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​​​​​​​External Examining


​​School Contact Details


If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed on these pages, please feel free to contact your School via the relevant email address listed below:


School of Health and Social Care SHSC.quality@napier.ac.uk

School of Applied Sciences SAS.Quality@napier.ac.uk

School of Arts & Creative Industries SACIquality@napier.ac.uk

School of Computing, Engineering & Built Environment scebequality@napier.ac.uk

The Business School tbsquality@napier.ac.uk



External Examining at Edinburgh Napier


This area of the Quality & Standards website has two purposes:

  1. To provide existing and prospective External Examin​ers with the key information needed to successfully undertake their role within Edinburgh Napier.
  2. ​To provide comprehensive information and guidance for staff at the university who wish to appoint new External Examiners to their modules and programmes, or extend the contracts of existing External Examiners.

Information for External Examiners

Thank you for supporting Edinburgh Napier University in maintaining our academic standards and in enhancing the quality of our provision.                            

On this website you will find the information and resources that you require to fulfil your roles and responsibilities


Completing the appointment process

Once​ your nomination as External Examiner has been confirmed by the School and by Quality & Standards,our School Quality teams will be in touch to provide you with the External Examiner Appointment Form which you are required to submit. Completion of this form also, together with the External Examiners Declaration Form,is part of the appointment process and also confirms your acceptance of the role. The form is also available from theHuman Resources website. Human Resources will contact you to arrange a right to work check. You will need to submit all requested documentation and undertake a satisfactory right to work check before you can be added to our payroll system.                           

Induction opportunities Reporting and Fees

Induction materials can be found at the External Examiner Induction webpage                               

Details on the submission of your annual report can be found at the External Examiner Annual Report webpage.​

Following satisfactory submission of your annual report, your fee payment will be triggered. Full details of the procedures for payment of your fees and expenses are available on our Procedure for External Examiners' fee payments and expenses claims.

Data Protection/Freedom of Information

By accepting the role of external examiner you recognise your duty of confidentiality in relation to student work and other personal information about students, staff and third parties, which will be provided to you. You undertake to adhere to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the University's obligations under the Act with regard to such data, during your relationship with the University and after this has ended. Information about, and guidance on, the University's obligations is available from Governance Services.                           

You should also be aware that information contained in external examiners' reports constitutes recorded information held by the University. As such, these reports will be open to disclosure if requested by any person under the freedom of information (Scotland) Act 2002 subject to the exemption available under that Act in respect of personal data. On occasions the names of specific external examiners may also be requested and again the University would normally release this information. In accordance with the UK Quality Code: Chapter B7, we are required to include the name, position and institution of external examiners in student programme handbooks. This information is provided along with a statement to explain that the role of the external examiner is to oversee the quality and standards of the provision and that no student should be entering into direct correspondence with the external examiner.                           


Please note, if you have any concerns which you feel are not being addressed with appropriate action within the School, you have a right to raise any matter of serious concern with the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the institution, if necessary by means of a separate confidential written report.                              

If you have exhausted all published applicable internal procedures, including the submission of a confidential report to the head of the institution, you may invoke QAA's concerns scheme or inform the relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body.​                           


Roles and Responsibilities ​of External Examiners​

The general roles and responsibilities of external examiners at Edinburgh Napier University are defined in Academic Regulation A10.



An external examiner will be appointed to report and comment on all assessments which count towards the awards of the University listed in Regulation A4.1a)A4.1a), b), c) and e). To achieve this all approved SCQF level 9, 10 and 11 modules and all approved programmes of study which lead to an award of the University listed in Regulation , b), c) or e) will be allocated to an external examiner. Programme external examiners are required to consider and support exit awards.                          


The criteria for the appointment of external examiners are set out in the Quality Framework.                          


The role of external examiners is to advise the Programme Assessment Board, but decisions on student performance, progression and awards are those of the Board as a whole. As a minimum external examiners are asked to review a square root sample of completed assessment assignments and comment on:                          

a) whether the academic standard of each module or programme of study being considered is set and maintained at the appropriate level                          

b) whether the standards of student performance are properly judged against the level set                          

c) whether the assessment process is appropriate, rigorous, equitable and conducted in accordance with University guidance                          

d) the comparability of the standard and level of student achievement with those in other higher education institutions.                          


If an external examiner is unable to attend a meeting of a Programme Assessment Board, their views must be communicated to the Convenor of the Board prior to the meeting and such views will inform the meeting appropriately. The formal written minute of a Programme Assessment Board must record the views submitted by the approved external examiner and the means by which appropriate account has been given to such views. In the event that an external examiner declines or is unable to submit their views prior to the meeting this must be recorded in the formal written minute.                          


External examiners will be asked, in their expert judgment, to report annually to the University on good practice they have identified and on the matters set out in Regulation A10.4.                          


External examiners have authority to report direct to the Convenor of the Academic Board if they are concerned about standards of assessment and performance, particularly where they consider that assessments are being conducted in a way that jeopardises either the fair treatment of individual students or the standard of awards.                          

Please note that failure to fulfil your duties as external examiner may result in the early termination of your appointment.            

If you are unable to fulfil your contracted duties due to exceptional circumstances, such as illness - you should notify the School as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made to reallocate your workload accordingly and as appropriate.              

External Ex​aminer Induction

Welcome to the Edinburgh Napier external examiner induction page and thank you for undertaking this very important role for the University. This page will provide you with information about the University's regulatory and decision-making structures, the role of programme assessment boards and the role of external examiners within them.                         


The presentations below are aimed at providing you with the key information you will need in preparing to undertake your role as external examiner at Edinburgh Napier University. The four short presentations cover: 1) a welcome 2) details of quality and standards 3) key regulations and the role of examiner 4) reporting and payment. The presentations are designed for you to dip into and to watch the ones most pertinent to your situation.                         

Video_Camera_icon.pngView video presentation Welcome to External Examiner Induction ​                         

Video_Camera_icon.pngView video presentation Quality and Standards ​                         

Video_Camera_icon.pngView video presentation Regulations and Roles​                         

Video_Camera_icon.pngView video presentation Reports and Payments​                         

You should also be offered an opportunity to meet virtually with representatives from the programme or subject area with whom you will be working. They can help you with queries about the specifics of your role. If you have not been offered this opportunity please get in touch with your school contact or programme leader to arrange this. Generic contact details can be found here.                         

Programme Assessment Board Scenarios

We have prepared a series of programme board scenarios. You should ensure that you have access to the University's Academic Regulations​ and that you have watched the video on regulations prior to working through these scenarios.                         

This short video explains the information presented within each board sheet to help you to understand each student's academic profile and to understand the factors to determine the decisions to be taken by the Board.                         

Scenarios 1-6 .pdfExternal Examiner Programme Assessment Board Scenarios and Answers [170KB PDF format]                         

Programme Assessment Board Guidance updated Feb 23.docxProgramme Assessment Board Guidance updated Feb 23.docx                          

Further Information

In addition to this, we recommend that external examiners, and particularly those new to external examining, take a look at the Advance HE's Fundamentals of External Examining handbook. This aims to provide external examiners with guidance, advice and general information on external examining across the sector. For external examiners unfamiliar with Higher Education in Scotland we would also suggest you look at the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework which will provide you with the context of the various Scottish qualifications and the SCQF levels.                         

Provided within this site, you will also find details on Submitting your report, the Procedure for external examiners' fee payments and expenses claims, and Roles and responsibilities of External Examiners.                         

​Submitting yo​​ur report

Each session you must complete a report on completion of your d​uties.

 Download the External Examiner Report template for 2023/24         


Report deadlines for session 20​23/24​:

  • by 12 J​uly 2024 for duties relating to undergraduate (UG) provision
  • by ​4 October 2024​ for duties relating to taught masters (PG) provision

These deadlines are set to meet the requirements of the University's reporting cycle.                             

Some external examiners have both undergraduate and postgraduate duties. Please note that a separate report for each must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines. Once you have completed your report please email it to the relevant School (see School Contact Details).                             

Please note:

The reporting system is managed by the School Support Service. If you experiencing any technical difficulties completing the report, please email the relevant School (see School Contact Details).                             

Exceptionally where additional important issues arise at the Boards that consider reassessment, you may submit an additional short report to supplement your main report. This should be in the format of an email and sent to the relevant School (see School Contact Details).                             

In addition to this you should be aware that you have the right to raise any matter of serious concern directly in writing to the Convenor of Academic Board. Whilst we would hope that it would never be necessary you should also be aware of your rights to address serious concerns directly with the Quality Assurance Agency through their concerns scheme.                             

What happens to y​our report following submission?

Once your report is received by the school, it is passed on to colleagues to disseminate to module and programme teams and to student representatives.                             

The programme or module teams consider any recommendations made within the report and where concerns have been raised, a response will be sent to you addressing these concerns.                             

Good practice identified within your report will be noted by Quality & Standards and a summary report on good practice identified by external examiners is received and considered by the University's Quality & Standards Committee on an annual basis.                             

Fee payme​nt

Your fee payment follows satisfactory submission of your report. For further information, visit our External Examiner Fees webpage.                             

Freedom of information and data protection

Information contained in external examiners' reports constitutes recorded information held by the University. As such, these reports will be open to disclosure if requested by any person under the freedom of information (Scotland) Act 2002 subject to the exemption available under that Act in respect of personal data.                             

It should be noted that professional and statutory bodies may ask for copies of external examiner reports, for example as part of accreditation processes. The University normally releases the relevant report. On occasions the names of specific external examiners may also be requested and again the University would normally release this information.                             

Individual students or members of staff should not be identified in the report. Where an individual is named in the report, if they request copies of personal information held by the University, the University would normally release that information under the Data Protection Act 1998.                             

Edinburgh Napier University retains external examiner reports for seven years.​

Procedure for external examiners' fee payments and expenses c​laims

Annual fee pa​yments

Your annual fee payment follows receipt by your School of your annual report.                             

UK-based external exami​ners

  • If you are a UK-based external examiner, your fee payment is made net of statutory deductions for national insurance and tax to the bank account which you have nominated.                           

  • Payment is made via Payroll on the University's monthly paydate which is normally the last 28th day of the month.                           

  • The deadline for input of fee payments is a month in advance of the paydate.                           

  • To help ensure that your fee payments may be processed for inclusion in the payment schedule for that month. We need to receive your report in advance of the month deadline, which is usually the 10th of the month, otherwise your payment will be carried forward to the next month's paydate.                           

  • From April 2013 the University will have to send mandatory information to HMRC for anyone who receives a payment through payroll, before the University processes payroll for that month. In order to process payment, the information we hold about you needs to match the information that HMRC hold. If it doesn't, this could lead to all payments for everyone at the University being delayed, so it is important that you keep us informed of any changes to your personal details, including name and address.                             

Non-UK based external examiners

  • Fee payments to non-UK based external examiners are made on receipt of a Foreign Payment Request (FIN 6) form found here within the Treasury and Transactions section.                             

  • Once you have submitted your report, you should email the completed FIN 6 form to your school contact.                           

  • The payment is processed by Edinburgh Napier University's Financial Services and paid into your bank account.                           

Expenses claims

The School with which you work is responsible for reimbursing any expenses incurred during the course of your external examining duties and will provide you with expenses claim forms.                             

You should submit your completed expenses claim to the School at the return address shown on the form, attaching original VAT receipts. Please note that debit or credit card receipts alone are not accepted.                             

If you have any queries about expenses claims or require an expenses claim form, please get in touch with your contact in the School.​​

External Ex​​aminer Information for Staff

This information is intended for colleagues within Edinburgh Napier who are seeking further information on:                 

  • the processes related to appointing new external examiners, including the criteria for approval
  • how to seek new external examiners for a vacant position (or to find out more about becoming an external examiner elsewhere)
  • how to extend or amend an existing external examiners contract
  • the implications of professional and statutory regulatory bodies on the appointment of external examiners
  • the responsibilities held by School Support Service for the administration of external examiners.

If you have any queries about external examining procedures, please contact the relevant School (see School Contact Details).​

​Selection and Nomination of ​External Examiners:​ Criteri​a and Forms​

How do I find a new external examiner?

You can advertise your vacancy through the UK sector-wide JISC mail-list for past and current examiners and those interested in becoming external examiners.  Your School Quality contact can provides you with advice and guidance on doig this.      

External examiners can also be found through connections generated through academic networks, and programme and module teams may be able to suggest a number of potential external examiners to approach, subject to them meeting the appropriate criteria      

How do I appoint a new external examiner?

External examiners have an important role in offering an independent evaluation on the standards and quality of the provision offered at Edinburgh Napier University. The QAA External Examining Principles provide guidance on the criteria for appointing external examiners and this can be found below. Once you and your School Quality SAL are satisfied that the potential external examiner meets the criteria and once they have agreed to be nominated, you should complete the External Examiner Application Form and send it to Quality & Standards, quality@napier.ac.uk . Once Quality & Standards are satisfied that the candidate meets the criteria they will confirm this to you which then allows the School to start the HR and University appointment process via SITS and HR Connect.                

EE1 Application 2024.docx


Criteria for the appointment of new external examiners


Institutions should aim to have a suitably diverse external examiner pool, with that diversity contributing to the inclusiveness of their teaching, learning and assessment processes for students.​     


Person Specification​     

External examiners should have:     

a) ​Expertise, credibility and breadth of experience within the discipline to be able to command the respect of academic peers, and where appropriate, professional peers.      


b) Relevant academic and/or professional qualifications to at least the level of the qualification being externally examined, and/or extensive and equivalent practitioner experience where appropriate.      

c) Knowledge and understanding of UK reference points as outlined in the threshold academic standards in The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies, Subject Benchmark Statements, the Quality Code for Higher Education, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, regulatory requirements and the programme learning outcomes that students need to meet in order to achieve the award.  For new External Examiners, a commitment to undertake learning on this is required.      

d) Competence and experience relating to designing and delivering a variety of assessment tasks appropriate to the subject      

e) Awareness of current developments in the design and delivery of provision, demonstrated through involvement in approval and review events as an external panel member, fellowship of Advance HE etc.      

f) Fluency in English      

g) Experience in the broad subject area of leading curriculum development, design and assessment, for an equivalent or higher level of award.      

h) No more than two external examiner appointments for taught courses (or equivalent) at any point in time. ​     



External Examiners must be impartial in making their judgements and should have no previous close involvement with the University which might compromise their objectivity. In particular an External Examiner should not have been, during the past five years:         

  • A member of staff, a court member, a student, or a near relative of a member of staff i​nvolved with the programme of study         

  • An examiner on a cognate programme of study in the University                

  • A consultant to a programme of study team on programme of study design         

A proposed External Examiner must not be or have been, during the last five years:         

  • Personally associated with the sponsorship of students         

  • Required to assess colleagues who are recruited as students to the programme of study         

  • In a position to influence significantly the future of students on the programme of study         

There should not be any other proposal in progress within Napier University that would affect the External Examiner's eligibility for the proposed period of appointment, e.g. a visiting or honorary appointment.         


When considering an examiners duty for collaborative provision the programme team should ensure that the same examiner examines both the home and partner provision. This will ensure that equivalence of standards is monitored.         



Eligibility to work in the UK                

In addition to the criteria above, as the external examiner will receive a contract of employment from the University for undertaking their role, they must be eligible to work within the UK. A right to work in the UK check must be completed in advance of undertaking any work and successful applicants must complete a right ot work check with the Univerisyt’s People Team and submit evidence to confirm their eligibility to work in the UKChecks will either be in person or via video call depending on the documents providedMore information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checklist. 


How many programmes and/or modules can we ask an external examiner to be responsible for?

Module External Examiners should not be considered for duties of less than three modules (unless this is unavoidable in view of the specialist nature of a specific module). Equally External Examiners' workloads should be reasonable in terms of the volume of work and the timescales and deadlines associated with their duties.         

How long are external examiners appointed for?

External Examiners normal term of office should be for 4 academic sessions. In exceptional cases, this can be extended by 12 months to make the maximum period of appointment 5 years.         

What is the criteria for mentoring an external examiner?

If an external examiner is exceptionally appointed, for example they have no recent experience in external examining, then they must be supported by a mentor for the first 12 months of their appointment. The following criteria should be used to appoint a mentor:         

a) a mentor must be an experienced external examiner;         

b) any experienced external examiner appointed within the School may act as a mentor as long as they are willing to do so, and that it does not detract from the main task of external examining;         

c) The mentor must not be connected to the programme and modules the external examiner is expected to examine;         

d) a​ mentor may look after any number of inexperienced colleagues (subject to point c) above) but should be aware that there is no additional payment allotted to the mentoring role.

Making Amendments to the External Examiner's Duties

The University database, SITS, records the duties (module and programme responsibilities) formally contracted to an external examiner on the point of appointment. This information is obtained from the details provided on the appointment form (EE1), and it is used to determine the fee paid to the external examiner.             

The external examiner must be informed of any changes which require:​             

  • the fee payment to increase (see fee rates webpage for details);
  • a reallocation of duties, particularly those involving level 11 modules to the external examiner for the first time;
  • an extension to the period of appointment.

To change the duties of an external examiner, the School should:             

  1. obtain confirmation from the examiner that they agree to the changes;
  2. notify Quality & Standards of the changes;
  3. issue a new appointment letter to the external examiner;
  4. update SITS accordingly.

What if an external examiner retires from their academic post?

One of the functions of an external examiner is to comment on the comparability of the standard and level of student achievement at Edinburgh Napier University with those of other higher education institutions. Across the higher education sector it is accepted that currency issues can emerge two/three years after an individual retires from their institution. Consequently care must be taken to ensure that we do not continue to employ external examiners once they have been retired from their academic post for three or more years. An extension to an existing appointment cannot be agreed if during the appointment period the external will have been retired from their duties for more than three years.           



Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) and External Examiners

The Business School

Presently accreditation from PSRBs only directly impact on the appointment of external examiners in the area of Law where level 7 and 8 provision requires to be assigned to an external examiner. For other programmes, the University academic regulations only require external examiners to be appointed to examine level 9, 10 and 11 provision.    


School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment​

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) require the appointment of a second external examiner for the programmes they accredit. This external examiner must be in the building profession/industry.         

School of Applied Sciences and School of Health and Social Care​​

The Nursing, Midwifery and Veterinary Nursing PSRBs require evidence as part of their annual reviews that external examiners have engaged with the provision and that the external examiner contracts and renumeration are commensurate with their role. ​     


External examiners appointed to NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) approved programmes require confirmation that the appointee is on the NMC Register. 

School ​​Resp​onsibilities

Colleag​ues in Schools have responsibility for the day to day administration of the external examiner system and the following document goes into detail about the exact responsibilities for the school.


As a matter of course you should send out           

  • Programme Handbooks (if applicable)        

  • ​Module descriptors      

  • Assessment briefs/marking criteria        

  • Approved exemptions to the University Regulations (if applicable)        

The School should also:        

  • Notify external examiners of the dates and times of the online Programme Assessment Boards as early as possible.         

  • Send out draft assessments to external examiners and ensure that comments received are considered.        

  • Ensure that external examiners are provided with at least a square root sample of completed assessments.        

  • Ensure that external examiners are kept informed throughout the year of proposed changes to modules and/or programmes.        

  • Respond to any issues raised within the external examiners reports.        

  • Liaise with the external examiners to make travel and accommodation arrangements as necessary, ensuring that the external examiners are aware of the University procedures to claim back any expenses incurred (though as Programme Assessment Boards are online, fewer external examiners visit the institution in person).          

  • Make use of the checklist for schools below on the minimum information provided to external examiners to ensure a consistent experience for external examiners across the institution        


Checklist for Schools on minimum information provided to EEs (Version 2.0).docx          


Quality & Standards respo​​​nsibilities

  • Reviewing and confirming the appointment to confirm that appropriate standards have been met.    
  • Annualy updating the report template and setting the report deadline.    
  • Producing an annual summary report of University level feedback from ​the reports.​

Induction should be organised jointly between DLTE (Quality and Standards) and School Support Service. 


External Examiner Fee Payment Rates

Current rates.         

Module Duties Only
Rate (£)
 1 module100
2-3 modules 230
4-8 modules 285 
 9 or more modules 345

* an external examiner will normally be responsible for multiple modules; only in exceptional cases would an external examiner be responsible for 1 module.         

Programme and Module Duties
 Programme and Module
Rate (£)
Programme and 1-3 modules400
Programme and 4-7 modules460
Programme and 8 or more modules515

There is an upper fee of £615 per annum which can be applied at the School'​s discretion for external examiners undertaking exceptional duties. ​