Information for external examiners
External examiners play an important role as one of the key safeguards of academic standards of the programmes offered at Keele. Your independent, impartial advice and informed comments will contribute to the enhancement and development of our programmes to ensure that the academic standards of our awards are maintained in line with national standards and our assessment processes measure student achievement rigorously and fairly.
We appreciate that all external examiners across the sector carry out a demanding and difficult task. Therefore, what you tell us in your report will be taken very seriously, discussed in detail by the School offering the subject you examine, and later on in various committees at Faculty and University level. This ensures that we do not overlook any of the subject-specific or university-wide implications of your comments.
In this area, you will find all the information you need as an External Examiner for Keele University including:
- Code of Practice on External Examining;
- The most recent external examiner report and responses for your relevant programme (you will need your Keele log-in to access these);
- Opportunities for External Examiners to meet students;
- Keele's Vision for Education;
- Higher Education Academy’s Handbook for External Examiners - The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has published A Handbook for External Examining to provide guidance, advice and general information on the topic of external examining. Designed for use by all external examiners, it will be of particular interest to new external examiners or those examiners who may wish to be more familiar with academic institutions and their practices.
- Programme Specifications for all Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes;
- Marking/assessment criteria for Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Level 7;
- Institutional practice in respect of condonement and compensation;
- Student progression (including resits and retakes) and reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities;
- Guidance on the Recording of Assessments;
- Information on Examination Boards;
- The Moderation Policy;
- The University Chief External Examiner.
Please note that all appointed External Examiners will be required to prove their eligibility to work in the UK. Please see Eligibility to Work in the UK - Guidance for External Examiners for more information.
To prepare you for your role, all new external examiners are required to complete an outline training induction activity. A link to access this training will be sent to you on receipt of your acceptance of the role. You will also be invited to campus to visit the School your programme is based in.
Each external examiner is required to submit electronically a full annual report on the designated template (External Examiner Report Template 2019-20) to the University, normally within four weeks of the subject examination board taking place.
In addition to the core content relating to standards and student achievement, external examiners are invited to comment on the following:
- whether sufficient evidence was received to enable the role to be fulfilled;
- whether issues raised in the previous report(s) have been, or are being, addressed to their satisfaction;
- areas of good practice and evidence of enhancement;
- the addressing of any issues as specifically required by any relevant professional body, and
- to give an overview of their term of office (when concluded).
Payment of the External Examiner fee will be triggered by the receipt of the annual report. Please note that the fee will be liable to tax and NI, if applicable.
Quality Assurance receives the reports on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor. Once reports are received, they are checked by Quality Assurance for completeness then forwarded to the School.
The School will ensure that the report and any recommendations contained therein are considered carefully. The School then drafts a formal response to the External Examiner outlining the actions taken to any recommendations, which is approved by the School Education Committee. The School is responsible for sending the approved response to the External Examiner in a timely manner.
The Faculty Education Committee will receive the reports and responses for information and discuss any significant recommendations and highlight commendations for good practice.
In parallel, the External Examiner reports for each Faculty will be scrutinised by Quality Assurance to identify serious concerns or issues of a pan-institutional nature. These will be summarised into Overview Reports and considered, alongside a compendium of good practice identified in the reports, by the Quality and Academic Standards Sub-Committee, University Education Committee and Senate.
Please see the guidance below which provides external examiners and schools information on the parameters for expenses claims associated with the external examiner role:
The External Examiners Expenses Claim form (for travelling and subsistence) is available for download here:- External Examiners Expenses Claim Form
Please be reminded that we will only reimburse standard class travel.
Expenses Claim forms must be submitted to Quality Assurance and should include original receipts attached to the Expenses Claim Form.
Please post Expenses Claim Forms to: