FAQs for External Examiners

Please refer to the External Examiners Handbook 2023-24 .

As a subject standards external examiner, you will:

  • confirm that the assessment process is conducted in accordance with the University's Academic Regulations, the approved scheme regulatory frameworks, course regulatory schedules and course regulations
  • confirm that students have been assessed fairly and have been judged on whether they have achieved the aims and learning outcomes of the course as stated in the course specification and the University's general educational aims
  • confirm that the range of marks given by internal examiners to students fairly reflect the standards of those students' performance, having regard to standards elsewhere in UK higher education.

As an awards external examiner, you will:

  • confirm that the conferment of awards have been reached in accordance with the University's Academic Regulations, the scheme regulatory framework, the course regulatory schedule and the course regulations and that the process of conferment has been conducted in accordance with good practice in higher education
  • attend Awards Board meetings at which decisions on the conferment of awards are made


The University has two categories of assessment boards that operate on behalf of Academic Board:

  • Subject Standards Boards (SSBs)
    These are charged with setting and monitoring academic standards, confirming marks for individual students at module level and coordinating the assessment process at subject level. Subject Standards Boards relate to schools, and normally to level (undergraduate or postgraduate) and/or specific subject areas within schools. All approved internal module examiners and subject standards examiners (external examiners) in a subject area are members of a Subject Standards Board.

  • Awards Boards
    The University Award Board is responsible for conferring awards. Its work is supported by two sub-committees:
    • The Awards Board sub-committee for Research Degrees
    • The Awards Board sub-committee for the Auditing of Taught Awards

The external examiners who sit on Awards Boards and Subject Standards Boards contribute to the annual and periodic monitoring process. As part of the fulfilment of their contract with the University, they produce an annual report to the Vice-Chancellor on the maintenance of appropriate standards and the probity of the assessment process. Payment of the fee for external examining is conditional upon production of the annual report.


Following your appointment as an external examiner, you should expect to receive:

  • an email welcoming you and directing you to the University’s web pages for external examiners, which provide detailed advice about your role, Academic Regulations, relevant processes, forms and contacts.
  • a contract for services that you are asked to sign, which identifies your responsibilities as an external examiner (and for subject standards examiners the initial range of courses/modules for which you have responsibility).
  • access to Evision for subject standards examiners.
  • for subject standards examiners, a remote induction arranged by the Academic Quality Department (AQD) and a seperate training session run by the school to the relevant courses, modules, course-specific regulations and staff.
  • for awards examiners, induction is via the Board and sub-committee meetings, where they overlap with existing and previous awards examiners before taking on the auditing responsibility.

External Examiners act as ‘critical friends’ to the modules they are responsible for examining. As an External Examiner you are asked to confirm the academic standards of modules, including specific judgements as to whether the assessments and marking standards are or are not appropriate.

You also provide advice on ways to enhance the quality of modules, courses and student performance.

As an awards examiner, you are asked to make judgements as to whether students have met the required criteria for awards, but you also monitor and advise upon academic standards and assessment policy.

No. Your role is to confirm that students have been assessed fairly and that the range of marks across all students who submitted assessments for the module fairly reflect the standards of those students' performance. You will have regard to standards elsewhere in UK Higher Education, or be able to advise where you believe that this is not the case, which will result in internal re-marking. However, if you disagree with the overall marking standard we ask you to indicate the aspects of concern, which could, for instance, be students in a particular mark range.

Once first marking has occurred, Schools organise for second marking to take place. The purpose of second marking is:

  • to perform a moderating role
  • to ensure consistency of marking
  • to examine special cases
  • to give confidence to students that marking will be objective and impartial

Each module will be assigned a second marker, who will mark at least 20% of the work submitted, or a minimum of 10 items for postgraduate dissertations or 20 items for all other assessments. If there are fewer than the minimum number of items required, then the total number of items will be moderated.

A standard contract tenure is four calendar years. In certain circumstances, you may be asked to extend your tenure by a maximum of one additional year. This request must come from the academic School and be approved by Academic Quality and Development.

All External Examiners are required to complete an Annual Report using our online report template. There is one template which covers both in-house and collaborative partnership modules.

Academic Quality and Development will contact you with further information on the Annual Report template, including a link to the template and deadlines for completion. Examiners covering undergraduate modules must normally submit their Annual Reports by the end of August each year. Examiners covering postgraduate modules must normally submit their Annual Reports by the end of October each year.

Expenses must be claimed using the Payroll Payments Form sent with all digital copies of receipts to the dedicated External Examiner email address: externalexaminer@londonmet.ac.uk

You should contact different individuals depending on the level of urgency and significance of the matter, eg:

  • For any matter concerning external examiners' processes, assessment and awards regulations, contracts, tenure and payment of expenses or fees, please contact the dedicated External Examiner email address: externalexaminer@londonmet.ac.uk
  • For matters which are specifically concerned with the suitability of proposed assessments, or other issues concerning academic judgements and academic standards, please contact the module leader, the course leader or the Dean of School as appropriate. Details of these contacts will have been provided as part of the induction arrangements.
  • If all the above procedures are exhausted and an external examiner still has serious concerns relating to the academic standards of a programme or programmes, they may invoke the QAA’s concern scheme or inform the relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body. Please see the QAA’s Concerns page and their guidance for external examiners for further information.