QMU External Examiner induction: aide memoire for Programme Leaders

Each new External Examiner should be offered an on-site induction in advance of commencing the duties associated with the post. Exceptionally, the induction may be conducted using an alternative format, for example Skype supplemented by a later visit to the University. Typically, the Programme Leader is responsible for arranging the induction.

The key points set out in the table overleaf may be covered in the induction. Where points are not relevant, or have been covered previously - for example, through telephone contact in advance of the Examiner’s first visit – the Programme Leader should tailor the induction accordingly. Examiners with responsibility for collaborative provision should be separately inducted to the University’s arrangements for overseeing academic programmes delivered in partnership with other providers.

Programme Leaders are reminded that Examiners receive comprehensive written information on appointment in the form of the University’s External Examiners’ Handbook (2013). The on-site induction complements this resource and provides an opportunity to answer any preliminary questions that Examiners might have following their initial reading of the Handbook and programme-specific materials. The Handbook can be accessed on the University’s Quality website at: Resources for External Examiners 

Programme Leaders are welcome to involve staff of the Division of Governance and Enhancement (GQE) in the induction process. This may be especially useful for appointees with no prior experience of the External Examiner role. Staff of the Centre for Academic Practice can also provide support, as appropriate and agreed on an individual basis.

For further details on Examiner induction or any aspect of External Examining at QMU, please contact Dawn Martin, Assistant Secretary, Governance and Quality Enhancement: Dawn Martin Email Address  Feedback on the usefulness of this aide memoire would also be welcome, either from Programme Leaders or External Examiners. Again, this can be submitted to Dawn Martin.


Notes/suggested points to cover

Information about QMU

Brief history; QMU mission and vision, including flagships and the four Is; strategy and structure (Schools and Divisions)

Information about the School and Division

Structure, programmes and key staff

Information about the Programme

Reference points, structure, content, assessment, placement etc.
Normally, the Examiner with have received key materials electronically, e.g. Programme Handbook and module descriptors but if not, these can be supplied during the visit

Details of access to the Hub can also usefully be discussed (perhaps with a demonstration)

The External Examiner’s role at QMU

Moderation; sample size; procedure in event of disagreeing with internal Examiners; any entitlement to meet individual students (normally there is none)

Exam Boards

Conduct of Exam Boards; expected attendance; process for endorsing decisions/with-holding endorsement

QMU assessment regulations and regulations governing extenuating circumstances

Explain any programme-specific regulations

Report and response

Deadline for reports = 30 September each year to be submitted to External Examining Email Address 

 Response within approx. eight weeks to allow for discussion with full team.

How reports are shared with students

As a minimum this is through the Programme Committee to class representatives

Travel and accommodation

Can be arranged by the Academic Administration

Fees and expenses

Submit to GQE; note three month timescale for expenses, need for receipts and sustainable travel policy
Could refer Examiner to Expenses and Benefits manual

UKBA eligibility

Each new Examiner is asked to bring their passport to the University on the occasion of their first visit The Programme Leader should also bring the Examiner to GQE, where any member of staff can verify eligibility/copy the passport.

Key contacts

Programme Leader Academic Administration

Campus tour

Brief campus tour – may be more relevant for Examiners with responsibility for programmes that make use of specialist accommodation
Include procedures in the event of a fire