COVID-19 guidance for external examiners
During the coronavirus pandemic, the engagement of our external examiners is ever more critical, and Heriot-Watt University gratefully acknowledges your invaluable contribution.
For information and guidance on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on examinations and assessments, please see our guidance note for external examiners on COVID-19 actions.
General guidance for external examiners
The main purposes and functions of the external examiner system are to:
- Ensure that the academic standard for each award and award element is set and maintained at the appropriate level and that student performance is properly judged against this.
- Ensure that the standards of awards in similar subjects are comparable across different universities in the United Kingdom, though their content does of course vary.
- Ensure that the processes for assessment, examination and determination of awards are sound and fairly operated.
- Report on the standards of student performance and on comparability with students across universities in the UK.
The Handbook on External Examining for Taught Programmes has been written taking into consideration the recommendations and guidelines of the UK Quality Assurance Agency. It reflects University Regulations and procedures approved by the Senate which relate to external examiner processes (available from Ordinances and Regulations), together with generally accepted good practice. From the selection and appointment of examiners, responsibility of Examiners and reporting, through to scrutiny of reports, the Handbook provides a comprehensive guide for Examiners, academic staff and administrators and ensures that the correct procedures may be referred to and are followed.
External examiner reports
All external examiners complete an annual report, which is considered within the School, as well as by a Dean of the University and Academic Quality. A summary report is provided annually to the University Committee for Quality and Standards (UCQS). Students are involved in reviewing external examiner reports through membership of the UCQS (Student Union President) and membership of the School Studies Committee (School Officers).
Students can request the external examiner’s report for their programme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of the external examiner for each programme is available on the Examinations and Assessment web page
External examiner and chief external examiner guidance
- Handbook on External Examining for Taught Programmes
- Procedure for Review of Reports for Taught Programmes
- Process for Claiming and Paying Expenses and Fees
- Process for Right to Work in the UK
- Travel and Expenses Policy
- External Examiners: Briefing Session 2018
- Chief External Examiners: Briefing Session 2018
- UK Quality Code: Advice and Guidance: External Expertise
- Chief External Examiners Briefing paper
- Chief Remit and appointment criteria
External examiner and chief external examiner forms
The following forms are for the use of examiners
- New Staff Details Form
- Declaration to work in the UK - External Examiners
- External Examiners Expense Claim Form
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form
- 2019/20 UG External Examiner Report template for Taught Programmes
- 2019/20 PG External Examiner Report template for Taught Programmes
- 2018/19 Chief External Examiners Report template
Additional documentation for staff
The following forms are for the use of Heriot-Watt staff.