Report submission (University of Essex)

The External Examiner Portal is a collection of online IT resources to aid the External Examiner process. The portals were introduced in 2018-19 to replace the existing process and system.

Please note that these resources are currently unavailable to External Examiners for the University of Essex's partner institutions. 

External Examiner Report Portal

The External Examiner Report Portal is an online submission system for External Examiner reports. Reports, and Departmental Responses to said reports, will be saved within the system and will be accessible to relevant members of departmental and faculty staff so as to feed into the University of Essex's quality assurance processes.

Agresso Unit4Web

Agresso Unit4Web is an online financial management system. External Examiners should use the system for submission of claims for expenses.

Using Agresso Unit4Web off-campus 

If an External Examiner is using Agresso Unit4Web off-campus, or from a non-networked device, an OpenVPN connection will need to be established. Please refer to the External Examiner User Guide for instructions on how to set up a VPN connection. External Examiners do not need to request VPN access from the IT Helpdesk, as authorisation to use the service is automatically allocated upon appointment.

HR Organiser

External Examiners may access HR Organiser to inform the University of Essex of changes to their personal details, as outlined in the External Examiner User Guide.

Guidance for External Examiners External Examiner

New User Registration Guide

The New User Registration Guide (.docx) takes a newly nominated External Examiner nomination through the initial nomination and appointment process, from submission of their online application up to the generation of a University of Essex IT log-in.

External Examiner User Guide

The External Examiner User Guide (.docx) explains to External Examiners the fundamentals of using University of Essex IT systems, excluding the External Examiner Report Portal (see separate guidance below). Guidance for systems used to share information with External Examiners, including Moodle and FASER, are available on request.

External Examiner Report Portal Guide

The External Examiner Report Portal Guide (.pdf) explains to External Examiners how to use the online Report Portal for submission of reports, and for viewing Departmental Responses and course/module schedule details.

Set up an OpenVPN connection

An OpenVPN connection is required for submitting expenses online via Agresso Unit4Web whilst off-campus or utilising a non-networked device. The OpenVPN information includes guidance on establishing this connection for different operating systems.

Guidance for University of Essex staff (Report Portal)

Information for departments

Late submission

External Examiner reports should be submitted within four weeks after the date of the Exam Board and/or work was reviewed. 

External Examiners who appear to be late in submitting a report will be contacted by the Quality and Academic Development team initially as a prompt. All undergraduate reports relating to June or July Boards of Examiners meetings should be submitted by 31 August 2020 at the latest and postgraduate reports relating to November or December Boards of Examiners meetings by 31 December 2020 at the latest.

If a report has not been received by the deadlines, and the Quality and Academic Team are unsuccessful in further requests for the reports, the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) will write to the examiner concerned with a further reminder. If this is unsuccessful consideration will be given to terminating the examiner’s appointment on the grounds that the specified duties have not been fulfilled.

Reports must be submitted within three months of the examination board to be considered 'received', since reports received after this point can no longer contribute meaningfully to other quality assurance mechanisms.

Response to external examiners

On receipt, reports are available to the Head of Department (in the case of joint awards, the report will be available to the Heads of all relevant departments), the Departmental Manager, the appropriate Executive Dean(s) or nominee(s) and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education).

The Head of Department/School should discuss the reports at a team level and make a considered and timely response to each External Examiner. Internal Departments should provide this response via the External Examiners Report Portal. The response should outline any action to be taken (or the reason why there will be no action if this is the case) in response to External Examiners’ recommendations. Partner Institutions should complete this response using the relevant field on the Partner External Examiner Report proforma and provide this to the Dean of Partnerships (or nominee) and QUAD. The Head of Department then reports back to the University in the relevant annual review of courses report.

Role of Executive Dean

The Executive Dean or nominee does not routinely consult with the Head of Department on departmental level issues, unless they are of particular concern and require urgent action. The Executive Dean or nominee considers External Examiner reports to identify issues which cross departments and/or which merit consideration at the level of the faculty or at University level via the appropriate committee.

Undergraduate External Examiner issues for faculty consideration are normally referred by the Executive Dean or nominee to the Autumn Term meeting of the Faculty Education Committee. Taught postgraduate External Examiner issues are normally referred by the Executive Dean or nominee to the Spring Term meeting of the Faculty Education Committee. The consideration of issues in this way enables departments to reflect upon relevant Faculty Education Committee discussions of External Examiner issues when finalising their annual review of courses reports.

Overview of External Examiner Reports

Departments are asked to review their reports and respond to External Examiners. A template for an Overview Report reflecting on the External Examiner Reports is provided and can be used if Departments wish to provide further comments.

Deputy Deans of Education are asked to provide an Overview of External Examiner Reports from their Faculty at committees such as Faculty Education Committee.

Timeline for External Examiner and Annual Review of Courses Reporting 2020-21


Copies of correspondence between Heads of Departments, Executive Dean (or nominee) and external examiners should be retained by Departments. Records and extracts of relevant Board minutes will be held by the Assessment Team.

Student access to reports

Students should have access to External Examiner reports via their representatives on Faculty Education Committee and on Departmental Student Voice Groups (formerly Student Staff Liaison Committees), or equivalent.

Contact us
Contact us
Quality and Academic Development
Telephone: 01206 874861