5.8 Reports

1. External Examiners are required by AU to submit written reports both annually and at the end of their period of office. External Examiners’ comments on the examining process are invited, including observations on the structure and content of the scheme of study and its teaching.

(i) External Examiners on undergraduate schemes are required to complete an annual report which should be submitted by email within 4 weeks of the meeting of the final Examining Board in June.
(ii) External Examiners on taught postgraduate schemes are required to complete two reports; an annual report which should be submitted by email within 4 weeks of the meeting of the semester two Examining Board in June, and a short report submitted at the end of the dissertation component of the degree scheme (November/December).
(iii) Where an external examiner is appointed to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the University will require separate reports to be completed following the relevant Examining Boards.

2. The content of the annual report should include full and constructive comments which will help to maintain and enhance provision.  Where content is considered incomplete or insufficient the department/institute may ask external examiners to add further commentary.

3. Annual Reports should be sent to AQRO at Aberystwyth University, which will forward them to the relevant Department/Institute. The University attaches considerable importance to the External Examiner’s report and payment of the fee and expenses is conditional upon its receipt. In the event of an Examiner not submitting a report, the Vice-Chancellor shall be empowered to take such steps as appropriate to the circumstances to obtain it, and/or may choose to issue a letter of premature termination as a result.

4. AQRO will acknowledge receipt of the report and arrange payment unless the report has not been satisfactorily completed, in which case the External Examiner will be invited to revise it. Departments/Institutes are asked to respond to their Examiners after they have given the report due consideration and to address any concerns about Departmental/Institute systems and processes.

5. Annual reports, with Departmental responses, will be published on the University’s AberLearn Blackboard site and will be available to registered students at the University. It is therefore important that reference is not made to individual candidates and individual members of staff by name.

6. Institutes will compile summary reports listing all issues raised by their External Examiners, and confirming the action taken in response. The Institute will ensure that each Examiner receives a response to the issues raised. The summary reports will be forwarded to the Quality Assurance Committee which will address concerns at University level and report to Academic Board. Each Examiner shall receive a copy of the relevant minute of the committee, which may ask the Pro Vice-Chancellor to respond directly to Examiners on specific concerns.

7. The University will give careful consideration to issues raised by its External Examiners and will inform the Examiners of steps taken in response to comments, or explain why recommended action has not been taken. It will not always be possible or desirable for the University to undertake action recommended by individual Examiners. This must be considered along with the comments of all other Examiners and other relevant performance indicators.

8. An External Examiner who considers it appropriate may send a separate, confidential report directly to the Vice-Chancellor to draw attention to any matters of acute concern. External Examiners should also note that if they have exhausted internal procedures and still have significant concerns, they may contact the QAA. Information is available here.

9. The process and timeline for receiving and responding to undergraduate and taught postgraduate External Examiner reports can be here.