Third Cohort 2017/2018 Academic Year

A new National Award, delivered by the CRA, accredited by SEDA, and mapped to the UKPSF. 


Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising: A joint CRA and SEDA - PDA Award


A. Rationale

The increase in tuition fees and Government interest in placing ‘Students at the Heart of the System’ (BIS, 2011, 2015) has ensured a renewed emphasis on the nature of the offer made by institutions to incoming students.  A key factor highlighted in the literature (Chickering and Gamson 1987; Gibbs 2010) is the type and extent of the relationships between students and staff:  ‘Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement’ (Chickering and Gamson 1987)


A QAA study of students’ perceptions of HE undertaken by Kings College, London (Kandiko et al 2013) also reported that students value face-to-face interactions for learning and support; and that students’ concerns relating to employability lead them to focus on ‘‘process’ and development opportunities rather than ‘product’ statistics’ (Recommendation 8). From earlier evidence relating to Personal Development Planning and e-portfolio implementation we have already recognised the importance of the role of the mentor or ‘significant other’ in supporting effective practice;  this picture is likely to be repeated with more formal and developmental approaches to the implementation of the HEAR. 


A key recommendation from the Kandiko et al. study was that ‘the role and function of personal and academic tutors may need to be revised at some institutions. Students should have clear avenues for support that they are comfortable using for personal and academic concerns’ (Recommendation 20)


Given all of the above, strategies for implementing more effective and meaningful support for students in relation to both their academic and wider development is rising up institutional agendas.  Whether characterised as ‘personal tutoring’, ‘academic advising’, ‘academic health checks’ or ‘HEAR reviews’, such student support activities require new strategies and support structures for staff in a near-mass HE context.


  1. Award Summary:


This award has therefore been developed to address a national demand for the continuing professional development of higher education staff in the field of Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising.  Intended for those who are involved in personal or academic tutoring of students in post-compulsory, adult education and HE settings, the provision aims to:

  • Develop enhanced professional practice in personal and academic tutoring.
  • Encourage a student-centred approach to personal and academic tutoring.
  • Explore the theory, concepts and practices involved in personal and academic tutoring.
  • Support participants in dealing with issues they face in their role in relation to personal and academic tutoring.
  • Foster a critically reflective approach to tutoring practice.
  • Promote a scholarly, research-informed and evidence-informed approach to personal and academic tutoring.
  • Enhance participants skills to support, coach and develop others as personal and academic tutors.

As with other SEDA Awards, it supports professional engagement with the implementation of enhanced practice in evidence informed ways, and in the presentation of the learning and outcomes from this in the form of a Portfolio for accreditation.