The purpose of the annual External Examiner's written report is to help St Mary's University to judge whether a programme of study is meeting its stated aims and learning outcomes and maintaining the standards of the award(s) to which it leads.
Annual written reports from External Examiners are an important feature of the University's quality assurance procedures. For all programmes, both undergraduate and postgraduate, the report is required after the meeting of the Programme Examination Board, held at the end of the second semester/academic year. Reports should be submitted within three weeks of the final meeting of the Programme Examination Board using one of the following templates.
External Examiner reports are scrutinised within the University by the Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for quality assurance, the Registrar and the QS Office. They are circulated to the Heads of School and the programme directors by the QS Office with a request for a response to the external (to be copied to the QS Office) which should also feature within its Programme Annual Monitoring Statement, particularly to address any specific issues outlined in the report. The Programme Board is required to discuss the External Examiner report and it must form a standing item at the appropriate meeting each year. The report must be made available in full to all students (not just Programme Reps) by appropriate means such as MyModules. This can be done with redactions if necessary.
The comments of the External Examiners and the School responses are monitored by the School Teaching and Learning Quality Enhancement Committee (TLQE). Any points for action at University level are also noted and acted on as necessary. Where an external examiner raises a serious concern requiring urgent attention, an immediate response will be made by the Pro Vice-Chancellor or Registrar who will normally inform the External Examiner of any action or resolution of the issue.
The payment of annual fees and expenses is conditional on receipt of the Examiner's written annual report and completion of the External Examiner's Expenses Claim Form*. The report forms an appendix to the Annual Statement of Programme Evaluation and Review (ASPER). The programme is required to show in their statement how they are addressing any issues raised in the report. The University TLQE receives these annual statements and ensures they are acted upon.
External Examiners' reports form part of revalidation documents and may be viewed by QAA reviewers and Ofsted inspectors.
*St Mary's University will reimburse standard-class rail fare or mileage for use of a private car; for journeys outside England and Wales economy-class air fare is allowable. Reasonable subsistence expenses will also be paid. Receipts should be provided for all items of expenditure. Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions are deducted at source. External Examiners are urged to book travel well in advance, on receipt of the relevant dates, in order to minimise costs as fares will usually rise significantly close to the date of travel.