Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship and the UK Professional Standards Frameworks (UKPSF) are increasingly used within British higher education institutions to support the professional formation of university teachers. This paper evaluates the use of practitioner inquiry within an HEA-accredited scheme (OpenPAD) to support the professional development of part-time Associate Lecturers at a large distance-learning institution. OpenPAD was available between 2013 and 2016 to all academic and academic-related staff in the Open University, including the 5000+ part-time teaching-only staff who are the main focus of this evaluation.
OpenPAD used situated learning through practitioner inquiry to generate evidence against the UKPSF. Participant experience is evaluated and lessons drawn, which may have implications for similar schemes in other institutions. Opportunities for the further integration of academic development opportunities for all categories of staff in a successor scheme are identified in a proposed alignment between academic development; career-related processes such as induction and appraisal; institutional teaching and learning policies; and scholarship agendas.
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