Period of appointment
External examiners are normally appointed for four annual assessment cycles (usually four years).
An exceptional extension of the appointment may be requested for a maximum of one year for cases where programmes are ending so the external examiner is able to see out the programme(s) and maintain quality of provision for the remaining students.
Where an extension is required, a rationale should be submitted in advance to the AQS Quality Manager (Externality) for approval.
External examiners should normally hold no more than two external examiner appointments for taught programmes at any one point in time.
The University applies specific criteria for the appointment of all external examiners, which are derived from the national set of criteria.
The appointment criteria for external examiners can be found here:
The University does not consider the prior involvement of an external examiner in the validation/review of a programme to be a conflict of interest. Therefore, external examiners who took part in the validation/review panel can be nominated as an external examiner.
External examiners should normally be in post for the annual start of the programmes they are responsible for. The approval of external examiners should take place as early as possible in the academic year, prior to the current external examiner completing his/her term of office, or the first start date of the new programme.
Occasionally, the Director of Programmes may wish to nominate an individual who may not fully meet the selection criteria. In these instances, the Director of Programmes should set out clearly the rationale for doing so, for approval of the Quality Manager (Externality) who may have to seek additional approval from the Director of Academic Quality Service.
Extension to appointment
Requests for exceptional extensions should be submitted in good time before the end of original appointment. Failure to do so may result in the external examiners’ personnel records being closed which can lead to delays in reinstating the external examiner on our systems.
Where an external examiner wishes to resign before the end of the term of office, they are requested to provide reasonable notice (at least six months) and complete their duties for the current year of appointment where possible. Immediate steps should be taken by the Programme Leader and Director of Programmes to identify a replacement.
An external examiner’s contract may be terminated by the University as a result of the following circumstances: