Professionalizing the learning support role: a UK Higher Education experience

Andre Van Der Westhuizen, Phil Verrill, Simon Gamble, Anna Limpens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores the design and development, of a programme of professional development for learning support staff, aligned with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). The chapter opens with an exploration of the challenges and issues surrounding professional staff in student support units and their professional standing and development, reviewing current issues and practices across a range of settings. The chapter goes on to outline the origin of the professional development programme and the internal drivers leading to the initiative, exploring the pedagogic and professional principles (dialogic and self–directed learning) on which the program was predicated, designed, and delivered. The chapter then discusses the impact of the programme institutionally and personally, through the use of two reflections by two former participants in the programme. The differentiation of interpretation and practice in these reflections lies in the specific and uniquely aligned scientific and cultural disciplinary approaches. The reflections also discuss the impact of the development process on personal and professional development and practice. The chapter closes by considering the future of such programmes of development for student support professionals across higher education and the impact of such programmes on the career development of these professionals in academic settings together with the implications of such programmes at the institutional level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessional and Support Staff in Higher Education
EditorsCarina Bossu, Natalie Brown
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-10-6858-4
ISBN (Print)978-981-10-6856-0
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameUniversity Development and Administration


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