Annual Reports

Which Annual Report does my External need to complete?

External Examiner reports make a key contribution to the enhancement of academic standards in the University. As such, reports should be full enough to aid Subject/Award teams to develop their provision. There is a standard University report template, which is available electronically from e:Vision, and it is expected detailed responses will be provided to all relevant questions.  Comments need not be restricted to the topics specified in the template. However, it would be helpful if the team were made aware of any matters of concern that will be included in the report.

Comments made by External Examiners about the performance of a candidate in an examination may be viewed as personal data and therefore available to a student under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).  

The following reports will be expected:

  • if an External is contracted to a Module Results Board only, then 1 report should be completed.  This is the Module Results report;
  • if an External is contracted to an Award/Progression Board only, then 1 report should be completed.  This is the Award/Progression report;
  • if an External is contracted to both a Module Results Board and an Award/Progression report, then 2 separate reports should be completed.  These are both the Module Results and Award/Progression reports;
  • if an External is contracted to accredited provision, then a separate Accreditation report should be completed.

If an External is required to comment on collaborative provision, then this can be accommodated within the reports without the requirement for a separate collaborative report being submitted.

When does my External need to submit the report(s)?

Reports should be submitted to the Quality and Collaboration Unit (QCU) via e:Vision within the External Examiner Hub  (for the attention of the Assistant Academic Registrar, Quality Management) who receives them on behalf of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) and the Vice Chancellor. Reports should be submitted within four weeks of the date of the meeting of the final external assessment board of the academic year.  Undergraduate Boards normally meet in June.  Postgraduate Boards may meet at other times of the year.

Should reports not be received within four weeks of the date of the meeting of the relevant final external Assessment Board, a reminder is sent by QCU.  If the report is still not received, a second and final reminder is sent.  External Examiners whose reports are not received without good reason following the final reminder are referred to EESC.  The Sub Committee determines the action to be taken since the non-submission of a report may be considered as a contravention of an External’s contract.

Reports that provide insufficient information to Subject and Award Teams about the quality and standards of the provision may be returned for amplification.  In these cases the annual fee will be withheld pending receipt of an appropriate report.

External Examiners may send separate confidential reports directly to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) acting on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, on any matter that seriously compromises the academic standards and quality of the provision for which they are responsible.  In addition, “where an external examiner has a serious concern relating to systemic failings with the academic standards of a programme or programmes and has exhausted all published applicable internal procedures, including the submission of a confidential report to the head of the institution, he/she may invoke QAA's concerns scheme or inform the relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body” (Indicator 18, UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B7: External Examining, October 2011).  Guidance in relation to the concerns scheme is available from QAA.

External Examiners are requested to provide a summary or overview statement at the end of their term of office.

Who responds to the External's report and when?

Once an External has uploaded a report via e:Vision through the External Examiner Hub an automatic notification that the report is available is sent to the Dean of Faculty, relevant Associate Deans, PLs Quality, Faculty Deputy Assistant Registrars (Academic), Faculty Quality Administrators with responsibility for External Examining, the Chair of EESC, Quality and Collaboration Unit (QCU) representative and other nominated QCU staff with responsibility for External Examining.

A senior member of staff in each Faculty

  • reads all the Faculties reports;
  • draws the attention of the relevant module (subject) and award leaders to all issues of concern and organises and
  • approves the formal written response to External Examiners.

Module Leaders and/or Course/Award Leaders also identify module, subject and programme-wide issues.

The Chair and Officer of EESC read all of the reports on behalf of UAEC and identify matters requiring urgent action.

Faculties respond to all issues of concern raised by External Examiners, normally during the semester following receipt of the report, in accordance with Continuous Monitoring procedures, (see FAEC Handbook).  Responses to reports should include the action that has been taken or the action it is intended to take. In addition, Faculties  may also send copies of the relevant extract(s) from the Continuous Monitoring report to UAEC to Module Results (subject) and Award External Examiners where issues of concern have been raised (reporting is by ‘exception’ to UAEC). Actions to be taken with deadlines for completion are included as part of this reporting mechanism, as well as signalling instances of good practice. In some instances, Faculties may send their externals the complete report. If appropriate, the Chair of UAEC or EESC may respond directly to an External Examiner on an issue in consultation with the Faculty

Where an External has been unable to confirm standards these reports are escalated to the DVC (Academic) and Faculties are asked to provide a response/action plan immediately to the External.  The response/action plan is then monitored through the relevant FAEC and updates received at UAEC.

Where appropriate, External Examiner reports will be forwarded to professional bodies.  In cases where the requirements of external professional bodies are the focus of an External Examiner’s report, there may be a need to inform those bodies of action taken in response to the report.

An Overview report outlining themes and good practice arising from External Examiner reports across the University is presented to UAEC and Academic Board.  The approved report is circulated to Externals for information.

HERE is the template for responding to the External's annual report(s)