5.7 The role of External Examiners at Examination Boards

1. Each academic department/Institute shall establish a final Examining Board or Boards to consider results and make recommendations on candidates pursuing schemes leading to the award of undergraduate and taught postgraduate qualifications.

2. For each departmental Examining/Institute Board there shall be:

(i) A Chair who will be a senior member of staff of the relevant Department or Institute, nominated by the Institute Director.
(ii) An External Examiner (or Examiners) appointed as prescribed.
(iii) Internal Examiners and/or representative(s) of relevant modules.
(iv) Appropriate persons who may attend at the Chair’s invitation in an advisory capacity. Such persons shall possess no voting rights.

3. All results on taught schemes will be confirmed by the relevant Senate Examining Board comprising:

(i) A Chair who will be Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for academic standards unless the PVC delegates this responsibility to another Pro Vice-Chancellor.
(ii) A Senate External Reviewer who will be a senior administrator from another university with substantial experience of operating examination and assessment practices and procedures. Their role would be to confirm that AU had operated its approved procedures correctly and to identify possible enhancements based on good practice elsewhere. The appointee would be required to attend Senate Examination Boards to oversee the proceedings.
(iii) Internal Examiners who will be representatives of all departments/Institutes teaching modules for which results are being considered.
(iv) Appropriate persons who may attend at the Chair’s invitation in an advisory capacity. Such persons shall possess no voting rights.

4. External Examiners are regarded as members of Examining Boards, giving an external perspective and offering advice and guidance. They do not have a right of veto on the decisions taken by the Board. On completion of a cycle of examining, an External Examiner’s signature on the relevant pass list(s) is taken to indicate that the decisions recorded were those taken by the Examining Board. It is not to be interpreted as necessarily implying an endorsement of the standards of the examination or of the conduct of the assessment; these are matters for consideration in External Examiners’ reports to the University.

5.During Semester One, External Examiners shall perform all the tasks normally associated with examining such as the approval of assessments. External Examiners will not be required to attend Examining Board meetings but may do so if they wish. Consultation shall take place by correspondence or other appropriate means.

6.External Examiners on undergraduate schemes are formally required by the University to be present at the main, semester two meeting of the Examining Boards in June at which the examination results in the subjects in which they have been involved are determined.

7. External Examiners on taught postgraduate schemes are formally required by the University to be present at the semester two meeting of the Examining Boards in June; however, departments may invite External Examiners to attend the final degree awarding Examining Board in November/December, in addition to the semester two Examining Board. There should be at least one External Examiner present at the final degree awarding board in November/December; this will be determined by the Department/Institute on a pro-rata basis.

8. If External Examiners exceptionally cannot attend a meeting where their presence is formally required, they should be available for consultation with the Chair of the Board by telephone, video network or other suitable means and shall despatch all documents necessary for the due performance of the business of the meeting.