How to Write a Reflective Statement – AUA
I’ve provided some guidance on how you can begin writing your reflective statement for Accredited Member or Fellow of the AUA. The guidance across two levels doesn’t differ much except where for Fellow status you have to show evidence across all 9 behaviours in the AUA Professional Behaviours Framework (see below) and additionally you need show how you have engaged with and impacted the wider organisation through your work.
What does the application for Accredited Member or Fellow involve?
You can find out more here on the AUA’s website. You need to evidence a certain number of CPD hours and crucially show how you exemplify behaviours from their Professional Behaviours Framework. It should take you around 4-6 weeks to complete the application depending on your pace, with a couple of hours per week which you should be able to comfortably manage with your day job.
Against each behaviour write some examples down of how you have displayed that behaviour. For MAUA you only need to three evidence behaviours and therefore you should select those that you’re most strong in.
When thinking about examples of impact on others, make a note of tasks or activities where you’ve had to work with other colleagues. Think about the benefits you may have communicated to them about these activities. It could be that these can be turned into impact that your work had.
Writing a reflective statement
The application is asking you be ‘reflective’. This word itself stumps a lot of people. It is more of a process and method to appreciate your own work. If you are a reflective person, it means you are frequently thinking about what you do, why you do it, and the impact on others. These are the three areas you should therefore consider about your work in your reflective statement.
What is helpful is that AUA provides you with the framework against which you can reflect and assess yourself in the form of the Professional Behaviours Framework.
We’re so used to writing formal reports that we remove our personality and philosophy from everything! This process, in my opinion, should reflect your personal approach so let this shine.
I provide an example below of a fictitious Student Experience Manager called Lisa Khan, and Andy Street who is a Quality Coordinator; together these cover two of the AUA behaviours, ‘working together’ and ‘embracing change’. This is a snippet as you of course need to develop your own! But it should give you a rough indication. At a Fellow Level your examples would be more strategic in nature compared to an Accredited Member. In the example reflection I’ve given, I’ve pitched the level just right that the statement could fit in either category.
Try to first answer the questions under the three headings to help guide you. You can remove them later when you submit your application.
Sample Reflective Statement of Lisa Khan
AUA CPD behaviour – Working together
Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.
What you do
Overall my role involves ensuring the institution provides a professional and student centred service support to our students from different backgrounds with a variety of learning needs.
Why you do it – be personal
For me I feel it imperative to support students from different background achieve their outcomes and progress in their career, when many have worked hard to pay for their university tuition. International students in particular have made significant commitment to leave their home country.
The impact on others (and wider organisation for Fellow level only)
My work is significantly dependent on working with other colleagues on various programmes and in departments to ensure that student satisfaction is high. This includes programme directors/leads for each programme and then course administration/student officers. The objectives particularly include ensuring that student feedback is obtained each term and that action is taken. I then also work with marketing to produce YouSaid WeDid campaigns through social media and our website to update students and engage them with developments. I believe that my proper planning of these activities, seeking the best solutions to problems that may arise, has positively impacted colleagues. I have helped develop a student centric approach across the organisation through my efforts and not least by including our student reps in this process. Through training my direct team and a number of other colleagues and new ‘partnership agreements’ with students, this means we now see students as an important stakeholder.
Commentary: Though a snippet, here Lisa has used terminology from the actual AUA behaviour such ‘collaboratively’, ‘objectives’. It’s clear that Lisa has worked with a number of stakeholders and that there is impact on others and the organisation through a student centred approach. Notice that there is greater emphasis on the impact, as otherwise the first two areas of what Lisa does is descriptive. The ‘why’ is important and that can be expanded further as needed.
Sample Reflective Statement of Andy Street
Embracing change – Being open to, and engaging with, new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.
What you do (in addition to what has been mentioned already)
Change is inevitable and therefore one should always be prepared for this. In student experience, since we conduct surveys on a termly basis we have to be open to new ideas. This continuous improvement means we enhance the learning experience for students whether through increased library access or more work placement opportunities.
Why you do it
I personally see change as an opportunity to improve aspects of our provision. If we do not, it means that we are not keeping up to date with sector practice.
Impact on others (and wider organisation for Fellow level only)
Through frequent training I deliver to colleagues, such as on major changes to the Quality Code for Higher Education requiring more student engagement, I have been able to have a positive impact on preparing colleagues for shifting demands. Staff have had to become more data driven in their approach to assessing students at risk where looking carefully at student progression and retention. This has really helped my institution as we have been able to better understand our student body, their entry profile and performance segmented by different characteristics such as their age and gender. It has provided useful insights into our students where we now positively engage with female students, who are now more satisfied by 10% higher compared to the previous academic year.
Commentary: Andy has again used key terms from the behaviour itself such as ‘open to new ideas’. What’s good about Andy’s examples and reflection is that they are factually based by quoting an increase in female student satisfaction. Try to quote as many statistics as you can but explaining what they mean.