Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take part in the STAR Framework?

No. However, it is a useful and portable 'qualification' and recognised in the UK Higher Education sector as well internationally. It provides national recognition of your commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education; and demonstrates that your practice is aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) (at Higher Education Academy).

How long will it take to complete?

The length of time to achieve STAR recognition will depend on an individual’s professional circumstances and experience. An applicant who is new to teaching may take longer to complete their application than someone who already has a lot of experience and can put together an application relatively quickly.

Which level of Fellowship is suitable for me?

See page 5 of the STAR participant's handbook (PDF).

I have already done a teaching qualification elsewhere

The STAR Framework is a CPD process, and therefore previous qualifications and experience will be helpful in writing your application.

I have already completed Imperial’s Postgraduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching (PG Cert ULT) or SLTP; what’s my next step?

Having already completed these course you will be well placed to write your application. Come to one of the drop-in support sessions to discuss your options.

I studied for the PG Cert ULT at Imperial between 2011-2014; am I automatically eligible for Fellowship?

No. This is because Imperial was not a member of the HEA at this time. You will need to submit a formal application, but your portfolio will make an excellent starting point. We will also help you to maximise the impact of the work you did for the PG Certificate in your final application.

Is there a time limit between getting FHEA status and SFHEA status?

No - it will depend on your own professional development needs.

I already have FHEA; can this count towards the PG Cert ULT?

All relevant education experience can form part of your PG Cert. Details of this will depend on personal context and will be considered on an individual basis.

Do I have to pay?

The STAR Framework is free for all those with appropriate contractual connections to Imperial College which is a subscribing member of the HEA. If you are not sure, please contact us (

What post-nominals can I use?

Can I move between the taught and flexible pathways?

In general, yes as all of the pathways have a common end point in terms of submission of an application. See page 8 of the STAR participant's handbook (PDF) for further details.

How much writing will be involved with the application?

Applications for each of the different descriptor levels have a different word count:

Can I get support if I’m on the flexible pathway?

If you choose to take one of the flexible pathways you will have the opportunity to: