Dimensions of Practice

This information is based on AdvanceHE guidance.

The UKPSF Dimensions of Practice are a key part of every application for fellowship in all categories. The Dimensions consist of three sets of statements outlining the:

  1. Five Areas of activity undertaken by teachers and supporters of learning within HE (A1 – A5)
  2. Six aspects of Core knowledge that are needed to carry out those activities at the appropriate level (K1 – K6)
  3. Four Professional values that someone performing these activities should embrace and exemplify (V1 – V4)

These not only reflect the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the professional role of staff teaching and supporting learning but are also broad and flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of practice that is appropriate to different disciplines, contexts and levels of study from level 4 to level 8.

The Framework identifies the separate component parts of teaching and supporting learning roles and which are articulated as follows:

Areas of Activity

A1 – Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study

A2 – Teach and/or support learning

A3 – Assess and give feedback to learners

A4 – Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance

A5 – Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices

Core Knowledge

K1 – The subject material

K2 – Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme

K3 – How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)

K4 – The use and value of appropriate learning technologies

K5 – Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of teaching

K6 – The implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching

Professional Values

V1 – Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities

V2 – Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners

V3 – Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development

V4 – Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice

Providing evidence of how you meet these dimensions within your practice is a core part of every category of fellowship from D1 – D3 although due to the more limited experience and range of practice expected from those applying for D1, only ten of the dimensions need be met for this category.

Although these dimensions have been separated in order to articulate them for the Framework, it is not expected that in practice they operate in this way. On the contrary, they overlap and depend on each other in combination:  you will demonstrate a Professional Value whilst undertaking an Activity which requires levels of Core Knowledge to be undertaken successfully.

For this reason, it is probably best not to structure case studies or reflective accounts (in any Descriptor category) around specific aspects of the dimensions, but map your practice to them afterwards to show that you understand how your practice meets them appropriately.

The practice used to evidence meeting these dimensions will vary depending on the category of fellowship applied for. Those applying for D2 are likely to be providing examples of practice at module or course or programme level and will mostly be based in direct teaching practice which has a direct impact on students. At D1, however, it may be that practice referred to is more session based and is drawn from a much narrower range of activity and may be less subject discipline-focussed. At D3 it is recognised that the applicant might no longer be involved in much direct teaching and thus their practice might be more based on influence on teaching and learning and by extension the impact on the student experience will be at one remove.