I have been recognised as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I briefly mentioned that I was applying for this in October, and finally submitted my application in March. And they emailed me this morning to say my application has been accepted.
Now, if you work in Higher Education you probably know a bit more about the Higher Education Academy. If not, you might wonder what I’m on about and what an AFHEA is good for. The Higher Education Academy (HEA) lists the benefits of professional recognition on their website:
‘By applying to become an Associate Fellow you will have the opportunity to:
- Think deeply about and thereby enhance the quality and effectiveness of your work in the area of teaching and supporting learning in higher education;
- Ensure your practice as a teacher and/or supporter of learning is aligned with a nationally recognised standard for higher education
- Gain national recognition for your role as a teacher and/or supporter of learning within the higher education context.’
I found it useful to look at my work and relate it to an official standard, the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), as it helped me to see the gaps in my professional development plan, and to plan how to address these. It is also a useful process for showing how my role is relevant to the university I work for, and how it relates to wider aims. I was already used to reflecting on my work and development from having completed the chartership process, so the AFHEA wasn’t as daunting, but really helped me to relate my skills to the Higher Education sector.