Approvals FAQs

Frequently asked questions:

1. What's the difference between HEA Approval and HEA Accreditation?
The defining feature of HEA Accreditation is that upon successful completion of an accredited programme or scheme, participating individuals are automatically eligible to be awarded professional recognition at the appropriate HEA Fellowship category.

HEA Approval differs from HEA Accreditation in that it does not automatically result in participating individuals being awarded professional recognition as a Fellow of the HEA. HEA Approval is external confirmation that a product/resource is aligned to the UKPSF and therefore may be used as evidence towards an application for HEA Fellowship.

2. What kind of resources can acquire HEA Approval?
Resource approval can cover a wide range of formats such as modules (online or offline), parts of programmes, supporting materials, guidebooks, etc.

3. How much does approval cost?
Approval is open to all providers of higher education and private companies. The initial suitability review, the licence and any requested consultancy services are charged on an individual basis to reflect the number, size and use of the resource(s) presented. The fee for application and presentation at an approval panel is £5,000 plus VAT.

4. How do I submit for approval?
A completed approval application document (and all supporting evidence) must be emailed to These guidance notes and associated approval documents are available on the HEA Approval webpage.

5. How can I find out what is already approved at my organisation?
A list of approved resources will be made available on the HEA website.

6. Which documents will I need to submit to the approval panel?
The main submission document is the approval application document and this should be accompanied by all resource documentation (e.g. a narrative about resource design, participants’ handbook, links to websites, etc.). Approval decisions are based on how explicit alignment and participant engagement with the UKPSF is assured.

Resource documentation accompanying an application should be in electronic format and can consist of PDF, word, excel, image files or hyperlinks to particular webpages.

7. How long will it take for my application to be reviewed?
The time taken for an application to be reviewed will vary depending on when you apply within the month and whether or not it is during a period of high demand. Once your application is received, you will be given an expected response date. Normally this will be within six weeks, but during periods of high demand this could be up to 12 weeks.

8. Can I reserve a place on a specific panel?
No. All applications will be allocated to the next available panel on a strictly first come, first served basis.

9. Do I need to have an initial suitability review before I put forward an application for approval?
Yes. The review is compulsory and is charged on an individual basis.

10. Can I get extra help to develop my application?
Yes. The HEA offers a comprehensive consultancy service, and can provide expert support in relation to the UKPSF and CPD resources. This can be arranged via our Consultancy team, who can be contacted at


If you have further questions or would like to discuss the HEA Approval service, our Approval team will be happy to speak to you. Please contact the Approval team at or call (01904) 717500 and ask for Approval.