GOLD (Greenwich Opportunities in Learning and Development) is the University of Greenwich's Advance HE/HEA accredited professional recognition scheme.

Your path to professional recognition for teaching and learning in higher education at the University of Greenwich

GOLD rewards and recognises those at Greenwich who are committed to developing their teaching and learning professional practice in higher education. GOLD is supported by a dedicated and experienced team of mentors who work in departments and schools to provide 1-2-1 guidance for their mentees. This usually also includes undertaking a mentee teaching observation.  Mentees are provided with further support by GLT. In partnership with mentors, GLT offers a complementary suite of GOLD development workshops, drop in's and writing retreats to support mentees through their journey towards gaining fellowship.

The GOLD website and GLT GOLD team

Here you can find out about GOLD; categories of fellowship; the UKPSF; the mentor - mentee relationship; workshops, writing retreats and drop-in dates; how to apply for GOLD; application forms; and review panel submission deadlines for 2020/2021.

GLT provide academic facilitation and input for applicants as well as administration support and co-ordination for GOLD.  If you have any questions about GOLD please email us at in the first instance and we will direct your enquiry to the right person.

Greenwich staff with experience of mentoring colleagues to gain HEA Fellowship, or wanting to gain this experience, are welcome to enquire about being a GOLD mentor. Please direct any enquiries to Dr Eve Rapley for an informal discussion.

What is GOLD?

GOLD is the University of Greenwich's AdvanceHE accredited professional recognition scheme. It is accredited by AdvanceHE (formerly Higher Education Academy, HEA) and recognised by HESA as a teaching qualification. It provides national and international recognition of commitment to developing and maintaining on-going professionalism in teaching, and to the learning experience of students. It is a flexible route to professional recognition for all staff (academic and professional services) to gain recognition of their support of learning and teaching in higher education. It is mapped against the UKPSF and consists of 4 categories of fellowship.

Important Update COVID-19, 2nd March 2021

Please note that GOLD is continuing to operate remotely. We are running a variety of regular CPD sessions for applicants and mentors via MS Teams. Please see information and dates below.

The UKPSF (UK Professional Standards Framework)

The UKPSF identifies components of successful teaching and learning.  All GOLD applications are mapped against it. The components of successful teaching and learning are expressed in the 3 Dimensions of Professional Practice. The UKPSF clearly outlines the Dimensions of Professional Practice with HE teaching and learning support as:

  1. Areas of Activity undertaken by teachers and those who support learning
  2. Core Knowledge needed to carry out those activities at the appropriate level
  3. Professional Values that individuals performing these activities should exemplify

Categories of Fellowship

The GOLD framework stimulates professional development through peer and mentor dialogue, by the sharing of good practice, and through critical reflection. It encourages staff to update their scholarship of learning, teaching, feedback and assessment and to document this in a reflective fellowship application to GOLD. There are 4 categories of fellowship. Each category is aligned to a descriptor (D1 – 4), which outlines the key characteristics of someone performing at that category of fellowship.

  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA) (D1) 
  • Fellow (FHEA) (D2) 
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) (D3) 
  • Principal Fellow (PFHEA) (D4)

Which category of fellowship should I be aiming for?

The typical roles and evidential requirements appropriate to each category of fellowship are set out in the relevant GOLD Guidance documents for each category of fellowship. You are invited to use the HEA Fellowship tool that has been designed to assist you in selecting the category of Fellowship that is the closest match to your current practice. For each category you are encouraged to look at the specific GOLD Guidance document and application form for more information. You are welcome to contact GLT if you feel a discussion with a member of the Enhancement team to help identify the most appropriate category would be beneficial.

Associate Fellow (AFHEA) (D1)

Typically this category of fellowship is for staff with some teaching responsibilities or for someone actively supporting learning, such as a librarian, technician, learning technologist, study skills tutor, GTA or an early career academic with some teaching responsibilities, but whose teaching does not make up the majority of their role.  Associate Fellow applicants are required to provide evidence for some dimensions of the UKPSF. This requires evidence for 2 of the 5 Areas of Activity to be included within the application. If you wish to do Area of Activity A2 (Teach and/or support learning) you will require a teaching observation to be conducted by your mentor. For all AFHEA applications there is an expectation that at least K1 and K2 will be mapped, as well narratives clearly demonstrating a commitment to the appropriate Values (Vs) required for facilitating and supporting the learning of others in your context.

Fellow (FHEA) (D2)

Typically this category of fellowship is for teaching staff with some experience (usually around 3 years). Fellows are typically engaged in a wide range of teaching activities and have engaged in continuing professional development to support a reflective approach to teaching. Fellow applicants are required to provide evidence for all dimensions of the UKPSF.

Senior Fellow (SFHEA) (D3)

Senior Fellow is designed to recognise the achievements of staff who can demonstrate influence on the professional practice of others beyond their own teaching practice. Senior Fellows will be those who have leadership, mentoring or management roles in addition to their teaching role, and can demonstrate a sustained record of effectiveness. Senior Fellow applicants are required to provide evidence for all dimensions of the UKPSF.

If you are an experienced member of teaching staff with leadership responsibilities (e.g. a mentor, programme leader, head of department), then Senior Fellowship may be appropriate for you. Director of Learning & Teaching, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Dr Kristina Masuwa-Morgan reflects on her experience of applying for Senior Fellow.

Principal Fellow (PFHEA) (D4)

This category of accreditation is appropriate for senior staff who are able to demonstrate significant impact at a strategic level (in an institutional, national or international context) and a wider commitment to academic practice and leadership in teaching and learning. Principal Fellow applicants are required to provide evidence for all dimensions of the UKPSF.

The GOLD scheme can directly support and accredit staff wishing to apply for Associate Fellow, Fellow and Senior Fellow. Principal Fellow candidates can be supported by the GOLD team and mentored by the university's team of PFHEAs to put together an application. All Principal Fellow applications are reviewed and awarded via a direct application to AdvanceHE. The university is very fortunate and proud to have 8 PFHEAs within our community.  We are running some introductory workshops to give an overview of the requirements and process for PFHEA applications for interested parties. This can be booked via the staff development hub.

GOLD Introductory PFHEA Information and Guidance Webinar

  • Thursday, 20th May 2021,  10:00 - 11.30 (Ms Teams)
  • Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 10.00-11.30 (Ms Teams)
  • 12th January 2022, 2.00-3.30 pm (Ms Teams)

Further information about PFHEA can be found on the Advance HE website.

All fellowship applications will be required to map evidence to the UKPSF. Guidance on how to undertake this is provided by GLT and mentors.  The guidance documents specific to each category of fellowship contain further information.

How do I begin and complete a GOLD application?

To be in a position to submit an application, mentees are required to do a number of things:

Find a mentor within your school/department

This is essential. The mentor is central to the GOLD process. Every mentee will have a mentor to provide 1-2-1 support with preparing a fellowship application for GOLD. Typically mentors are experienced academics. They will have fellowship themselves and will have engaged in GOLD mentor CPD to ensure they are up to date with GOLD/fellowship requirements. Many will also be GOLD reviewers, so will have experience and insight into what a good application looks like. You are advised to start by asking your line manager, head of school/department or DLT for a recommendation of someone who would be appropriately qualified and experienced to act as your mentor. If you are unable to secure a suitable mentor please contact for assistance.

Complete a Registration of Intent form

Once a mentor has been secured, all mentees are required to complete a Registration of Intent form (RoI). You will be given the RoI when you attend the mandatory Mentee Development Workshop.This form is signed by your line manager and should be submitted to GLT, by the mentee with the mentor CCed into the email, to signify that the mentor is aware of the mentee's intent to develop and submit their GOLD application. Please note that a mentee can only submit an RoI form in agreement with their approved mentor. You will need to submit a copy of the RoI with the completed application form, therefore you are reminded to keep a copy. You are required to submit a GOLD application within 1 year of your RoI submission.

Attend an introductory workshop

Once a mentor has been secured, mentees are required to attend a mandatory 1.5 hour introductory online GOLD Mentee Development Workshop. This is facilitated by members of the GLT Enhancement Team. This session is just for applicants and there is no need for mentors to attend. This workshop will outline the GOLD scheme, the application process and the UKPSF. It will help mentees to establish which level of fellowship is most suitable and identify areas for professional development. The workshop will provide practical opportunities for mentees to explore sources of evidence from their own practice to enable them to make a strong claim against the UKPSF. It will also discuss and signpost to appropriate academic literature to underpin applications, and to discuss how to write applications in a scholarly and reflective style. There will be opportunities for peer discussion and activity. Mentees will be encouraged to create informal networks with peers to provide additional peer support to each other during the GOLD application process. At this workshop you will be given the RoI.

Develop the GOLD application with your mentor

Mentees will work with their mentor to develop the GOLD application over a period of time. Mentees are encouraged to make contact with their mentor to set up an initial meeting to discuss ways of working, timelines, evidence to map to the UKPSF and to identify a future date to submit their application for review. Mentors will provide advice and support and will give feedback on drafts of the application.

Attend a drop-in session (optional)

Mentees are encouraged to take advantage of the GLT GOLD Mentee Drop-in's during the application writing and drafting process. These optional sessions are not designed to replace or duplicate the essential mentor - mentee relationship. These sessions are designed to offer additional support and a 3rd party perspective, particularly regarding reflective writing and the use of underpinning literature. Members of the GLT Enhancement Team are available to provide 15 minute, 1-2-1 development discussions and can offer some informal application feedback, advise about CPD opportunities that might be useful to a candidate, provide guidance on how references should be written to best support an application, or to answer general questions about GOLD.

Sign up to a GOLD writing retreat (optional)

Mentees are also welcome to sign up to one of the GOLD Writing Retreats. Like the drop in's these are optional, but are highly recommended as spaces to give you time to talk, think and write. We work in partnership with our Advance HE fellowship scheme colleagues at University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University to facilitate these writing retreats. All of them are offered online in teams and all are facilitated by academic members from the respective university L&T teams.  
We are able to offer 3 hour (half day) and 6 hour (full day) writing retreats depending on how much time you have. Both writing retreat options are designed to give you dedicated time and space away from work/the office to develop your application, with feedback and peer support being key features of the retreats. See dates below.

Submit application for review

Once a mentee is satisfied that their application is complete, they can submit for review at a GOLD review panel. Each application is reviewed by at least 3 approved, experienced GOLD reviewers. We aim to provide review decisions and written feedback within 7 days of the review panel. Any unsuccessful applications are accompanied with detailed feedback to help with re-drafting for a future re-submission. Members of the GLT Enhancement Team can offer re-submission 1-2-1 support, as can mentors.

Teaching observations

Typically, all GOLD applications require the mentee to be observed. If a face to face teaching observation cannot take place, an observation of a live, online teaching session is a suitable alternative. If this is not possible there are a number of potential alternatives for colleagues to consider. These alternatives should be discussed with a member of the GLT Enhancement Team in the first instance to ensure that the right alternative is chosen to best align with the individual circumstances of the mentee.

Supporting statements for GOLD applications

All GOLD applications should be accompanied by 2 supporting statements; one from the mentor and one from another colleague/person who is able to comment directly on the applicant's practice and GOLD application.
Both supporting statements must be completed using the GOLD Supporting Statement Proforma. Referees are required to read the guidance to ensure their supporting statement is explicitly aligned to the requirements of the UKPSF and to the GOLD scheme. There is separate guidance for Associate, Fellow and Senior Fellow references. Contact for specific guidance regarding PFHEA applications.

NB. Referees for SFHEA applications are reminded that their supporting statement should specifically and explicitly emphasise the role of the applicant in influencing the way others teach/assess/support learning. The supporting statement should specifically refer to the teaching observation (undertaken by the mentor/referee) and should positively validate/endorse their mentee's application.

Initial Mentor Development Workshop for new GOLD mentors (mandatory), 1.5 hours, online

This is facilitated by members of the GLT Academic Team. This workshop is suitable for new GOLD mentors. The workshop will provide opportunities for mentors to explore their own practice and to share good practice and experiences about the benefits and challenges of being a GOLD mentor. Mentors will be encouraged to participate in activities and discussions around how best to support GOLD mentees towards submitting a successful application. Using the Mentor Pre-submission Checklist and exemplars, the workshop will cover what makes a good mentor, what makes a successful GOLD application, how to support mentees' development of reflective and scholarly writing, what a good mentor reference looks like, knowing when an application is submission ready or not, how to support a mentee who is struggling and when/how to signpost a mentee to GLT for a drop in or writing retreat.  See dates below.

Annual Mentor Refresher Workshop for existing GOLD mentors (mandatory), 1.5 hours, online

Advance HE requires all staff supporting Fellowship applicants to demonstrate current knowledge and understanding of the requirements for the relevant category of Fellowship. It is therefore required that all mentors attend an annual refresher cpd, dates to be advised (expected to be summer term 2021).

GOLD Review Panel Dates 2020/2021

  • 29th March 2021 submit by 8th March 2021
  • 29th April 2021 submit by 8th April 2021
  • 26th May 2021 submit by 5th May 2021
  • 22nd June 2021 submit by 1st June 2021
  • 12th July 2021 submit by 21st June 2021
Greenwich staff with experience of GOLD and/or mentoring colleagues to gain HEA Fellowship are welcome to enquire about becoming a GOLD reviewer. Please direct any enquiries to Dr Eve Rapley for an informal discussion.

GOLD Introductory Mentee Workshop Dates 2020/2021

This is an hour and a half workshop which must be booked in advance.  Please book via the GOLD CPD website.

  • Tuesday 20th April 2021, 11:00-13:00
  • Monday 10th May 2021, 13:00-15:00
  • Tuesday 8th June 2021 10:00-12:00

GOLD Drop in Dates 2020/2021

These sessions must be booked in advance. You will be allocated a 15 minute time slot for a one-to-one discussion with a member of the GOLD team. Please book via the GOLD CPD website.

  • Wednesday 24th March 2021, 13:00-15:00
  • Monday 19th April 2021, 11:00-13:00
  • Tuesday 18th May 2021, 10:00-12:00
  • Wednesday 16th June 2021 13:00-15:00

GOLD Writing Retreat Dates 2020/2021

These sessions are for 3 hours (session facilitated by University of Greenwich or 6 hours (sessions facilitated by Kent or Canterbury Christchuch Universities) and must be booked in advance. Please book these sessions via the GOLD CPD website.

  • Wednesday 31st March 2021, 12:30-15:30 (facilitated by UoG)
  • Friday 9th April 2021, 9:30-15:30 (facilitated by Kent/CCU, FHEA and SFHEA only)
  • Friday 23rd April 2021, 9:30-15:30 (facilitated by Kent/CCU, FHEA and SFHEA only)
  • Wednesday 5th May 2021, 13:00-16:00 (facilitated by UoG)
  • Friday  21st May 2021, 9:30-15:30 (facilitated by Kent/CCU, FHEA and SFHEA only)
  • Thursday 15th July 2021, 9:30-15:30 (facilitated by Kent/CCU, FHEA and SFHEA only)

Initial Mentor Development Workshop for new GOLD mentors Dates 2020/2021

This is a mandatory 1.5 hour online session for those new to mentoring. Please book via the GOLD CPD website.

  • Tuesday 11th May 2021 11:00-12:30
  • Monday 6th  September 2021 10:00-11:30

NEW! Annual Mentor Refresher Dates 2020/2021 (Mandatory for all active mentors)

In accordance with Advance HE requirements and audit purposes, we are introducing a mandatory, annual 1.5 hour refresher session for all active GOLD mentors. The session will cover the UKPSF, Advance HE and GOLD scheme updates. All mentors are required to attend one session a year to remain in good standing. To book, please email These sessions will take place online.

  • Monday 28th June 2021,10:00-11:30
  • Monday 28th June 2021,14:00-15:30
  • Thursday 8th July 2021, 10:00-11:30
  • Thursday 14th July 2021,14.00-15:30
  • Tuesday 20th July 2021, 14:00-15:30

NEW! Annual GOLD Reviewer Refresher Dates 2020/2021 (Mandatory for all active panel reviewers)

This session is mandatory for all active GOLD panellists. The session will cover the UKPSF, Advance HE and GOLD scheme updates. All panel reviewers are required to attend one session a year to remain in good standing. To book please email These sessions will take place online.

  • Wednesday 30th June 2021,10:00-11:30
  • Wednesday 7th July 2021,14:00-15:30
  • Friday 9th July 2021,10.00-11:30

Application Forms, Fees and Guidance

Associate Fellowship


Senior Fellowship

* SFHEA applicants are reminded that their referees should emphasise the role of the applicant in influencing the way others teach/assess/support learning. The reference should specifically refer to the teaching observation (undertaken by the mentor/referee 1) and should positively validate/endorse their mentee's application.

Principal Fellowship

Additional Resources for Mentees

Sharing good practice and reflections

Professor David Evans, 24 April 2019: Senior Fellows: See One! Do One! Teach One!

Dr Dawn Reilly, 8 August 2019: Building the academic community together: the benefits of being a mentor

Dr Hyunsun (Catherine) Yoon, 20 September 2019: "Looking Forward by Looking Back": Reflections on the Senior Fellowship resubmission process*