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Governance, Quality Assurance and Student Casework

External examiners

We engage external examiners for all taught degrees as part of our commitment to ensuring the continuing standards and quality of its academic provision.

This area has been designed to support external examiners in their role. Information includes:

  • resources for new external examiners
  • guidance on their role
  • access to the online annual report system.

Guidance on the processes and procedures relating to our engagement of external examiners for taught degrees is available in chapter 2 of the Quality Management Handbook.

These processes take account of the Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) Advice and Guidance on External Expertise which supports the UK Quality Code for higher education.

For any further queries, please contact the external examiners administrator:

[email protected]

For information regarding external examiners for our research degrees please contact the Graduate School.

If you need access to the Virtual Learning Environment, use the VLE request access form.

The following information is directed at external examiners in order to support them in completing their duties:

Role

External examiners are external subject experts who do not contribute to programme delivery, through teaching or any other direct capacity. Rather, they provide impartial advice and independent comment on, and confirmation of:

  • the quality and standards of the courses in relation to the national standards and frameworks
  • the reasonable comparability of standards with other UK providers of whom they have experience
  • areas of good practice and recommendations for enhancement
  • our consistent and fair implementation of our policies and procedures to ensure the integrity and rigour of assessment practices including Progression and Award Boards.

Guidance on the processes and procedures relating to our engagement of external examiners for taught degrees is available in chapter 2 of the Quality Management Handbook. These processes take account of the Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) Advice and Guidance on External Expertise.

Engagement

Initial liaison around the engagement of external examiners will be conducted within the relevant faculty. Thereafter, all nominations are subject to approval at the external examiners Sub-committee.                                 

We conduct a personnel approval process that runs concurrently with the committee approval process of external examiner nominations. This is to ensure that all documentation and relevant checks are carried out before engagement in any external examiner duties. The personnel checks include the signing of a terms and conditions document and successfully completing a right to work check. Our processes are in line the QAA Advice and Guidance and the IR35 legislation. More information on this can be found on the useful information section on this page.

Following the approval of the nomination and relevant personnel checks, external examiners will receive a letter outlining your responsibilities as an Edge Hill University external examiner, the programme/s you are responsible for and the dates of your period of office.

All correspondence in relation to your engagement will be issued to the address provided on the application, should this change please notify the external examiners administrator.

Upon engagement, external examiners will receive the external examiners handbook, the academic regulations and invites to our induction and training will also be issued.

Annual report

Please complete your Annual Report online within four weeks of the date of the final meeting of the examination board. Once you have completed your annual report you will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your report attached. A fees and expenses claim form will also be attached for you to claim your fee.

If there is a matter of serious concern that you wish to raise, please return your report directly to the Vice-Chancellor.

Annual reports

Training and induction

We provide induction, training and development opportunities for its external examiners and members of staff who aspire to be external examiners. This approach to induction and training for external examiners is informed by Advance HE’s Degree Standards Project, and is delivered by the governance, quality assurance and student casework team in conjunction with our centre for learning and teaching. We encourage both new and existing external examiners to attend the induction event as our aim is to provide the resources and knowledge required for external examiner duties to be effectively carried out. Our approach offers external examiners the opportunity to network with other academics, meet departments and discuss sector-wide issues.

Our induction typically takes place in January and external examiners receive an invite in the first semester.

Fees and expenses

Payment for any duties carried out as an external examiner is based on the submission of fees and expenses claim forms. Fees and expenses should normally be claimed within 30 days of any external examiner duties undertaken.

All external examiner duties are paid at an hourly rate in accordance with the time allocation detailed in our fees and workload policy. For more information on our expectations around moderation please see our policy developed by our centre for learning and teaching. If you do exceed these hours, please contact us.

  • Any claims for payment must then be submitted using the claim form.
  • You will need to provide itemised receipts for any expense claims, more details are found in our fees and workload policy.
  • After you have received your first payment please include your pay reference number, which can be found on your payslip, on any future claim forms.
  • Initially, external examiners complete a new starter form and new payment set up form to be registered for payment.
  • If your bank details change, please let us know.

All fee and expense claims including receipts must be submitted on the appropriate form to the external examiners administrator. Please note, you will need to provide an electronic signature on your claim form.

Alternatively, you can post your claim form to:External Examiners Administrator, Governance, Quality Assurance and Student Casework, Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP.

Payment

All fee claims are subject to tax and national insurance deductions in line with HMRC requirements. Any fee/expenses that are claimed are paid directly into a building society or bank account on the last working day of the month as detailed on the claim form. In order to receive payment, claim forms must be sent to us before the last working day of the previous month. Please note that there may be earlier deadlines in December and July due to holidays and financial year end.

Useful information

  • External examiners handbook – select Chapter 2.
  • Claim form
  • New payment set up form
  • Administration – any queries around samples of assessment, module boards, meetings with programme teams or other local matters should be directed to the departmental administrator.
  • Accommodation – your duties may require you to stay overnight in the local area. This is organised by us, and we are invoiced directly. Other expenses should be claimed back using the claim form.
  • Car parking and taxis – we can organise car parking and taxis if you contact us. Remember to keep and receipts from taxi’s.

Assessment boards

Assessment boards operate with delegated authority from academic board in confirming progression and award results. We operate a two-tier assessment board system for the determination of marks and results:

  • First tier: module assessment boards
  • Second tier: progression and award boards

Combined tier assessment boards may be convened where appropriate within programme/courses to assume the responsibilities of both module assessment boards and progression/award boards.

External examiners are required to attend appropriate assessment board meetings but we are conscious that, within a tiered assessment board system, it may not be possible for external examiners to attend at both module and programme level. The University’s general position is that subject external examiners should attend at the module board level with specifically designated examiners attending at the second tier stage. Where the operation of combined boards means that external examiners can attend both module and progression and award boards there is no requirement to designate individuals to have an oversight of the second tier stage.

It is important to stress that whilst we stipulate a minimum requirement for attendance at assessment boards, external examiners have a right, and are welcome, to attend all assessment boards they are associated with at any level.

If you would like anymore information regarding the Role and Remit of Edge Hill Assessment Boards, please contact the senior registrar.