Gaining Fellowship

Graham Rimmer FAUA | Personal Assistant/Directorate of Student and Academic Support, University of Salford

On Thursday, 23 November 2017, I was awarded the status of Fellow of the AUA during the Annual Lecture. Being presented with this award by our Honorary President Mary Curnock Cook and Chair Kathyrn Fowler was truly humbling.

I started my career in Education in 2006 when I stumbled across an opportunity to work for The Manchester College in their justice division, offering learning opportunities for those held in custody, servicing sentences bestowed by the courts. At the time, I was just looking for new opportunities. To my surprise, I found my calling. I developed my administrative knowledge by absorbing information from my peers and senior colleagues in addition to participating in additional formal qualifications. After a short time I knew that a career in education was something I wanted to pursue. Funnily, Mary said during the lecture that most of us stumble across this career; how true that statement is for me!

What I found useful with the professional behaviours is that I was already undertaking this learning within my role, but now I had the opportunity to formalise it.

After eight fantastic years at The Manchester College and near completion of my first undergraduate qualification, I was ready for the next challenge. I joined the University of Salford as PA to the Registrar in November 2015 and my development continued.

I came across the AUA via the Regional Coordinator, who also happens to be based at Salford, and we discussed how the AUA, and in particular how the Professional Behaviours* would help me in my professional development and transition to the sector. What I found useful with the Professional Behaviours is that I was already undertaking this learning within my role, but now I
had the opportunity to formalise it.

Using the Professional Behaviours to underpin my professional growth has allowed me to continue on my journey, and supported my wider development. I recently graduated from the Open University and I am now working on my Masters in Education, specialising in Leadership and Management.

I decided to apply to become an AUA Fellow as I believe that I presented the behaviours well and my passion for sharing knowledge to my peer group supported that too. Being relatively new to the sector I was unsure whether my application was successful, but as we now know it was.

It is a privilege to be recognised in this way and as a Fellow I will continue to share my knowledge and experience of being an administrator amongst colleagues. If you are considering becoming an Accredited Member or Fellow of the AUA and are a little daunted by the process, my advice is ‘don’t be’. Once you start writing the statement, you will find yourself immersed in memory, and having to choose what you put forward is exciting and rewarding.


Pete Shilton Godwin FAUA | Chief Executive, UCLAN Students’ Union

It was an honour to receive the award of my Fellowship of the AUA from Mary Curnock Cook, the Honorary President of the AUA in the grand surroundings of Cardiff City Hall.


It was also a proud moment for me as I understand that I am the first Students’ Union CEO to receive Fellowship of the AUA so I am somewhat of a pioneer and it would be great to see more
Students’ Union colleagues at AUA events in the future. There is a huge amount of effective partnership and collaboration working between students’ union’s and professional service staff
at every HE institution in the UK and reaching into every part of student lives at University. The certificate was not the first I’d been presented with signed by Mary, as earlier in my career I had
been a licensee and Mary Curnock’s career took her to the British Institute of Inn Keeping whose course I followed to build my understanding of licencing law.

Completing the submission was a really useful process. It was both a challenge and a pleasure to reflect on my personal development, my career and my practice as a leader and manager in the context of the very strong AUA Professional Behaviours and CPD Framework and the high standards of fair, ethical and transparent professional behaviour that the Framework sets out. These values coupled with the nine Professional Behaviours do create a strong framework to
develop your career and thrive in a continuously changing landscape of higher education.

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