Award Panel

The award panel includes representation from both institutions as well as an external member from another UK university. We also invite the HEA to send an experienced UKPSF reviewer, where such a person from our Wales network is unavailable.

The panel convenes twice yearly and includes:

  • Chair: A PVC responsible for teaching and learning (alternating between universities)
  • Both Heads of Academic Development
  • One Co-ordinator of PGCertHE (alternating between universities)
  • One Academic teaching staff member with SFHEA
  • Chair of Welsh sub-panel.
  • An external member experienced in making assessment decisions against all four Descriptors of the UKPSF as an HEA accreditor.
  • HR representative.


Reviewers are drawn from a wide cross-section of senior and cross-disciplinary roles. This team includes: existing Fellows from both institutions’ teaching excellence recognition schemes; those with extensive experience of assessing PGCTHE portfolios; holders of student-led teaching awards; SFHEA and PFHEA holders; NTFS holders and staff serving as HEA reviewers.   All will receive training before acting as reviewers. Applications will be sent to two reviewers holding appropriate characteristics (holders of Fellowships at the same category or above) or, in the case of applications for Principal Fellow, 3 reviewers. Some panel members will also serve as reviewers.

Criteria for assessment judgments

Guidelines for the conferment of Associate Fellow and Fellow

 The application – to be set out on the prescribed pro-forma- will comprise:

  • Teaching context details
  • Teaching philosophy statement
  • Claim grid ( narrative against the criteria)
  • 2 disciplinary peer references
  • Peer Observation evidence
  • CPD Plan
  • Line manager sign off form

The Panel will determine whether the applicant meets the respective areas of the UKPSF through the following evidence:

  • awareness of pedagogical issues, both generally and within their discipline
  • ability to choose, adapt and apply methods and approaches that are relevant to the context in which they work
  • integration of scholarship, research and/or professional activities with teaching and supporting learning
  • ability to demonstrate that evaluation and continuing professional development inform their practice

Questions that the reviewers and panel will use to judge the evidence include:

  • Are the Dimensions of the UKPSF sufficiently evidenced?
  • Is the integration of Core Knowledge and Professional Values into the Areas of Activity convincing? 
  • Is there a tangible sense of the relationship with the student group?
  • Are the examples chosen as evidence appropriate to demonstrate the appropriate Descriptor?
  • Is there evidence of personal learning and reflection in the examples chosen?
  • Do the examples demonstrate a reasoned and justified approach (rather than just a description) supported by pedagogic evidence?

Guidelines for the conferment of Senior Fellow

The application will be presented on the appropriate pro-forma and will comprise:

  • teaching context statement
  • a reflective narrative of the applicant’s teaching philosophy and current practice (over the last 2-3 years) informed by the first six attributes of Descriptor 3 of the UK PSF and which demonstrates their sustained success as a teacher, plus successful and sustained engagement with continuing professional development (3000 words)
  • two case studies which specifically address the differentiation of Descriptor 3 (as outlined within the document (3000 words)
  • two references, one from someone senior to the applicant, one from a mentee.
  • CPD Plan
  • line manager sign off form

Questions for the reviewers and panel

Applications will be judged against Descriptor 3 of the UKPSF and will include evidence of Descriptor 2.

Further questions that the panel will use to judge the evidence include:

  • Are all the Dimensions of the Framework sufficiently evidenced?
  • Is the integration of core knowledge and professional values into the areas of activity convincing?
  • Is there evidence of a thorough understanding of strategies and approaches to learning and teaching?
  • Do the examples chosen demonstrate a deep understanding of pedagogy?
  • Is the evidence of sustained leadership and/or mentoring and its impact on learning and teaching of others convincing?
  • Do the case studies illustrate the particular aspects of Descriptor 3 effectively?
  • Applicants may or may not already have Fellow recognition (Descriptor 2).  It is expected that all applications will provide:
  • Evidence of meeting dimensions of Descriptor 2, or if already conferred, evidence of ongoing recent engagement with Descriptor 2
  • Further evidence for attaining Descriptor 3 

Where there is insufficient evidence to confer Senior Fellow, Fellow recognition where not already attained may be conferred.

Guidelines for the conferment of Principal Fellow

The application will be presented on the appropriate proforma and will comprise:

  • Context details
  • a reflective statement of the applicant’s practice (over the last 5 years) reflecting their philosophy and leading to the development and application of their strategic leadership. This will be informed by the dimensions of Descriptor 4 of the UKPSF (1500 words)
  • four case studies (each of 1500 words) that demonstrate specific examples of evidence covering each attribute (I – IV) described under Descriptor 4.  Attribute V should be inherent within all the submitted documentation.
  • Also included will be three references, one from a colleague internal to the institution, one from a colleague external to the employing institution and the third from a person more senior than the applicant. Referees are expected to comment directly on the content of the application, and to make additional, relevant comment as they wish.

Further questions that the reviewers and panel will use to judge the evidence include:

  • Are all the Dimensions of the Framework sufficiently evidenced?
  • Is there evidence of effective championing of the UKPSF?
  • Is the evidence of sustained, effective strategic leadership convincing?
  • Is there evidence of genuine impact in relation to the enhancement of learning and teaching practice within the University and/or (inter)nationally?
  • To what extent is the development of others evident, and the resulting effectiveness of this in relation to driving change and ensuring sustainability?
  • Are the examples given current, relevant and show a personal and institutional commitment to high quality learning and teaching?
  • Does the individual provide a reflective account, which evidences a highly integrated approach to their research/scholarship and professional activities?
  • Has evidence been provided of a deep understanding and championing of pedagogy?
  • Do the case studies illustrate the particular aspects of Descriptor 4 effectively?

Application through the medium of Welsh

Both institutions are committed to providing the opportunity to engage in all activities through the medium of Welsh. Translation of applications is not acceptable as nuances in meaning can be lost. Rather than run parallel panels for Welsh and English applications, which would pose problems with consistency, a joint Welsh-medium sub-panel will consider all Welsh-medium applications. The sub-panel will prepare recommendations on the basis of the criteria which will be passed to the main panel by the Chair of the sub-panel.

Referred applications

All unsuccessful applications will receive detailed feedback and be offered consultancy before resubmission. In some cases, applications, while being referred at one descriptor, may nevertheless offer sufficient evidence for fellowship at another. In such cases, the panel may decide to immediately award at the agreed descriptor or suggest a resubmission at that level.  Similarly, it may be evident, from applications that a higher category of fellowship may be justified, in which case, this will be indicated in the feedback and a resubmission at a higher category recommended.

Record keeping

The application, the assessors’ response and the resulting letter from the Chair of the panel are all kept on record. Also recorded are minutes of each meeting, and a database of all applications presented to the panel.

The outcomes of each panel are sent to HR to be recorded, and to the relevant Director of Institute, Dean of School. Head of Department or Service and Director of Learning and Teaching.

Identification of good practice

Examples of good practice will follow the example of PGCertHE Exam Boards and will be noted at the panel meeting. These are used in a number of ways:

  • thematic ideas are embedded into workshops for applicants 
  • as exemplars (with appropriate consent)
  • to encourage individuals to disseminate through other networks and publication where appropriate.
  • to encourage those professionally recognised to progress through applications for teaching awards and through teaching routes to promotion, where appropriate.

Quality assurance

The joint panels, that include members from other institutions in Wales or beyond, are a key feature to ensure quality and consistency of decisions across both institutions in the scheme.

Both institutions operate an assessment process for their certificate routes whereby work is wholly or partly assessed by experienced academics.  All of these assessors are now previous successful participants on the certificate and so will have a clear understanding the criteria for D1 and D2. However, to ensure consistency between awards made on the basis of completing the certificate with those applying directly, we will include active certificate assessors on the award panel and encourage other panel members to assess or familiarise themselves with the standards of submitted certificate work.  Education development staff also take part in both assessment processes.