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Professional Recognition

UKAT Professional Recognition of personal tutors and academic advisors gives your institution

  • enhanced capability to support students more effectively through their HE journey
  • independent recognition of effective practice in personal tutoring and academic advising
  • a measurable way to evidence support for student attainment and success

At the heart of your institution are your students. UKAT recognise that personal tutoring/academic advising personalises learning, promotes student persistence, enhances success, and helps address differential attainment, supporting a student’s academic progress and personal development throughout their University career. It is important for tutors/advisors to feel valued and recognised for this role, and the UKAT Professional Recognition Scheme does this. It gives your institution a measurable way to evidence the valuable and effective work of your tutors and advisors’ in supporting student success and personalising learning.

Referenced against the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring, it evidences the competencies and skills that tutors/advisors need to deliver effective, quality-enhanced approaches to student success. It encourages your staff to develop a reflective approach to the continual enhancement of their advising and tutoring practice informed by scholarship within the field. It also scaffolds progression in individual practice to continually enhance your institution’s capability for supporting students more effectively through personal tutoring/academic advising.

The UKAT Professional Recognition scheme has been developed collaboratively with UKAT member institutions, and the higher education sector. 

This short video, presented by representatives of two of the institutions which helped develop the scheme, provides more details on the benefits of UKAT Professional Recognition, the UKAT Professional Framework and the application process.

If you want to understand why you should consider UKAT Professional Recognition for yourself or your institution, this video will help answer your questions.

Levels of Recognition

The scheme offers three levels of recognition:

RPA Badge

Recognised Practitioner in Advising (RPA)

Aimed at front-line personal tutors and academic advisors, this level of recognition demonstrates individual understanding and application of a broad range of effective approaches in delivering high-quality personal tutoring/advising and support for student success.

RSA Badge

Recognised Senior Advisor (RSA)

Recognition at this level demonstrates sustained effectiveness in student support through the organisation, leadership, or management of personal tutoring/academic advising. It is aimed at those with departmental or institutional responsibilities for leading and developing others in the implementation and delivery of effective personal tutoring/academic advising practices.

RLA Badge

Recognised Leader in Advising (RLA)

Recognises a sustained record of impact on student success at a strategic level through the coordination and provision of personal tutoring/academic advising.  It is aimed at highly experienced tutors/advisors who can demonstrate impact at an institutional, national or international level

Application Process

Application for recognition is made by submission of a retrospective e-portfolio of evidence of practice referenced against the competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring and the UKAT Core Values of Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising. Applications are assessed by experienced practitioners in the field, all of whom hold UKAT Professional Recognition themselves.

The scheme is intended to be developmental. The process of assembling an e-portfolio of evidence gives practitioners the opportunity to reflect on their practice and its links to relevant scholarship, enhancing their practice and planning for their future professional development as a personal tutor/academic advisor. Detailed documentation and resources are provided to applicants, and structured portfolio templates are provided for each level of recognition to guide applicants in making a successful application for recognition.  

Applicants may join the scheme at any time and have 12 months within which to submit their application for assessment.  Submitted applications are independently assessed by a minimum of two assessors and reviewed by an external examiner before an outcome is returned. Possible outcomes include awarding the recognition at the level applied for, revise and resubmit, recommend award of a lower level of recognition with the option to revise and resubmit for the level of recognition applied for, or no award. Where the outcomes requires the applicant to revise and resubmit their application, they have 8 weeks to complete and submit the revisions for re-assessment. 

Participating Institutions

The following institutions participate in the UKAT Professional Recognition scheme. Members of staff of these institutions may be eligible to make an application free of charge.

University of Manchester

University of Sunderland

University College Birmingham

University of Southampton

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Swansea University

University of Nottingham

University of Leeds

Sheffield Hallam University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Cardiff University

University of Greenwich

University of Birmingham

University of Worcester

University of Bristol

York St John University

King's College London


University of Surrey

University College Of Estate Management

University of Northampton

University Of South Wales

Harper Adams University

University Of Bath

University of East London

University of Winchester

Oxford Brookes University

Leeds Trinity University

University of Liverpool

The Royal Veterinary College

Costs and Application Packages


An individual personal application for recognition costs £250 (ex VAT).

UKAT personal members are eligible to make an application for recognition at the reduced rate of £115 (ex VAT) as a benefit of membership and can register directly through the Members Area of the UKAT website. 
See full Terms and Conditions

Staff of UKAT member institutions who are not eligible to make a free application can apply for recognition at the reduced rate of £175 (ex VAT). 
See full Terms and Conditions


UKAT member institutions can add application packages to their subscription which offer bulk applications at a discounted rate.. The following packages are available, each of which allows the specified number of applications to be made within a 12-month period:

Add-on packages for institutional membership subscriptions    See full Terms and Conditions
* all prices are exclusive of VAT


Included Applications

Package Cost

Effective Cost per application

Effective Discount per application















Decreases the more applications you make

Increases the more applications you make

Recognition packages can be added to a membership subscription at any time and are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. If you would like to add a package to your subscription, or just want more information, please complete the enquiry form below.

Enhancing practice and supporting tutor/advisor professional development

A lack of recognition and/or reward for the role of personal tutor/academic advisor is a common concern for many staff carrying out the role.  Personal tutoring is often undervalued compared to research and teaching duties2,3 and is 'hidden work' which dedicated tutors perform, often to the detriment of achieving other institutional objectives and their own career progression1,4,5. Yet personal tutoring/academic advising plays a fundamental role in student success. Achieving UKAT Professional Recognition offers a clear way to recognise the contribution made by tutors and advisors, to enhance practice, and to demonstrate your institution's commitment to student success.

Contact us today to enquire about taking out an institutional Professional Recognition plan, or to discuss how the UKAT Professional Framework and UKAT Professional Recognition Scheme can support your institutional professional development needs.

[1] Grey, D., & Locthie, D. (2016). Comparing Personal Tutoring in the UK and Academic Advising in the US. Academic Advising Today.
[2] McClellan, J. (2016). Reward Systems and Career Ladders for Advisors. In T. Grites, M. Miller, & J. Givans Voler (Eds.), Beyond Foundations: Developing as a Master Academic Advisor. Jossey-Bass.
[3] Thomas, L. (2012). Building student engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change. In Paul Hamlyn Foundation (Vol. 100, p66). Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
[4] Thomas, L., Hill, M., Mahony, J. O., & Chambers, J. (2017). Supporting student success : strategies for institutional change - Summary Report
[5] Wyatt, J. L. (2006). Student, staff advisor, and faculty advisor perceptions of academic advising. North Carolina State University.