Title: The UKPSF: a chore or an opportunity?
Presenter and affiliation: Prof. Mark Davies – University of Sunderland, UK
Intended Audience: All staff, including non-academic staff, who think their practice may be aligned to the UKPSF
Duration: 1 day: 8:45 AM to 3:00PM
Location:S45-006 ZAIN E-Learning Center, Sakheir Campus, University of Bahrain


This workshop will present participants with my personal view of the UK Professional Standards Framework, in particular how it can be interpreted and be made relevant to individual professional practice. We will begin by examining who the Framework is for, and who it is not for, identifying the likely staff groups that can align their practice with each of the four descriptors.

I will argue that the most important word in the Framework is ‘Framework’, such that the UKPSF is a document not to be followed slavishly, but something to be interpreted and shaped to one’s own context.

Thus in examining one’s own practice and its relationship to the UKPSF we should be asking the question, ‘is my interpretation of the UKPSF too broad to be considered by my peers as acceptable?’ The workshop will be aimed at exploring this question and as part of the process we will explore our interpretations of phrases within the UKPSF that have instilled negativity in some staff, such as ‘successful’ ‘sustainable’, ‘institutional’, ‘broad understanding’, ‘thorough understanding’, ‘learning technologies’ ‘organisational policies’ ‘scholarship’ ‘strategic leadership’ ‘establishing’ and, in particular, ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD).

Some academics view CPD as something that takes place only in workshops such as this one, but I will argue that CPD has a very broad definition and can encompass a very wide range of activities, but even so I may not include this workshop as being CPD in the context of the UKPSF! We will also consider how the UKPSF can be applied to the practice of each participant and, using anonymized applications, how those who make decisions on whether Fellowship of the HEA should be awarded may initially come to opposing conclusions when presented with the same evidence.

Finally we will deconstruct the UKPSF and ask ourselves, assuming a revision is imminent, which aspects would we retain, which would we lose, which would we modify and which would we retain but re-order?

Learning Outcomes:

After the completion of the function, the participant will be able to:

  1. Relate her/his activities to the UKPSF
  2. Understand how decision-making against the UKPSF is achieved
  3. Recognise how and why the UKPSF is a flexible framework rather than a rigid document.
  4. Reach his/her own conclusion about the value and utility of the UKPSF

Link to UK Professional Standard Framework (PSF):

The workshop is about the UKPSF itself, rather than any of its elements.  So, it can be linked to all the elements of the UKPSF, or none, dependent on viewpoint!