A Network of Hope: Assuring the Quality at

External Examining
at Keele University
Dorothea Ross-Simpson
Head of Governance and Quality Assurance
External Examining at Keele
• Is based on the UK Quality Code Chapter on External
Examining (B7)
• Is set out in the Keele Code of Practice on External Examining
1. Overview over the external examiner system at Keele
2. Administrative Arrangements
3. Available Support
4. Reporting Arrangements
5. How Keele deals with your reports
 All examiners appointed by Senate
 The QA Office issues contract letters including fee
and duration of appointment.
 Normal term of office is 4 years. Standard fee scale.
 Formal acceptance of appointment required
(including visa checking as a UKBA requirement)
Staying in Touch
Single email address: [email protected]
Key administrative contact:
• Jayne Bradley (fees, expenses, contracts)
Telephone 01782 733037
Nicci Chaddock (external examiner reports)
Telephone 01782 733085
Attending Discipline Examination Boards
• Dates agreed early (usually before Christmas) and
notified to you, usually by the School Manager or the
Examination Officer.
• External Examiners are required to attend the Discipline
Examination Board for the programme(s) to which they
have been appointed. Attendance is compulsory where
results are being considered that contribute to final
awards (Level 5, 6 and 7). Exception: Resit Boards
• In exceptional circumstances, should an external
examiner be unable to attend a meeting of the Board,
the School has to follow a formal procedure for proposed
alternative external examining arrangement.
Your Role
at the Discipline Examination Boards
• Ensure that board procedures are followed and that the
agreed results (module, progression and classification
recommendations) are robust and defensible.
• Provide verbal feedback to the Board at the end of
proceedings about: overall standards, examples of good
practice, how the provision and its assessment
procedures might be enhanced.
• If satisfied with the process, sign off the course results
If you are unsure
• First point of contact: School Examination Officer
• For regulatory advice: Head of Governance and Quality
• For academic / standards questions: Faculty Chief External
• Administrative matters: QA Office (Jayne)
Faculty Chief External Examiners
• Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Garry Crawford, University of Salford
External Examiner for Sociology
Contact: [email protected]
• Faculty of Natural Sciences
Professor John Greenman, University of Hull
External Examiner for Biomedical Science
Contact: [email protected]
Are external examiner posts part of the
2014 UCU marking boycott ?
(28 April onwards)
UCU advises: “No. External examiner appointments are
separate contracts.”
The University will seek Senate approval for procedures to
deal with the marking boycott and a copy of the agreed
procedure will be made available to external examiners.
The report template invites confirmation:
that the academic provision is in good health;
that the programmes and principal subjects are achieving
appropriate standards which compare well with other
institutions across the sector;
that any issues you identified previously have been
that the enhancement of quality is being pursued and
Submitting Your Report
• Deadline: normally one month after examination
board (but for u/g no later than Friday 30 August 2013)
• Report submission electronically to the QA office at:
[email protected]
• This triggers annual fee and expenses to be processed
Who reads your report?
• Vice-Chancellor /Deputy Vice Chancellor
• Subject Team and Head of School
• Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees
• Dean
• Faculty Chief External Examiner (undergraduate only. Not
Health Faculty)
• QA Officer + Head of Governance and QA
• Students
What happens then…
The School will:
Consider your report
Draft a response to you
Submit their draft response for approval to SLTC and
FLTC outlining action taken / planned
What happens then…
FLTCs will:
 Approve the School’s draft response so it can be sent to you.
 Discuss external examiner findings across the Faculty and
approve School responses
University Learning and Teaching Committee, QAC and Senate will:
Receive an overview report over pan-University issues
identified by external examiners (u/g and p/g)
Head of Governance and Quality Assurance or the Dean will:
Respond to you if you highlight an issue outside the School’s
What happens then…
The University publishes your report, the School’s
response and institutional overview reports on its
Schools are asked to share your reports and their
response with students
External Examining Overview Report
• Undergraduate Recommendations:
Improve documentation of internal moderation processes
Improve guidance on feedback standards
Review assessment loading
Review practice of providing formative feedback on drafts
• Postgraduate Recommendations:
Reinforce communication to students about the role played by
external examiners and the identity of their external
examiner(s) at programme level.
Produce curriculum maps where appropriate showing available
pathways and/or assessment options through subject areas

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