The Defence Academy took part in a pilot scheme, early in 2018, with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) focusing on the Principal Fellow and Fellowship level to highlight the professional development opportunities for staff.
The pilot proved a huge success with three staff members gaining Principal Fellow Membership, Colonel Swinyard, Brigadier Chamberlain and Jim Potts, and two staff members gaining Fellow Membership, Lieutenant Colonel Allen and Major Hayakawa.
The HEA manage and lead the development of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) and are the only credible professional recognition in Higher Education (HE). The HEA has four awards: Associate Fellowship, Fellowship, Senior Fellowship and Principal Fellowship, reflecting the wide range of professional practice carried out by individuals, who teach and/or support learning in HE. Awards are made on the basis of evidence of personal, professional practice against the requirements of the UKPSF. Universities have moved away from the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) qualifications in favour of HEA Fellowships, which are internationally recognised.
Following on from the pilot successes, three further applications are currently underway from the Defence Academy for Fellowships.
Jim Potts said:
‘The experience and resulting qualification has allowed me to better understand what I have done and to place it in a wider context. By doing so, I’ve identified strengths and weaknesses in my approach and thus have considered how I can improve in the future.’
In terms of benefits for the organisation, he went on to say:
‘The MOD can be very insular in its approach to education and its delivery. The application process forces consideration of the UKPSF for HE teaching and learning support which can then be considered and applied in a Defence context’.
The Defence Academy is leading Defence in gaining HEA accreditation, meeting the vision of being a quality provider of choice, security and leadership, developing the intellectual edge needed for success by those beyond government.