While professional bodies accredit courses and the Quality Assurance Agency considers teaching quality at subject level, Institute for Learning and Teaching membership provides individual professional accreditation and recognition for teaching (Letters, THES , July 20, , August 3, 10).
Many of our staff value ILT membership as external recognition of the knowledge, skills and values inherent in teaching and supporting learning. We have about 170 members at Queen's and interest is increasing.
Regarding the paperwork required to join, the "fast-track" process is proving to be just about right - rigorous enough to identify professional practice, but not too burdensome for the experienced, reflective teacher.
The ILT does offer members substantial benefits that are clearly set out in its literature and on its website. As a member, I have received its journal, participated in regional and national events, used resources from its website and received monthly news updates.
As a staff developer, I have found ILT regional and national events a valuable addition to our in-house professional development events. The regional events in Northern Ireland have been free to staff members at all three higher education institutions in the province and have provided a valuable way of sharing ideas with colleagues in other institutions.
ILT accreditation will also help recognise the role of colleagues on short-term contracts, bringing credit for work that is often performed across departments and institutions. The ILT does not put up barriers against any type of staff: the application process is inclusive of everyone who teaches or supports learning in higher education, regardless of their job title or category.
Staff Training and Development
Queen's University Belfast