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External Examining Procedure

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Section 1 - External ExaminerIntroduction

Purpose and Parent Policy

(1) This procedure sets out the steps for the appointment of External Examiners and their duties in carrying out their appointed role under the Assessment, Grading and Certification Policy


Faculty Responsibilities

(2) The Academic Board is ultimately responsible for the appointment and management of External Examiners. 

(3) The Programme Director is responsible for the day-to-day management of External Examiners.

Staff Responsibilities

(4) The Registrar, as Chairperson of the Board of Examiners, is responsible for liaising with External Examiners at the Board of Examiners.

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Section 2 - Procedure

Part A - Procedure for Appointment of External Examiners

Nomination of an External Examiner

(5) The Programme Director, in consultation with the Registrar and Faculty, nominates an External Examiner to the Academic Board. 

(6) The nomination of more than one External Examiner may be required where the programme expertise is so diverse that it is difficult to secure a single External Examiner with the expertise required or where the workload is so large that it would be unreasonable to be undertaken by an individual.

Competencies Required of an External Examiner

(7) Hibernia College expects nominations for External Examiners appointments to satisfy the following:

  1. An appropriately qualified subject-matter expert or expert practitioner with evidence of currency of knowledge through up-to-date research and/or practice
  2. Familiarity with assessment of students in higher education (or in practice in respect of professional practice External Examiner nominations), including at the level of the programme concerned
  3. Familiarity with similar programmes and the academic standards of those offered by other providers in Ireland or internationally
  4. No pre-existing relationship with the College or any of the key personnel of the programme or Executive Management Team

Appointment of an External Examiner

(8) The Academic Board considers the nomination with due regard to the competencies required. 

(9) If approved by the Academic Board, the External Examiner is deemed appointed. 

(10) The Registrar (or their nominee) ensures that notification of the appointment of an External Examiner and the CV of the External Examiner is forwarded to Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and any other appropriate professional regulatory body. 

(11) The Registrar arranges for the contracting and remuneration of External Examiners.

Training and Support

(12) The Department of the Registrar provides External Examiners with training and support to familiarise them with Hibernia College and the relevant programme.

Part B - Procedure for External Examining

(13) The primary role of External Examiners is to verify that standards are upheld. Therefore, the reliability and validity of assessment procedures will be of particular importance. 

Duties of External Examiners

(14) Review the appropriateness of the minimum intended programme learning outcomes (i.e. the programme’s basic educational goals) and other programme objectives.

(15) Probe the actual attainment of students (actual programme learning outcomes) using information supplied by the College.

(16) Compare and contrast both the minimum intended programme learning outcomes and the actual attainment of students with the relevant awards standards with the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and with corresponding data from other programmes in the same discipline in other higher education institutions in Ireland and beyond.

(17) Determine whether the applied procedures for assessment are valid, reliable, fair and consistent.

(18) Review the appropriateness of the programme assessment strategy and the assessment procedures and, arising from this, consider subsidiary module assessment strategies.

(19) Review key assessment tasks prior to their assignment in light of the programme and module assessment strategies and students’ prerequisite (prior) learning. Where key tasks include key continuous assessment tasks, it might not be feasible to review them prior to assignment, but they should still be reviewed by the External Examiner.

(20) Confirm the assessment standards in respect of professional practice.

(21) Meet with individual students or observe students in the professional practice environment.

(22) Report findings and recommendations to the provider.

External Examiner Review of Student Assessment Effort

(23) Following grade moderation, a sample of all key assessments is submitted to the External Examiner for review.

(24) The External Examiner determines if the students’ genuine attainment of the learning outcomes meets the standards required for the discipline, the award being sought and our regulations for assessment.

(25) External Examiners are not required to re-mark individual scripts or assessments. However, they may make a recommendation for grade changes.

(26) On return from the External Examiner, any necessary action is taken by the Programme Director or nominee, or referred to the Board of Examiners for consideration as appropriate.