Developing Collegiality: International Perspectives on the Perceptions of Impact of Gaining Fellowship Aligned to the (UK) Professional Standards Framework

Sarah Floyd, Vicky Davies, Fiona Smart, Rachael Carkett, Mark Dransfield

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


There is significant growth in the number of UK and overseas institutions seeking opportunities for staff to gain professional recognition for their effective practice in higher education. For many, this has been through the development of HEA accredited continuing professional development (CPD) schemes. As of 2017, 151 institutions in 4 countries operate such schemes leading to the award of Fellowships in all categories (HEA data, Feb 2017), resulting in the award of over 85.000 HEA fellows (ibid). Early evaluations suggest these schemes are positive in their influence, however, to date, this is largely anecdotal. An early study by Spowart et. Al. (2015 p1) is one of few. It posed the question ‘how institutions recognise and reward individuals’ commitment to teaching and learning’ by exploring the experiences of staff engagement with one institutional scheme. It is timely, therefore, to extend understanding by focusing on perceived impacts from a participant perspective across a wider range of institutions. This study explores the perceived longitudinal impact that engagement with institutional routes to Fellowship has had on staff in universities in the UK and Australia. Interestingly, although Fellowship is awarded at the individual level, this study has surfaced evidence that the Fellowship process creates opportunities for new connections and networks e.g. through a focus on dialogue and use of mentoring. This paper reflects on our findings, focusing on the benefits of engagement with recognition processes, and the value of broader collegial discourse on teaching (Spiller, 2002; Clark, 2001) through:  recognition as a trigger for ongoing engagement with learning and teaching and the development of meaningful communities of practice (Wenger, 2000);  the value of recognition in brokering new professional relationships and expanding the usual “significant networks” (Roxå & Mårtensson, 2009);  empowering the wider professional HE community.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2017
Event22ND ANNUAL SEDA CONFERENCE: Developing Teaching Excellence: Supporting and Developing the Work of Groups and Teams - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Nov 201717 Nov 2017


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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