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Roles and responsibilities

In External examiners

In External examiners

The Quality Code requires providers to seek external, impartial and independent academic and/or professional expertise ensuring that the standards and quality of a providers’ courses cohere with the relevant national qualifications framework, Subject Benchmark Statements, Characteristics Statements and any relevant professional or other requirements.

The 6 ‘Guiding Principles’ in the External Expertise Advice and Guidance

  1. Providers use one or more external experts as advisers to provide impartial and independent scrutiny on the approval and review of all provision that leads to the award of credit or a qualification.
  2. Degree-awarding bodies engage independent external examiners to comment impartially and informatively on academic standards, student achievement and assessment processes for all provision that leads to the award of credit or a qualification.
  3. Degree-awarding bodies have processes for the nomination, approval and engagement of external examiners and other independent external experts.
  4. Providers ensure that the roles of those providing external expertise are clear to students, staff and other stakeholders.
  5. Providers ensure that external experts are given sufficient and timely evidence and training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities.
  6. Providers have effective mechanisms in place to provide a response to input from external examiners and external advisers.

Role and responsibilities

Module Examiners

  • Maintain oversight and comment on the academic standards of the modules to which you are appointed.
  • Judge the overall standard of student performance.
  • Comment on the content and form of examination papers and course work.
  • Scrutinise a sample of examination scripts and summative coursework.
  • Monitor arrangements for live assessments.
  • Comment on and approve changes to existing modules and design of new modules.

Award Examiners

  • Maintain oversight and comment on the academic standards of the awards to which you are appointed.
  • Judge the overall standard of student performance.
  • Attend first-sit award boards
  • Provide feedback on examples of good practice and innovation and make recommendations to enhance the quality of learning opportunities provided to students.
  • Comment on and approve changes to award structures.

Examiners appointed to apprenticeship provision

  • Award external examiners will be appointed to the academic and practice-based elements of higher and degree apprenticeships and will undertake the full duties of an award examiner for this provision.
  • The award external examiner will normally be appointed as the module external examiner for an integrated apprenticeship end point assessment and will monitor the completion of these assessments.
  • Where an apprenticeship does not an include an academic award of Staffordshire University an Award examiner will still be appointed to oversee the apprenticeship as a whole.

All examiners

  • Produce an annual report.
  • Mentor new external examiners.
  • Report to the Deputy Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor on any serious matters of concern.

External examiner reports

External examiner reports are submitted annually using the University template through Microsoft Forms. Neither staff nor student names should be included.

Partner Provision: Please identify where comments relate to specific partners/sites or modules/courses.

The University takes your comments very seriously – please provide as much detail as possible.

Information and documentation

All external examiners

Sharing external examiner details and reports with students

Module Handbooks list the name, position and institution of Module External Examiners. Course Handbooks list the name, position and institution of Award External Examiners. Reports are made available to students.

Fees and expenses

Fee and Expense Claim Forms are submitted to the Quality Enhancement Service (QES). Fees are paid on receipt of the completed annual reports. Expenses can be submitted at any time. Forms are available from the QES website.

Amendments to Staffordshire university’s external examiner policy for 2020/21

Minor revisions were made to the External Examiner Policy during the academic year 2019/20:

  • 3 Month notice period added for an examiner wishing to resign from their post;
  • Clarification regarding attendance at boards for an examiner during their final year of tenure.

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