The Professional Standards Framework (PSF) 2023 and Senior Fellowship
Senior Fellowship is awarded to professionals who demonstrate they meet the criteria of Descriptor 3 (D3) of the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) 2023 for teaching and supporting learning in higher education. It is suitable for individuals whose comprehensive understanding and effective practice provides a basis from which they lead or influence the learning and teaching practices of others (peers, colleagues, mentees, etc.) who teach and/or support high-quality learning.
To be awarded Senior Fellowship, individuals must evidence that their effective and inclusive practice meets the following three Descriptor 3 criteria statements:
- D3.1 a sustained record of leading or influencing the practice of those who teach and/or support high quality learning
- D3.2 practice that is effective, inclusive and integrates all Dimensions
- D3.3 practice that extends significantly beyond direct teaching and/or direct support for learning
We recommend that prior to starting your application you use our free online Fellowship Category Tool to check that Senior Fellowship is right category of fellowship for your practice.
Are you considering applying for Senior Fellowship?
From 1 January 2024, only applications made against PSF 2023, using the correct PSF 2023 templates will be accepted. Your application MUST NOT reference aspects of UKPSF 2011 such as Core Knowledge K6. Any such references will result in your application being returned. Application documents for PSF 2023 are available here: PSF 2023.
Senior Fellowship (SFHEA) offers you many benefits, including:
- Consolidating your personal development and evidence of influencing other colleagues’ professional practice in your higher education career;
- Demonstrating your commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development;
- Senior Fellowship is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion for management and leadership positions;
- For individuals, to identify their expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters – SFHEA;
- Recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.
Is Senior Fellowship for you?
Senior Fellows lead and influence academic practice and higher education learning in a many different settings. Working with and through ‘others’ (e.g. colleagues, peers, mentees, etc.) they operate to support, guide and initiate change or lead / influence enhancement of practice in a wide range of global contexts. Their contribution is effective, benefitting students and their learning experiences in a variety of ways.
Senior Fellowship is not role dependent and there are many different contexts in which you might be leading and/or influencing the practice of others. You will need to explore whether you have sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of Descriptor 3.
If you feel that you are working within this category download your Senior Fellow guidance pack to find out more about how to apply.
Fellowship Category Tool
Our Fellowship Category Tool has been designed to help you understand which category of Fellowship most closely reflects your current practice and to reflect on your ongoing professional development and career aspirations.
After you have answered a series of choice questions, which will take around 10-20 minutes, you will be shown your results and a PDF report summarising your responses will be sent to you.
The Professional Standards Framework 2023 (PSF 2023)
The Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (PSF) has global recognition for raising the profile of teaching and learning in higher education. The PSF’s contribution to reward and recognition is unsurpassed, being used by individuals, institutions and national bodies.
The PSF 2023 is an inclusive Framework that recognises the critical role of the context in which practice takes place and is more accessible to all professionals with a role in teaching and supporting learning.
Applying and application fees
There are various application routes for Fellowship, they are made in writing and need to be supported by written references. Find out more about the available application routes.
Application fees vary depending on the route you take to Fellowship, with individuals from subscribing institutions benefiting from discounted fees.
Senior Fellow Writing Retreats
If you are thinking of applying for Senior Fellowship, our Senior Fellow Writing Retreats are designed to help you create an application that fully reflects your practice.
|Routes to Fellowship
|Accredited Provision (individual from a member institution)
|Accredited Provision (individual from a non-member institution)
|Direct application to Advance HE (individual from a member institution)
|Direct application to Advance HE (individual from non-member institution)
Do you want to support your staff to achieve Fellowship?
Advance HE offers Fellowship support to institutions through a structured process:
- Fellowship workshops - sessions helping your staff understand Fellowship and the application process
- Fellowship Writing Retreats - expert support providing a structured and guided environment in which to construct an application for Fellowship
- draft Fellowship applications reviews - a consultant will review applications and provide annotated feedback, including points for further development.
All of these services can be delivered online.
Senior Fellow Stories
We are proud to share our Senior Fellows' stories of success and experience in higher education. Our Senior Fellow Stories page consists of a series of blogs contributed by some of our senior fellows, sharing their experience and offering helpful tips for those who are considering applying.