UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)

The UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) (PDF, 727 kB) for teaching and supporting learning is for institutions to apply to their professional development programmes and activities thereby demonstrating that professional standards are being met. We support and guide both institutions and individuals as they engage with the UKPSF.

What is the framework?

The UK Professional Standards Framework provides a general description of the main dimensions of the roles of teaching and supporting learning within the HE environment. It is written from the perspective of the practitioner and outlines a national Framework for comprehensively recognising and benchmarking teaching and learning support roles within Higher Education.

The Framework has two components:

The Descriptors:

These are a set of statements outlining the key characteristics of someone performing four broad categories of typical teaching and learning support roles within Higher Education.

The Dimensions of Practice

These are a set of statements outlining the:

  1. Areas of Activity undertaken by teachers and supporters of learning within HE
  2. Core Knowledge that is needed to carry out those activities at the appropriate level
  3. Professional Values that someone performing these activities should embrace and exemplify

For more information see What is the Framework? (FGN1) (DOC, 78 kB), What are the Descriptors? (FGN2) (DOC, 88 kB) and What are the Dimensions of Practice? (FGN3) (DOC, 85.5 kB)


How has it changed?

There have been a number of detailed refinements and improvements to the Framework following the recent consultation and these are described in a separate information note. Two key changes have been revisions to Descriptor 3 and the addition of Descriptor 4. These two correspond to the categories of Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow respectively.

For more about the changes see How has the Framework changed? (FGN4) (DOC, 70 kB).

How does the Academy support the Framework?

The Academy provides a recognition and accreditation service which enables staff providing teaching and/or learning support to be recognised, depending on their role and experience as:

  • Descriptor 1: An Associate Fellow of the Academy
  • Descriptor 2: A Fellow of the Academy
  • Descriptor 3: A Senior Fellow of the Academy
  • Descriptor 4: A Principal Fellow of the Academy

What is it for?

Its central purpose is to help those seeking to enhance the learning experience of their students, by improving the quality of their teaching and learning support.

How can you use the framework?

The framework has been designed to cover all aspects of teaching and learning support. If you have a substantive role in the education of students or staff, it will be relevant to your situation.

Depending on your specific role you can use it to:

  • Become an Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow of the HEA. 
  • Plan and guide your CPD in the area of teaching and learning.
  • If you are involved in the training and development of teaching and/or learning support staff, you can use the framework to design and structure your development programmes.
  • You can also make use of the accreditation service provided by the HEA.
  • If you have a senior managerial role, you can use the framework to help you to enhance the quality and prominence of the teaching and learning activities within your remit.

For more information, see In what ways can the Framework be used? (FGN5) (DOC, 76.5 kB).