Identifying and appointing External Examiners
Programme Directors should familiarise themselves with where in their period of appointment their current External Examiners are, and prepare to replace them accordingly at the appropriate time. The tenure of an External Examiner is four years. To extend this period, an application for a waiver would need to be made to RSC. The number of External Examiners required for a given programme is at the discretion of the Programme Director but it should be appropriate to the workload of your programme/portfolio of programmes. The various steps of identifying and appointing External Examiners are outlined below.
- It is the responsibility of the Programme Director to identify possible External Examiners and co-ordinate the process of appointing them. Potential sources for new External Examiners include:
- JISCMail External Examiner mailing list – advertisements can be placed via the JISCMail system for new External Examiners. Alerts will be sent to potential External Examiners who have registered their interest in a given subject
- Other HE institutions – direct contact may be made with other universities that deliver similar programmes and may have staff suitable for External Examiner positions.
- Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) – may have a register of suitable or approved External Examiners. Contact the PSRB directly.
- Current Programme Team – the current Programme Team represents a wide network of expertise in your particular subject area and may well be able to recommend individuals for External Examining
It is important that you consult the criteria for appointment of External Examiners (listed on the recommendation for appointment form) in order to determine candidates’ suitability for the role. Please also see Appendix 1 of the Regulations on the Code of Conduct for Boards of Examiners available here.
Once you have identified a suitable candidate, check with them the points listed in the “Items to be considered…” section at the start of the recommendation for appointment form. Approach them informally regarding their willingness to act in this capacity and their availability.
If any of the items to be considered cannot be satisfied, and you still wish to pursue the appointment, you must apply for a waiver to regulations (see RSC). Gather as much information as you can regarding the reasons the point cannot be satisfied, together with what will be done to mitigate this point. Waivers to Regulations are granted at RSC discretion.
Fill in the recommendation for appointment form. If any waivers to regulations are requested send the form, any waiver requests, and the potential external’s academic CV to the School Quality Officer (or appropriate staff member).
School LTC will then consider the recommendation. If the nomination is made over the summer and consideration of the nomination cannot wait until the next academic year, it will be considered by a virtual meeting of School LTC.
Once the nomination receives Senate approval, the External Examiner is considered appointed.
The Quality Team will send the External Examiner an appointment letter and a pack of general information regarding external examining at Aston.
The Programme Director should ensure that the Programme Administrator (or appropriate nominee) has the following items/documents so that they can be forwarded or made available to the External Examiner (aside from samples of assessment, programme and Examination Board marking grids, see Assessment section above):
- List of modules and Module Specifications
- Student and Programme Handbooks and marking criteria
- Learning, teaching and assessment strategies
- Programme Specification
- Information about relevant professional issues, such as fitness to practise, and any features that relate to the specific discipline
- Provisional dates of Examination Boards
- Expenses claim form
- Final report from previous External Examiner (if applicable)
- Published: 6 years ago
- Updated: 5 years ago