Public Engagement Professionals Network

The NCCPE's public engagement professionals network (or PEP Network) aims to support public engagement professionals across the UK working in higher education and research to access CPD, peer support and the latest thinking on engagement.

Our training and continuing professional development (CPD) consultation showed a clear demand from those in public engagement related roles in higher education and research for more external provision of CPD, and support for a national membership network run by the NCCPE. On the basis of this we have prioritised the development of our public engagement professionals network (PEP Network).


  • Create a sustainable network for public engagement professionals (or PEPs)
  • Foster new connections and collaborations
  • Facilitate peer support and sharing of learning and good practice
  • Advocate for the value of public engagement professionals across the sector
  • Share intelligence about the latest thinking and policy development related to public engagement
  • Provide continuing professional development for PEPs at various stages of their careers
  • Provide access to relevant low-cost training

Apply now!  

Who's it for?

This network is primarily aimed at public engagement professionals (or PEPs) working in professional services roles in higher education institutions (HEIs) or research institutes across the UK. Whether public engagement is formally part of their job description or not, this group face a series of common and often unique challenges in working to support or coordinate high-quality public engagement within UK higher education institutions or research institutes.

We also welcome those working in similar roles in the sector, or those working with HEIs, research institutes or funders to coordinate and support public engagement.

We do also welcome members from outside the UK, but the majority of our membership is UK-based and therefore the content of events/discussions reflects this.

What's the purpose?

PEPs often work in quite isolated roles in the sector, and this national network aims to counteract that by mobilising the collective experience and skills of this group and supporting their career development. It will provide access to the latest thinking and expertise about engagement policy and practice, offer opportunities for CPD and training, support members to share solutions and problems, and establish peer support mechanisms. During the first year of the network we will also work with members and other to explore options related to accrediation. We believe that membership of this network will benefit PEPs personally and professionally.

What does membership involve?

The current membership period runs until 31st December 2022.

The PEP Network will be focused around an annual calendar of events held online for the foreseeable future. Each event will provide a mixture of formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - tailored for members at a variety of career stages and with a variety of roles; structured networking and skills sharing; and a chance to hear from the NCCPE and other invited experts about the latest developments in the sector. There is no additional cost for members to attend these events, although spaces may be limited.

In between these events we will provide an online space where you can connect with peers and catch up on the learning from any events you've missed. There will also be other opportunities each year for you to contribute and learn from the network, such as creating sector resources and leading webinar content.

Download the 2022 PEP Network Programme of events

Upcoming events

PEP Network Event: Exploring Ethics POSTPONED

March 2022, exact date to be confirmed

This event was originally scheduled for Thursday 9th February, but we have made the decision to postpone it due to UCU strike action. We want as many of our network as possible to have the opportunity to join and so will confirm the new date shortly. If you have already registered for the event, you will be contacted and automatically registered for the new date. 

This event will explore the connections and tensions between ethics in engagement practice and formal ethics processes in higher education. Join us to hear some provocations and the latest thinking from practitioners currently tackling these topics.

How much does it cost?

Please note: The PEP Network membership fee of £60 has been waived until January 2023, so membership is currently free of charge. 

As we adjust to working in this different climate, we are making a change to the way the PEP network will work for the remainder of the membership year. In the spirit of keeping the sector communicating, sharing knowledge and addressing current challenges together, we are going to waive the PEP Network membership fee until January 2023. 

How do I get involved?

Applications for membership are open all year round. 

Apply now!

Further information

You can find out more about the results of our consultation in our summary brief. For any enquiries, please contact