Information for Staff

This section provides all information relating to the role of the External Examiner at the University, including nomination procedures, responding to annual reports and the responsibilities of the MAB and PAB External Examiners within the University's two-tier Board of Examiner system.


For further information on the processes outlined on these pages, please refer to:

No External Examiner will be appointed if they are:

1.    A current employee of the University, one of its collaborative partners or a member of the University’s governing body or committee;

2.    In a close professional, contractual or personal relationship with a member of staff or student involved with the course;

3.    Required to assess colleagues who are recruited as students to the course;

4.    Anyone who is, or knows they will be, in a position to influence the future of students on the course;

5.    Significantly involved in recent or current substantive collaborative research activities with a member of staff closely involved in the delivery, management or assessment of the course(s) or modules in question;

6.    A former staff member or student at the University unless a period of five years has elapsed, and all students taught by or with the external examiner have completed their course(s).

Nor may there be:

1.    A reciprocal arrangement involving a cognate subject group at another institution;

2.    The succession of an External Examiner from an institution by a colleague from the same subject group in the same institution;

3.    The appointment of more than one External Examiner from the same subject area of the same institution.

In making recommendations for the appointment of the Module External Examiner, Heads of School shall ensure that the proposed External Examiner demonstrates:

1.    Knowledge and understanding of UK sector agreed reference points for the maintenance of academic standards and assurance and enhancement of quality;

2.    Competence and experience in the fields covered by the modules (and related courses(s) of study);

3.    Relevant academic and/or professional qualifications to at least the level of the modules / qualification being externally examined, and/or extensive practitioner experience where appropriate;

4.    Competence and experience relating to designing and operating a variety of assessment tasks appropriate to the subject and operating assessment procedures;

5.    Sufficient standing, credibility and breadth of experience within the discipline to be able to command the respect of academic peers and, where appropriate, professional peers;

6.    Familiarity with the standard to be expected of students to achieve the level of the modules / award that is to be assessed;

7.    Fluency in English, and where modules / courses are delivered and assessed in languages other than English, fluency in the relevant language(s) (unless other secure arrangements are in place to ensure that External Examiners are provided with the information to make their judgements);

8.    Suitability to meet any applicable criteria set by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies;

9.    Awareness of current developments in the design and delivery of relevant curricula;

10.  Competence and experience relating to the enhancement of the student learning experience.

In making recommendations for the appointment of the Progression and Award Board External Examiner, Faculty Deans shall ensure that the proposed External Examiner demonstrates:

1.    Knowledge and understanding of UK sector agreed reference points for the maintenance of academic standards and assurance and enhancement of quality;

2.    Competence and significant experience of managing assessment processes and in applying academic regulations;

3.    Suitability to meet any applicable criteria set by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

A Module External Examiner will not normally be appointed to more than 400 credits of modules for which they are required to review samples of assessed work. They may however be appointed to additional modules where there is no work to review.

External Examiner’s fees are paid through the Quality and Standards Office. The fee is payable on receipt of the annual report.

The fees are based on the credits for modules where samples of assessments are reviewed:


 For credits up to 240 a fee of £300 will be paid 

 For credits totalling between 245 and 320 the fee will be £400 

 For credits totalling more than 320 credits the fee will be £500

 PAB External Examiners receive a fixed fee of £100


No payment can be made until a Right to Work check has been completed.

All External Examiner nominations must be made on the appropriate MAB or PAB nomination form.

NOTE: All fields MUST be completed. Incorrect or incomplete forms will be returned, which will result in delays to the appointment process.


How to nominate an External Examiner
 1 Complete nomination on appropriate form 
 2 Acquire signatures from Course Director, Head of School and Faculty Director of Quality
 3 Send form and applicants CV to Faculty Quality Office who will send to the Quality and Standards Office. Any incomplete or incorrect forms will be returned
 4 QSO will send completed form and CV to the External Examiner Appointments panel for initial approval
 5 Once approved by panel, QSO will send to the Chair of the Education and Student Experience Committee for final approval

Upon final approval, QSO will notify the primary contact, Course Director and Faculty Quality Office. They will also send out a formal appointment letter to the External Examiner asking them to confirm acceptance of the appointment. The letter will include:

  • Period of appointment (usually 4 years)
  • Modules being examined for this period of time, as per the original nomination form
  • Annual fee. This is a fixed annual amount calculated on the number of credits being examined, as per the original nomination form

Once the External Examiner has accepted the appointment, QSO will arrange the right to work check.

NOTE: The University cannot add any External Examiner to the system without the right to work check, which is legally required.

 8 Once completed, QSO will send across all External Examiner personal details to HR who will then add them to the system
 9 The External Examiner will receive an automatic email from the University's IT team with instructions on how to set up their IT account and receive their CCCU username details
 10 The External Examiner must provide these details to the primary contact in order for them to be set up on Blackboard

All amendment to duties or extensions of term applications must be made on the appropriate External Examiner Amendment form.

You should use this form if you need to add/remove responsibilities or extend the term, or both.

NOTE: An extension of the period may only be granted at the end of the initial period, and only in exceptional circumstances.  The maximum extension permitted is one year.

The application and approval process is the same as for the initial nomination.

All External Examiners are required to submit an Annual Report covering the year for which work has been examined. Module External Examiners complete a single report, at the end of the year. There is no requirement for an end of Semester / Trimester report during the year. 

An External Examiner who has been appointed to both roles will need to complete two reports on the appropriate University Annual Report templates:

External Examiner Annual Report Template – Module

External Examiner Annual Report Template – PAB

Each year, Faculty Quality teams will send External Examiners their annual report template, pre-populated with the modules they will be examining. These are taken from the External Examiner’s contract.

It is expected that each course team will provide a written report in response to each annual report received from an External Examiner on the course.

This should be a single document on the appropriate University Response Template, which will highlight any good practice identified, discuss issues raised and draw attention to any actions that will be taken.

The documentation below provides guidance on responding to External Examiners' Reports, including a suggested structure.

All completed responses must be sent to the Head of School for approval. Once approved, the Course Director should forward onto the External Examiner and the Faculty Quality Office.

These responses will be published alongside the relevant External Examiner report on the relevant course Blackboard page and considered in Boards of Study.

The primary contact must meet with their Module External Examiner at the start of the appointment to brief them on the following:

1.    Intended learning outcomes of the relevant course(s) and modules, and how these meet the requirements of the benchmark statements in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education: Section A, as appropriate;

2.    Syllabuses and teaching methods of the modules for which the External Examiner is responsible;

3.    Methods of assessment and marking criteria;

4.    Guidance and/or a demonstration on how to access samples of work in Turnitin on Blackboard;

5.    Regulations for the relevant course(s) including those concerned with compensation for failure and opportunities for reassessment;

6.    External Examiner's role in relation to the examining team as a whole;

7.    At the start of each academic year, the Quality and Standards Office will hold an online University induction for all new External Examiners to attend.

For more information on External Examiner Induction, see section 5 in the External Examiner handbook.



Connect with us

Last edited: 08/08/2022 11:09:00