LTPRS Personal Pathway Buddying: information for mentors
What is Personal Pathway Buddying? The Personal Pathway offers an individual and flexible route to professional recognition from the HEA under the LTPRS Scheme. It is designed to acknowledge and draw on an applicant’s particular and unique combination of professional experience in learning and teaching. Each applicant is offered a buddying opportunity – to be paired with a colleague who has already gained HEA recognition. Buddies will have at least the same category of fellowship as the applicant they are supporting. Applicants must have already attended the Personal Pathway Explorer workshop or equivalent.
How does it work? The buddying system is designed to be informal, and developmental. It is driven by the applicant and in practice is a series of 1:1 discussions throughout the lifecycle of the personal pathway application. Conversations are confidential (there is no reporting requirement or paperwork), and intended to help spark thinking and insight, as well as planning and preparation of the application.
How much time does it take? Buddies are required to commit around 5 hours to their applicant, over the lifecycle of the application (from registration to submission, and through any referral feedback). The 5 hours includes time to read this guidance and watch the video below, and can be delivered flexibly to suit each pair’s preferences and commitments. Phone, Skype and face-to-face support are all included. The Personal Pathway managers (Karen Ford and Rachel Bovill) may be in touch at the end of the partnership to ask you how it went.
What types of things do buddies do with applicants? The applicant will choose the topic of the discussions, so whatever is pertinent to their application. Here are some example ideas:
- Help the applicant interpret the requirements of the application (i.e. what kind of thing goes in which box), and help them understand how their work can be evidenced against the various descriptors;
- Brainstorming sessions, ideas development, supporting the applicant to think creatively;
- Help the applicant identify small chunks of time in their working week, so they can make progress with their application;
- Setting some goals for the next meeting to help keep up momentum e.g. draft a case study, complete 3 of the descriptor boxes;
- If appropriate, reading and giving feedback on the content of the application;
- Sharing relevant reading in the Learning & Teaching literature you have come across;
- Signpost to specialist support from the L&T Professional Development Team. If in doubt, encourage your partner to get in touch with Rachel or Karen.
What is not expected of you? Any difficult or technical questions can be fed back to the Personal Pathway team at any stage.
- You are not expected to evaluate or make judgement calls on whether an applicant is of a passing standard, or mark the portfolio.
- You are not required to share your own application with the applicant.
- You are not expected to write any of the application for your partner.
- You are not expected to provide a reference to support the application.
Please watch the induction video below for further ideas:
To sign up, please contact the Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme email address below, stating whether you wish to support an applicant or to request a buddy, and the relevant category of fellowship: