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Accreditation for PGRs Who Teach

Higher Education Academy Accreditation for PGRs Who Teach:
Support Scheme

Many postgraduate research students (PGRs) are involved in teaching during their research degree; these teaching duties can range from running tutorials and seminars to overseeing lab demonstrations to assessing student work.  The University Graduate College offers PGRs support to achieve Higher Education Academy (HEA) Associate Fellow status as recognition for your teaching experience.

What does achieving HEA recognition mean?

Associate Fellow status of the Academy is a qualification that is recognised across UK higher education and therefore can provide you with transferable recognition of your expertise and commitment as a teacher.  Furthermore, external recognition of your teaching activities is likely to assist your career development, particular if you are interested in securing a lecturing post after the completion of your PhD.  For more information on recognition levels, visit the HEA website.

Information about the Support Scheme

Eligibility for the Scheme:

This Support Scheme is open to all PGRs who teach, although those who meet the following criteria are more likely to be successful:

Examples of University Graduate College teaching workshops include:

What does the Support Scheme offer?

You will attend a 2-hour workshop which provides background information on the application process and will answer any questions you may have about what is required. To book a place on a workshop, please click here.

If you wish, you can be paired with a mentor, who will read and advise on your application before submission.  (You can opt to not have a mentor assigned by the University Graduate College.)  If you already have a mentor in place, please provide your mentor’s details to Dr. Afia Ahmed (email:

If you wish, you can be given access to resources to assist you in preparing your application, and you can also join a network for applicants.

What else do I need?

Your application must also include supporting statements from two referees.  The referees should be colleagues who are in a position to comment on the content of your application and on your professional practice in teaching.

In addition, the Academy requires that your application is endorsed by a signatory who will confirm that your application has institutional approval.  Normally, the Deputy Dean of the University Graduate College will endorse applications of students who have completed the Support Scheme.

How much does it cost?

There is no additional charge for the Support Scheme, however the HEA charges a submission fee of £100, which is a reduced amount as Cardiff University is a subscribing institution. This fee is non-refundable.  However, if an applicant is unsuccessful at the first submission, HEA accepts one resubmission without charging further fees.  The fee includes registration for life with the HEA.

Can I apply direct without accessing the Support Scheme?

Absolutely, but you will need to have access to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)  and a working knowledge of its contents in order to prepare your application.  The recognition process is not a ‘rubber stamping’ exercise or simply an assessment of how much teaching you have done, so we would encourage you to take advantage of this support for the best chance of success.

If you do not wish to join the Support Scheme but would like to have access to resources, please email with your name and School. Please state ‘Access to HEA Learning Resources’ in the subject line.

If you have any queries about the Support Scheme, please contact Dr. Afia Ahmed (email: or call 029 208 79408.

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