 135,000 fellows worldwide. Thus, fellowship status not only recognises your existing contributions and experience, but ties you into a vibrant local, national and international community of educators. Writing your application forms a type of development in itself and, since fellowship is awarded by peers using a validated framework, fellowship status can be used as evidence in job or promotions applications.

The Advance Fellowship scheme is open to all staff within the University who have roles which relate to teaching and/or supporting learning. This includes staff who hold an academic or professional appointment at ACU, including casual academics/ tutors, educational designers, library support staff, learning advisors, and more. HEA fellowships recognise all contributions to teaching and learning within higher education which includes tutoring, lecturing and unit/ course coordination, but also encompasses contributions made by those working in areas such as educational design and curriculum management, as well as those involved in strategy and leadership. Information about the costs associated with applying for Fellowship can be found at the end of this webpage, or on the Advance HE website.

`Fellowship is awarded to university educators who can demonstrate evidence of teaching and learning against three Dimensions of Practice (as outlined in the UK Professional Standards Framework):

  1. Areas if activity (5 areas)
  2. Core Knowledge (6 areas)
  3. Professional values (4 areas)

All the experience and evidence included in the application must relate to higher education provision (i.e. level 5 or above of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Activity which may also be considered as evidence equivalent to the higher education framework include:

  • Activity focused on supporting students within a Higher Education context, providing the student(s) are enrolled on a Higher Education Qualification;
  • Delivery of non-accredited continuing professional development for academic and learning support staff.

If you are interested in pursuing a Fellowship, we recommend the following steps:

  • Familiarise yourself with the UK Professional Standards Framework (the UKPSF).
  • Use the Advance HE Fellowship Tool to determine which category of Fellowship is right for you.
  • Download a copy of the relevant guidance notes from the AdvanceHE website for which you wish to apply (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA).
  • Academic staff should refer to the UKPSF Dimensions of the Framework document. This document provides an indication, rather than a definitive list, of activities which relate to the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning. This document will help to explain what is meant by the terms used in the UKPSF.
  • Professional staff should refer to the UKPSF Dimensions of the Framework - staff in learning support roles document. This guide has been developed specifically for those members of university staff who are closely involved in teaching, learning development and learning support through their work with front-line services and broader professional remits.

The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) offers you support with your application through a Fellowship Program. Although applications can be submitted directly to AdvanceHE through the My Advance HE portal at any time of year, LTC strongly recommends you engage with the support provided through this program.

The LTC program consists of structured access to information, online workshops and individual mentoring.

We are currently calling for Expressions of Interest for Round 2 2021: due Monday 13 September 2021. Before submitting an EOI, read the next section for more information.

You are invited to submit an expression of interest for a sponsored place in the Advance HE Fellowship scheme at ACU.

Recognition as a Fellow is increasingly becoming an internationally recognised benchmark of your learning and teaching excellence in higher education. Although the scheme originated in the UK, more than half the universities in Australia now utilise this scheme. 

The Learning and Teaching Centre is pleased to offer a limited number of people an opportunity to receive assistance in becoming a Fellow of Advance HE. 

This scheme is open to all staff within the University who have roles which relate to teaching and/or supporting learning, and we welcome expressions of interest across all four categories of Fellowship (Associate FellowFellow, Senior FellowPrincipal Fellow). 

Preference will be given to staff members who contribute to a culture of excellence in learning and teaching at ACU, and to those who have not yet received training and support from a mentor in previous rounds.

The support LTC is offering consists of: 

  1. 2 x 2-hour online workshops - the first on Wednesday 22 September 10am-12pm AEST; the second workshop on Wednesday 6 October 10am-12pm AEDT. These workshops are focused on guiding you through the UKPSF and supporting you with writing your application. These workshops will be recorded if you cannot attend.
  2. Mentorship - you will be paired with a mentor from our pool of Fellows at ACU. You will be contacted by 27 September regarding your mentee/s.
  3. Cost of assessment - LTC will cover the cost of submitting your application for assessment to Advance HE (Latest date for submission of final applicationWednesday 19 January 2022).

Applications that are not successful at the first submission will be allowed one further submission after revision.

What do I have to do?

The LTC will cover the cost of the workshops and your final assessment through Advance HE. In return for your place on this program, LTC requires that you agree to mentor a minimum of three ACU staff members to also become Fellows following your own success.

We also expect that you will have the capacity to commit to the time required to write the application, and that you maintain regular communication with your mentor. 

Which category?

Complete the Advance HE Fellowship Category Toolwhich has been designed to assist you in selecting the category of Fellowship that is the closest match to your current practice. 


Complete the EOI form by Monday 13 September 2021.

How are the EOIs assessed?

There are a limited number of funded places available in each round. We also rely on the generosity of our mentors, so the capacity and availability of our mentors is taken into consideration.

Preference will be given to those who have not yet received training and support from a mentor in previous rounds, and prioritised according to the contribution made to learning and teaching ACU. 

Places are strictly capped. Once the form is closed, you will have the opportunity to put your name on a waiting list.

If your EOI is successful you will be notified by Wednesday 15 September 2021, and introduced to your mentor the following week (beginning Monday 27 September).

For more information on HEA Fellowships, contact the Fellowship team (Vanessa Fredericks and Elizabeth Watson) atFellowships.LTC@acu.edu.au

If you don’t want to, can’t, or miss out on joining one of these programs, you can also opt to proceed individually. In this case however, you will need to wait until a mentor becomes available. If no mentor becomes available to assist you prior to the next round, you will be added to that round instead - and, you’ll get more support.

LTC has successfully negotiated for ACU to be an Access Partner with AdvanceHE. LTC pays an annual fee for this access. In return, ACU staff receive a 50% discount on the assessment/application fee associated with each level of fellowship (shown in the second column on the table). Fees are charged in pounds sterling, but the table below shows approximate Australian dollar values too.

Please note that from 1 April 2021, there will be an increase to the fees of direct applications for Fellowship. This is the first Fellowship fee increase in over seven years and reflects the increased costs Advance HE have been able to absorb until now. Find out more in Advance HE's Application fees FAQs.

The new Fellowship application fees will be: 

Category Direct application to the Advance HE (individual from a subscribing institution) Direct application to the Advance HE (individual from a non-subscribing institution)
Associate Fellow £150 ($300 AUD) £300
Fellow £220 ($400 AUD) £440
Senior Fellow £330 ($600 AUD) £660
Principal Fellow £550 ($1,000 AUD) £1,100

Click here to view a current list of Fellows at ACU.

Click here to view a list of Mentors at ACU.

Who should I contact?

For more information on HEA Fellowships, contact Dr Vanessa Fredericks, Senior Lecturer in Academic Development at: Fellowships.LTC@acu.edu.au

Page last updated on 31/10/2021

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