Reflections from an academic professional apprenticeship: A good route to take?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As a teaching focussed small, specialist University we require all staff to gain a teaching qualification or equivalent (usually Fellowship of Advance HE) within a one-year period of employment. This is to ensure teaching quality across the University and also aligns with the increased number of metricsand league tables using this data, increasing the focus on qualification status. We support them to do this using staff development opportunities includingAdvance HE “New to Teaching” programmes of study, PG Certificates in Higher Education and mentoring to complete their Fellowship application. Staff also have an internal Teaching Development Scheme (POT) mentor to support them to develop
their own teaching approach and gain confidence in the classroom.

For the past three years we have changed from the PGCert option to enrolling new staff with limited experience onto the Academic Professional
Apprenticeship (APA) at an external provider. Staff undertaking the qualification have to have 20% of their workload allocated to enable engagement and
achievement, a University mentor meeting weekly, observations. Staff must complete four assessments including their PSF aligned Fellowship application within year one. In year two, staff will complete a video of teaching, a portfolio of evidence, a reflective account and a professional conversation
aligned to the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) professional standards. There is limited reflections and experiences documented in the research from staff undertaking an APA with most known research being from the course provider’s perspective rather than the “students”. Stocks and
Hunter (2020) discuss the APA in the SEDA Educational Developments report from an institutional perspective raising some challenges for providers, but our lens is on the staff as students in their APA journey.

This session aligns with the “Shaping the future by challenging the norm” theme of the conference and the UN sustainability goal to provide quality education. The presentation will present the data collected qualitatively from the staff members who have completed or are currently on their apprenticeship journey using both video and data.

Three focus groups were help with a cohort completed (n=2), one currently completing their End Point Assessment (n=6) and staff on their first year
of the apprenticeship (n=4) from one institution completing the programme of study online alongside their full-time teaching position. Their line
managers and other stakeholders were invited to a focus group to explore the experiences from an operational, performance and professional development perspective (n=5). Data was analysed using a thematic framework (Braun and Clarke, 2020) to identify themes and sub-themes. These will be presented by a staff member on the apprenticeship journey alongside a peer representing the institutional perspective to show how they can align, face challenges, some mutual and how the professional development route can benefit the whole University even if it challenges infrastructure and motivation
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2023


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