PCAP and the CPD framework – what’s the difference?

This is a question we often get asked, particularly by new staff. It’s a good question and worthy of clarification, which is the intention of this post.

The Academic Development Directorate provides a large and varied range of development opportunities for both new and more experienced academic staff. Two of its core offerings are the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) and the Recognising Academic Practice CPD Framework. Although both schemes lead to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), they are distinctly different.

About PCAP
The PCAP programme is a single 60 credit Masters level module. It is designed for colleagues who are new to academic teaching roles and who have less than two years’ experience teaching in a Higher Education setting. Participants meet regularly throughout the calendar year (Jan – Dec) to engage in formal face-to-face sessions around core themes such as Student Engagement, Learning & Teaching Practice, Assessment & Feedback and Designing the Educational Experience. The programme is supported by a dedicated team of trained tutors drawn from across the university. It is anticipated that by the end of the programme, participants will have developed a reflective approach to their own practice and a deeper understanding of the wider and often complex landscape of Higher Education.
The programme is aligned to Descriptor 2 of the UKPSF. Don’t worry too much if that doesn’t make a lot of sense at this stage. What is important is that by successfully completing the award, participants will gain not only Masters level credits, but also Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy which is seen a benchmark level of recognition for teaching excellence within the HE sector. The PCAP programme can also provide a route into further study into educational practice and research at Masters level and beyond.
The programme is led by Dr David Grey (SFHEA) and anyone wishing for more information should get in touch with him.


About Recognising Academic Practice, the CPD framework scheme
In contrast, the Recognising Academic Practice scheme is our internal CPD framework for colleagues with more than two or more years’ experience of teaching and/or supporting learning in a Higher Education context. The scheme is accredited by the Higher Education Academy and enables us to award Fellowship of the HEA, at all descriptors, through our internal processes and procedures. This means that we can award Associate, Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow status to any candidates who successfully make a claim.
Our scheme is supported by a dedicated bunch of trained mentors and assessors, many of whom have been accredited through the scheme themselves. We offer two routes to achieving Fellowship. The written route enables colleagues to make a claim against any descriptor in writing. There are different requirements in terms of word count against each descriptor. Our dialogic scheme culminates in a professional dialogue, involving a conversation with peers based around an e-portfolio of evidence in academic practice.
The scheme lead is Mark Dransfield (SFHEA) and anyone wishing for more information about engaging with the scheme should contact him.

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