External Examiner nomination

Heads of department or school are responsible for nominating External Examiners. This should be during the Summer Term. Executive Deans, a nominee of the appropriate Faculty or Academic Partnerships, are responsible for the approval of the appointment.

Please note that while the Quality and Academic Development Team aim to complete all nominations within two months of receiving all appropriate information from the department/school, there may be delays from the External Examiner when conducting the Right to Work check, or from other teams involved in the process. Therefore, we strongly recommend that departments/schools proactively work towards approaching new External Examiners and send QUAD the relevant information as early as possible to reduce the risk of delay to new appointments.

Departments/schools should seek to distribute the workload of their Externals evenly and in line with the principles which govern the University's External Examiner policy.

New appointments

External Examiners are appointed for four consecutive years, in exceptional circumstances, a fifth year may be considered with the permission of the relevant Executive Dean or nominee, in order to provide continuity, or where a programme is ending. Examiners may not be re-appointed as an External Examiner for a taught award of the University for another five years, unless exceptional circumstances apply and five years have elapsed since their last appointment.

Once nominations have been approved, the Quality and Academic Development team send a formal letter of invitation to the External Examiner, specifying the awards and modules to which they have been appointed and asking the Examiner to confirm the appointment is accepted and that they are prepared to operate in line with the University's expectations, as described in the roles and responsibilities.

Criteria for nomination

Departments/schools need to check that the proposed external meets the criteria before submitting a nomination.

There may be some instances when an External does not meet all of the criteria, for example, where the field to be covered is highly specialised and the pool of possible Externals is very limited. In such an instance, the department/school should provide a written rationale which addresses those criteria the proposed External does not meet, alongside the nomination form.

How to nominate

University of Essex departments/schools 

University of Essex departments/schools use the External Examiner Nomination Portal

Restricted to University of Essex staff, the External Examiner Nomination Portal is used by departmental staff for nominating an External Examiner, and for making changes to existing appointments. The system is an enhancement of the University's existing personnel management system iTrent, and will record details of External Examiner nominations, course/module allocations and decisions in the nomination approval process.

Nomination Portal: guidance for University of Essex staff

Partner institutions 

Partner institutions use the External Examiner nomination form (.docx)

Currently, nominations for External Examiners for partner institutions should be made using a nomination form sent to external.examiners@essex.ac.uk.

What to include

All nominations will need to include:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • Evidence of Right to Work documentation in line with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. The documentation required is dependent on the residence status of the applicant:
    • UK and Irish Passport holders are contacted following approval of their nomination with instructions on how to verify their passport via an Identity Document Validation Technologies (IDVT).
    • EU Settled or Pre-Settled Status holders should provide a scan of the photo page of their passport or EU ID card, if available. They are contacted following approval of their nomination in order that they may provide a share code for their Right to Work status from the UK government website.
    • Visa holders should provide scans of the photo page of their passport and the front/reverse of your Biometric Residency Permit (BRP). They will be contacted later in your application with confirmation of additional documentation required (dependent on visa type) and instructions on progressing with the Right to Work checking process.
  • All new External Examiners will be asked to conduct a brief videocall with a member of the Quality and Academic Development team before the start of their appointment in order to finalise the Right to Work checking process. External Examiners should not start work until the check has been conducted and contract issued. Work conducted before the Right to Work check has been completed would be in contravention of UK employment law.

If the External Examiner cannot supply any of the required documentation, please seek advice from us via external.examiners@essex.ac.uk.

It will not be possible to accept or process any new recommendations without this information.

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Quality and Academic Development
Telephone: 01206 873944