Policy for staff participation in the CREATE Scheme (including the PGCAP and the CREATE HEA Fellowship Scheme)


This Policy supports the University Strategy to provide a high-quality student learning experience, which is research-rich, innovative and inclusive. It underlines the University’s commitment to invest in and develop its staff, by enabling those appointed to a significant role in teaching (i.e., Pathway 1 and Pathway 3 staff) to gain professional recognition as Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

The Policy concerns staff participation in CREATE (Cultivating Research-rich Education and Teaching Excellence), a scheme which comprises:

Newly appointed staff

It is an expectation of employment that all staff newly appointed to Pathway 1 and Pathway 3 contracts at grade J and above, without a teaching in HE qualification should engage with and complete CREATE. This includes existing staff moving from Pathway 2 to Pathway 1 or 3 (e.g. proleptic staff).

Alternative teaching in HE qualifications include a Postgraduate Certificate in teaching in UK HE, or HEA Fellowship. At Bristol, the Teaching and Learning programme for Health Professionals is a recognised alternative to CREATE.

Engagement with CREATE should be as follows:

Lecturers with less than three years teaching experience

Lecturers on Pathway 1 and Pathway 3 contracts, with less than three years’ equivalent experience of teaching in higher education (HE) within the last five years should acquire the PGCAP. ‘Three years’ teaching experience in HE’ denotes that a period of teaching in a lecturing role in UK HE/HE environment comparable to the University of Bristol context will have been undertaken over the equivalent of three years.

Lecturers on 0.5 full-time contracts or less, or lecturers on fixed-term contracts of less than two years should consult their line manager to agree which route to HEA Fellowship is appropriate.

Lecturers with more than three years teaching experience

Lecturers on Pathway 1 or Pathway 3 with more than three years’ experience of teaching in HE in the last five years are entitled to engage with the PGCAP, but can choose to acquire HEA Fellowship through the CREATE HEA Fellowship Scheme, which involves a written reflection about your teaching practice.

Senior Lecturers or above

Senior Lecturers or above on Pathway 1 and 3 should acquire HEA Fellowship, either through:

Engagement and length of completion

Engagement with the PGCAP/or the CREATE HEA Fellowship Scheme is expected within the first year of appointment and the normal period for being awarded the PGCAP/HEA Fellowship will be within two years following appointment. 

Any period when the member of staff is absent due to illness, accident, injury, maternity leave, parental leave, special leave or other time agreed by their line manager (e.g. sabbaticals) will be taken into account. Staff on fractional contracts of 0.5 FTE or less should discuss their anticipated length of completion with the CREATE team. 

New staff seeking promotion should achieve their HEA Fellowship before the deadline for submission of a promotion application (unless seeking promotion from lecturer b to c where enrolment on CREATE will be adequate). 

Existing staff

Existing Pathway 1 and Pathway 3 staff, without a teaching in HE qualification and seeking promotion should achieve their HEA Fellowship through either route before the deadline for submission of a promotion application.

Time allowance and support

Time allowance for staff who are required to engage with CREATE as described, can reasonably be expected to be as follows:

Heads of School are advised to take these time allowances into account when distributing workload allocation.

Discussion with your line manager, for example through the Initial Service Review meetings and then the Staff Review and Development process are the normal mechanisms for support and agreement on training and developmental requirements.


Policy approved by Senate February 2021. Updated May 2024.