External examining is an integral part of the University's quality assurance and enhancement processes. The University is committed to ensuring independent and appropriately qualified external scrutiny of its awards and our processes and procedures are aligned with the precepts of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
Acting as External Examiner
The principal role of every External Examiner at Roehampton is to sustain the academic integrity of the University's approved awards by testing the robustness of the assessment processes, ascertaining that students are treated fairly within these processes, and by reporting on them systematically and objectively. The role is normally taken up for a period of four years.
Handbook for External Examiners (includes specific duties, processes and procedures as well as useful links)
Working with External Examiners
The primary contact for External Examiners throughout their tenure are the programme teams. They are responsible for setting examinations board dates and moderation timelines in liaison with their Externals. These arrangements are overseen by the Programme Conveners and supported by the Programme Administrators as outlined in the guidelines document below:
Nominating New External Examiners
New External Examiners are nominated by the Programme Board and are approved by the Vice-Provost (Education), acting with the delegated authority of the Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee.
The Programme Convener must ensure that the proposed candidate meets the University suitability criteria for the role and seek approval from the Head of Department/Director of School (or a nominated officer) in the first instance.
Candidates for the External Examiner confirm their suitability for the role by completing the Eligibility Form.
Right to Work in the UK
In common with other institutions in the sector, the University is required to ensure that External Examiners have the right to work in UK.
Induction of New External Examiners
The University annually organises an induction event for new External Examiners. This offers an overview of the duties and expectations of the role as well as an opportunity for Externals to meet with programme representatives and learn more about the curriculum and the assessments.
In 20-21 induction is provided online and the materials include an introduction to the university (video 1), a recorded presentation with slides on the role of the external examiner and the assessment processes at Roehampton (video 2) as well as a presentation with slides on conducting moderation in Moodle/Turnitin (video 3).
Moderation of assessment is a process in two stages - internal and external - by which the University assures itself that any work undertaken by students is set and assessed in a consistent and fair manner. The purpose of moderation is to ensure the parity of standards and that the level of student achievement reflects the required academic standards comparable to other programmes at the University and nationally.
External moderation is conducted through a representative sample and follows the internal moderating process in line with the University's Assessment Procedures. Identifying the timelines for external moderation at the beginning of each assessment cycle forms part of the annual assessment and examination schedule which is devised by the Programme Convener, supported by the Programme Administrator, in liaison with the External Examiner.
Accessing the Moderation Sample
External Examiners carry out moderation duties online, through the University's virtual learning environment, Moodle (and Turnitin). Access is provided by way of a dedicated Moodle account.
The account username and password credentials are created at the start of tenure and are valid for its duration. The passwords are generated automatically and typically consist of up to ten characters including letters, numbers and symbols.
Upon receiving their Moodle login details, external examiners are strongly recommended to register on the Password Self-Service Portal also known as URPass. Singing up for this service facilitates streamlined access to Moodle at all times. In particular, it allows externals to quickly gain access in case of a lost or forgotten password. URPass can be used at any time and provides an efficient way to manage an external examiner’s Moodle account.
For more information on moderation through Moodle/Turnitin, see the dedicated Moodle Guide for External Examiners.
The University operates a two-tier board system where the first stage of the process is the Programme Examinations Board and the second, final stage of conferment is the Awards and Progression Board where the marks are fully ratified. Within this structure, External Examiners act as members of the Programme Examinations Board which oversees the assessment on a programme(s) or and the modules under its purview and is responsible for determining the final outcome of assessment, confirming the outcomes of mitigating circumstances applications and the recommendations for terminating student registration.
Annual Report and Response
External Examiners report on the findings of their moderation annually, typically following the main examinations board – May/June for UG programmes and September/October for PG programmes. Formal responses to the reports are provided by the Programme Conveners in accordance with the University guidance.
Claiming Fees and Expenses
The fee for external examining services is outlined in the letter of appointment and is normally processed on the submission of the annual report. To receive payment, External Examiners complete the fee claim form and send it to the Academic Office:
The reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses is processed independently from the fees and claimed through a separate Expenses Claim Form. Please note that expenses claims need to be accompanied by appropriate receipts (for electronic delivery scanned copies are acceptable) and should be in line with the University Guidelines and Allowances.
Useful Documents and Links
- Internal moderation form
- Partnership Moodle
- Password Self-Service Portal
- Moodle Guide for External Examiners