External examiners

External examiners have an integral role to play in ensuring academic standards and quality assurance of our validated courses

External examining gives us the opportunity to assure our students and ourselves that the courses we offer are at the same level and quality as other similar courses delivered at other institutions. It gives us valuable insight into other courses in the sector, and maintains the standards and quality of our courses.

Role of an external examiner

Although the role varies slightly depending on the University Validating Partner, there are several common factors:

Criteria for appointment

Given their vital role, it is essential that external examiners are suitable for appointment and do not have any associations with the Trust which may cause a conflict of interest. Therefore, there are strict criteria for appointment, which can be found at the relevant University pages:

Process for appointment

  1. The course lead receives an email reminding them that their external examiner’s tenure is due to expire
  2. Course leads consult the criteria for appointment , and approach suitable candidates
  3. Once initial contact is made, the course lead lets the quality team know and the candidate is sent a nomination form
  4. The candidate completes relevant sections* of the nomination form and returns the form to the course lead who completes the rest of the form, before returning the completed form to the quality team
  5. The form is then (for UEL courses) considered by the Trust Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Committee
  6. The form is signed by relevant stakeholders
  7. The form is sent to the relevant validating University for approval.
  8. Once approved, the appointment letter, contract and other information is sent to the new external examiner
  9. The external examiner is invited to attend an induction event
  10. The external examiner brings their proof of ‘right to work’ on their first visit to the Trust


We appoint external examiners for all of our university validated courses.

The role of the examiner is principally to assure the quality and standards of learning and teaching on the course in providing a valuable outside perspective. External examiners attend Course Assessment Boards or Exam Boards, and Registration Boards where research proposals are considered. We draw on a wide range of academics or professionals in the field to act as External Examiners.

Overview report

As part of our annual reviewing of our academic portfolio, we produce an overview report of external examiner reports at a Trust strategic level as well as at course level.

Course level reports

External examiners provide an annual report on each of our validated courses. These reports are published on the relevant course Moodle page, and discussed at course committees, and form part of the annual course monitoring action plan for the course.

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