All external examiners are required to submit an annual report, receipt of the report by Academic Services will trigger payment of the annual fee.
When to submit your annual report
Submission deadlines for annual reports vary, please see below:
- PGCE courses - 1 August
- Undergraduate courses - 1 August
- Professional Masters courses - 1 January
- Masters courses - 1 January
Academic Services will send an email before your annual report is due as a reminder of this responsibility.
How to submit your annual report
Annual reports should be submitted electronically to the Head of Quality at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Academic Services will copy reports immediately to Subject Leaders and all relevant staff. External examiners retain the right to send reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor.
Annual reports should follow the templates provided below:
Content of annual report
Individual students should not be named in annual reports or reference made to students' work or presentations which may identify them. For example, detailed description of a particular piece of art may allow for the student to be identified. In addition, for PGCE reports comments regarding lesson observation/observation of student teaching should not be included in the main report, but included as an appendix.
External examiners are required to report annually on issues related to course assessment. These will include:
- Student performance:
- Overall performance of students in relation to peers on comparable courses elsewhere
- Strengths/weaknesses of students
- Quality of knowledge/skills demonstrated by students
- Quality and standard of exam scripts and/or assignments
- Depth/breadth of subject matter revealed in students' work
- Comparison with student performance in previous years
- Marking and assessment:
- Consistency, thoroughness and standards in marking
- Distribution of marks within and between modules/units
- Comparisons of distribution of degree classification with those from comparable courses as far as can be inferred from the marks of "your" modules
- Suitability of examinations/assessed coursework in relation to module unit/course aims, objectives and intended outcomes
- Teaching, learning and curriculum:
- Appropriateness of programme specification
- Relationship of the curriculum to subject benchmark statements
- Lessons from the assessments for the curriculum, syllabus, teaching methods and resources of the course
- Appropriateness for qualifications at this level in this subject in relation to FHEQ
- Comparable with similar courses or subjects in other UK institutions
- Embedding of employability and engagement with industry within curriculum and explicitly demonstrated in quality/outcomes of student work
- Strengths and areas for development:
- Any particular strengths, distinctive/innovative features or areas of good practice in relation to standards and assessment
- Priorities for improvement
External examiners will also be required to comment the following areas:
- Confirm that, for the boards relevant to your area of external examining, BSU processes for assessment, examination and determination of awards are sound and have been fairly conducted
- Confirm broad comparability of standards relative to other institutions which offer similar programmes
- Observations on issues raised in meetings with students
- Extent to which the support from the course team (communication/information provided) has enabled you to carry out your duties successfully
- Adequacy of University's general arrangements and organisation, and conduct of assessment board meetings
- Response by course team to areas for development identified in last report
- External examiners in their last year of appointment area asked to comment on their experience as an external examiner at Bath Spa University
- Any comments external examiners wish to raise not covered previously
In addition, Chief External Examiners' reports should include comment on:
- Discussion with relevant external examiners within the course team to identify generic issues, together with means of resolving such issues
How Bath Spa University uses annual reports
Annual reports are addressed through a feedback process that aims to keep external examiners fully informed of action taken as a result of their reports. The feedback process is as follows:
- On receipt, the Academic Services will acknowledge safe receipt of the report. It is then forwarded to the relevant subject leader and copied to the relevant Head of School for information.
- The Head of Quality Assurance reads all external examiners' reports and makes comments or raises questions pertaining to the issues raised by the external examiner for the attention of subject leaders.
- Subject leaders are asked to write a response to their external examiner, advising of any action taken/to be taken (or reasons why action is not taken) on issues raised by the external examiner and Head of Quality Assurance. This response is copied to the Assistant Quality Assurance Officer (External Examining) in the Quality Management Team.
- The Head of Quality Assurance writes an overview report of all external examiners' reports which accompanies the annual reports to the University's Academic Quality and Standards Committee. The equivalent report for the 2011/12 round of reports can be found here - Q1086 (.pdf)
- Annual reports form an important part of the annual monitoring process undertaken by course teams in December
- Chief External Examiners' results are circulated to external examiners within the relevant course team
- The External Examiner's report will be published in full for all students to access as per Chapter B7, indicator 14 of the UK Quality Code. Students can also access comments made by the Head of Quality Assurance and subject leaders' responses for subjects relevant to their course as this information is hosted on Minerva.
- School Boards are required to consider all external examiner reports and the subject leader's response for subjects delivered in their School.