Professional recognition

Professional recognition

The Pedagogic Practice team is committed to supporting colleagues in gaining professional recognition for their learning and teaching practice. There are a number of opportunities for this.


The Pathfinder scheme provides an opportunity to achieve Associate Fellowship (D1), Fellowship (D2) and Senior Fellowship (D3) of AdvanceHE. The scheme is typically for more experienced staff; colleagues relatively new to teaching in universities complete the well-established PGCert in Higher Education. Pathfinder is open to academic staff and also professional colleagues with a student-facing role. Claims for any of the categories of fellowship require careful reflection on personal teaching experiences and are presented as a portfolio using a standard set of headings. There are usually four submission deadlines per year.

The Pedagogic Practice team coordinates the Pathfinder scheme, which is accredited by AdvanceHE, and offers support for all applicants via introductory talks, workshops and writing retreats. Attendance at one of the introductory talks is highly recommended before starting to compile an application. There is also a scheme handbook to guide colleagues through the writing process and further support information available online. To find out more, please email The scheme is led by Chris Ribchester, Associate Professor: Learning and Teaching:

Principal Fellowship

The Pedagogic Practice team also supports individuals in the achievement of Principal Fellowship. This is an opportunity for a more select group of colleagues who are able to show significant strategic impact at institutional level and/or beyond. Tailored advice is provided on a one-to-one basis with completed applications submitted directly to AdvanceHE.

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS)

The National Teaching Fellowship scheme (NTFS) is a highly prestigious, nationally recognised award for excellence in learning and teaching in higher education. As well as being an extremely significant title, the established group of National Teaching Fellows form a dynamic community of practice representing 40 discipline areas leading high-impact projects across the HE sector.

National Teaching Fellowship status can only be gained through institutional nomination and the University of Derby is eligible to nominate up to 3 candidates in each academic year. Through its daily work across the University, the Pedagogic Practice team is able to identify colleagues who have the potential to become an NTF, but interested colleagues are also welcome to contact the Pedagogic Practice team directly. Ultimately nomination decisions are made by an NTFS panel and nominees are then supported by the Pedagogic Practice team as they compile their application.

The Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE)

CATE is a more recent national initiative that, like the NTFS, is coordinated by AdvanceHE. Its goal is to reward the work of teams who have collaborated effectively to deliver excellence in teaching or supporting the student experience. As with the NTFS, Pedagogic Practice team colleagues are ideally situated to identify potential nominees and help them write their applications.