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Frequently asked questions

This page seeks to answer your frequently asked questions regarding all aspects of LEAP. Topics include:

  • registering on LEAP and what you need to know before joining the programme
  • questions you may have when working on and completing your LEAP application
  • what happens after I've submitted by LEAP application and achieved my fellowship

If we haven't answered your question here please contact us at leap.cpd@manchester.ac.uk

Registering on the LEAP

Answers to your frequently asked questions about joining the programme and what you need to know before you register on LEAP.

What is the difference between applying for fellowship through LEAP and applying directly to AdvanceHE?

By applying for fellowship through LEAP you’ll have access to the online resources and support mechanisms that have been developed to support you with your application. LEAP is also free to staff and students registered at the University (and to practice educators employed by our partner organisations) whereas there is an application fee for each application submitted directly to AdvanceHE (see Advance HE direct application costs for further information). The application format is also slightly different, although the fellowship criteria is the same.

How long do I stay on LEAP?

Once registered on LEAP you will retain your place for two years or until the current accreditation runs out. After two years on the programme or after the current accreditation with AdvanceHE expires (whichever comes first) your registration on the programme will expire and you will need to re-register on the programme at the next available date. Please note that our current accreditation expires on 31st August 2023.

If you are completing LEAP through a bespoke cohort (e.g. LEAP for the NHS or LEAP for PASS Leaders and Peer Mentors) please contact your cohort lead for further advice. 

Do I have to start at Descriptor 1 / Associate fellowship?

No. We recommend that you identify and apply for the level of fellowship that is most appropriate for your current practice and experience. You also don't need to work through the categories sequentially for example, if you have Associate Fellowship you can jump straight to applying for Senior Fellowship as long as you can evidence against the Descriptor.

I already have a teaching qualification. Can I still apply for LEAP?

If you already have a teaching qualification (e.g. a PG certificate) you can still apply for LEAP and Advance HE fellowship to support your professional development activity and development as an educator. Your previous qualifications and experience can be useful tools in helping you to produce your fellowship application.

Should I undertake a taught programme or one of the fellowship LEAP pathways?

LEAP has been designed to support you in evidencing your existing experience in teaching and/or supporting learning against the descriptors of the UKPSF. You should discuss your options with your line manager/supervisor to determine which type of development programme best suits your professional development goals and teaching and learning needs. Depending on your experience completion of the New Academics Programme, the PGCert in Higher Education or the PGCert in Medical and Healthcare Education may be more suitable.

Completing my LEAP application

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How will it take to produce my application?

The time it takes for an individual to complete their application varies depending on where you are in your teaching and learning journey. We recommend setting some time aside where possible so that you can work on your fellowship application but also appreciate that this can be difficult particularly during busy times. To help you block out some time, you may want to consider booking on to one of the University’s Pomodoro writing sessions.

Is there a time limit between completing teaching and applying for fellowship and can I use experience from another institution?

The teaching and learning practice that you evidence in your application should be current (i.e. from the last five years) and linked to your activities teaching and/or supporting learners registered on University of Manchester higher education programmes. However, you can use teaching experience that is older than five years or from another institution as long as you can clearly demonstrate how you are using that experience to inform your practice now at the University.

If you are only using experience that does not directly influence or support learners registered on University of Manchester programmes as evidence in your application, you will need to apply directly to Advance HE. Please note that applications made directly to Advance HE incur a cost (see AdvanceHE direct application costs for further information).

Am I able to use experience from widening participation activity in my application?

Advance HE fellowships are eligible to those who are teaching and/or supporting learning in higher education. From February 2018, this has also included teaching and/or supporting learning on:

  • Foundation Year programmes;
  • Pre-sessional English courses for international degree students designed to develop academic skills;
  • Professional CPD programmes that are designed to develop and extend existing graduate/postgraduate level skills, knowledge and understanding, e.g. GP training, etc.

If your experience in teaching and/or supporting learning is from a different context, e.g. widening participation activity at a further  education (FE) level or through access to higher education initiatives such as The Brilliant Club or the Manchester Access Programme (MAP), then you can reference this experience in your application however, you must be able to demonstrate how this experience has influenced teaching practice in a higher education setting e.g. how this has shaped your own teaching practice in higher education and/or how you have supported peers and colleagues by cascading your learning to others.

Further detail about levels of teaching and eligibility for Advance HE fellowship is available from the Advance HE website – eligibility.

I have been involved in delivery teaching as part of a team. Can I use this experience in my LEAP application?

You can use evidence from team teaching in your personal application however, do take care to clearly present your role and input throughout your application whilst also clearly highlighting the role of others.

Do I have to attend any workshops or access the online learning resources?

No. The support available through LEAP is entirely optional however, our research shows that those who do access at least one form of support are significantly more likely to pass and achieve their fellowship first time so we do strongly encourage you to access at least one form of support.

I have applied for LEAP but would like to change the category of fellowship that I initially applied for. Is this possible and how would I go about this?

Yes, it is absolutely fine for you to change the category of fellowship that you wish to apply for. You can do this at any time during your registration on the programme and you don't need to tell us until you submit your LEAP application. We know that individuals often change their fellowship category once they start working on their applications. When you register on the programme you'll be given access to resources for all fellowship categories. When you submit your LEAP application please make sure you tick the category of fellowship that you are applying for on the cover sheet and we’ll update your LEAP record. 

I have applied for a LEAP fellowship in the past and am now ready to apply for a higher award. Can I use the same referees or case studies?

Using the same people as referees is fine, but they will need to write a new reference that is relevant to the level of fellowship and the experience detailed in your application. You can help your referees by talking them through the points that you’d like them to cover and by providing some pointers but you should take care to ensure that your references are different from one another and any submitted previously to avoid any risk of academic malpractice. Similarly, you can use the same teaching experience in your case studies but should take care to write/present this in the lens of the descriptor for which you are now applying, avoiding any direct duplication from a previous application.

Can I use this for promotion?

You can evidence your fellowship award in your promotion application as this forms part of a national teaching recognition framework and enables external benchmarking of your activities. In recent reviews of the University promotions criteria for example, there has been careful consideration of the UKPSF when considering teaching and so it may help you when drawing evidence together.

How long will it take for me to hear back after submitting my application?

It can take approximately 12 to 14 weeks from the submission deadline for you to receive the outcome of your application. All applications are either double or triple marked (depending on the level of fellowship applied for) by trained LEAP assessors. Once all applications have been reviewed, the LEAP recognitiona panel reviews all assessor recommendations before ratifying the outcome of your applications. After the panel meeting, the LEAP administrator will be in touch via email to inform you of the outcome of your application and any next steps.