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External examiners are a vital part of the University’s quality assurance processes. The role of the external examiner is to ensure that the University’s academic standards are maintained and that sector expectations/requirements are met.

These web pages are a useful resource to assist the University’s external examiners with their duties and responsibilities.

The full guide for the University’s external examiners can be found here:

Guide for external examiners

Course documentation such as unit descriptors and programme specifications can be found on Solent Online Learning (SOL) by clicking here. A guide to accessing SOL can be found here:

SOL instructions for external examiners

For any queries relating to the role or responsibilities of the external examiner, please contact:

Mike Firth – External Examiner Officer
Email: AS.ExternalExaminers@solent.ac.uk
Telephone: 02382 016351

For any queries relating to moderation or assessment boards, the assessments team can be contacted on:

Email: Assessments@solent.ac.uk
Telephone: 02382 015023

Duties and responsibilities

The role of external examiners is to ensure that the University's academic standards are maintained and meet sector expectations/requirements.

The University appoints both unit and award external examiners due to the operation of a two tier assessment board structure.

Both the QAA and HEA give a clear statement about what is expected with regards to external examining. The University’s policies and processes are aligned to the QAA and HEA requirements, which can be found at the following links:

HEA: A Handbook for External Examining

QAA quality code: Chapter B7: External examining

A unit external examiner’s duties and responsibilities include:

unit-examiners-responsibilities

Unit external examiners may also be asked to advise on proposed unit and course modifications and new units as they arise.

Unit external examiners will be nominated by Academic Services to attend Unit Assessment Boards (UABs). Only two externals are required to attend each board. Their role is to endorse the UAB’s outcomes and confirm that decisions were reached in accordance with University policy and any professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements. 

An award external examiner's duties and responsibilities include:

award-examiners-responsibilities

The full rights and responsibilities of unit external examiners and award external examiners are detailed in Section 2I of the Academic Handbook.

External examiner annual reports

External examiners’ annual reports are a key indicator for the University in assessing the quality and standards of our awards, and they play a vital role in the quality assurance processes of the University, including course and periodic review. The report should cover the conduct of the assessments over the academic year and the standards being set and achieved by the University.

In June an email will be sent by Academic Services to all external examiners with details on how to access and complete their annual report.

Unit external examiners annual reports should be provided within four weeks after completion of moderation for the academic year, or, if requested to attend, after attendance at the final UAB for the academic year.

Award external examiners should complete and submit a report four weeks following attendance at a PAB.

The University will give full and proper consideration to comments and recommendations contained in external examiner reports. Appropriate staff within the University will provide detailed written feedback confirming any actions taken or planned in response to the report within six weeks of receiving it.

The QAA’s UK Quality Code for Higher Education; Chapter B7 states that external examiner reports should be made available to students. External examiner reports are shared with students via course representatives and course committees. The student portal and virtual learning environment informs students that they can also request external examiner reports directly from Academic Services. 

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education also indicates that the external examiner name, job title and institution should be made available to students. This will be done via the Solent Online Learning (SOL) virtual learning environment. 

Analysis of external examiner annual reports

At its first meeting of the year, the University's Academic Board receives a paper on the emergent themes arising from the most recent external examiner reports received by the University. The links to the papers for the last 3 years can be found below:

Emergent themes from external examiner reports 2014-15

Emergent themes from external examiner reports 2013-14

Emergent themes from external examiner reports 2012-13

Below are statistics from the external examiner reports for 2015-16. The emergent themes paper for 2015-16 will be uploaded shortly.

Relevant policies and regulations

The policies and regulations that external examiners are most likely to be involved with are accessible below:

Academic handbook section 2B: Academic framework for credit-bearing provision

Academic Handbook, Section 2K - The purpose and conduct of assessment boards

Academic handbook section 2I: External examiners

Academic handbook section 2O: Assessment policy

Academic handbook section 2O: Annex 1 Assessment regulations

Academic handbook section 2O: Annex 2: Grade criteria

Academic handbook section 2O: Annex 3: Grade marking criteria

The full version of the University's policies and regulations can be found here.

Fees and expenses

External examiners are entitled to a flat fee, as well as additional fees for attendance of assessment boards and to cover expenses.

Unit external examiner

Unit external examiners are paid an annual flat fee of £500. The fee will be paid upon submission of an annual report.

Where you have been requested to attend a Unit Assessment Board, you will receive an additional fee of £100 (per board) plus expenses. The additional fee will be paid following attendance at the board. 

Award external examiner

Award external examiners are paid an annual flat fee of £500. The fee will be paid upon submission of the final board report for the academic year.

External examiner expenses claim form

The expenses claim form should be used to claim back any expenses for visits to moderate student work, interim visits to schools and external examiners' briefing day expenses.

The expenses claim form can be found here

Claim forms must be accompanied by the appropriate receipts where applicable. The University will reimburse all reasonable travel and subsistence expenses.

The claim form should be completed and submitted to the external examiner officer, either via email or to the address below.

External Examiner Officer 
RM101 Academic Services
Southampton Solent University
East Park Terrace
Southampton
SO14 0YN

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