Advertisements inviting applications for the post will be published on September 1, with nominations due by October 20.
Each candidate requires nominations from 50 rank-and-file NATFHE members, spread across at least five union branches. Nominees do not have to be NATFHE members or employees, but only senior trade union figures need apply.
Mr Akker joined NATFHE as general secretary from rival union, the Association of University Teachers.
Members of NATFHE's national executive will see nominees by the end of October, before deciding whether to back one of the runners.
Ballot papers will go out a few days later, with the result due on December 13.
The post has been vacant since May when Mr Akker took early retirement.