Nominating, appointing and extending external examiners

Following successful nomination, external examiners are appointed for a four year period of office. This is not normally exceeded, but may be extended exceptionally for a further year. Consideration may also be given to reallocating external examiner's duties. Occasionally, examiner appointments may be terminated if it is judged that the responsibilities of the appointment had not been met, or cannot be fulfilled in the manner or to the standard to which the university requires.

Please refer to the guide to external examining at DMU for full details on the process for appointing an external examiner, as well as guidance for identifying potential examiners and the appointment criteria.

For more information, please contact Louise Newell.

Nominating and appointing

The authority for appointing external examiners rests solely with the Academic Board, which may, however, delegate this responsibility to the Academic Quality Committee (AQC). This in turn is delegated to the External Examiner and Reviewer Appointments Committee (EERAC).

Selection and appointment criteria

In appointing external examiners, the AQC shall have regard to: academic standing and examining experience; volume of work; independence and impartiality; members and former members of De Montfort University staff; and period of office. Please see the guide for full details of the national appointment criteria – programme teams and faculties need to ensure that this criteria has been met when nominating external examiners.

Eligibility to work in the UK

In order for the university to comply with its legal duties under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act (2006) checks that all external examiners are eligible to work in the UK must be conducted. To avoid any possibility of racial discrimination this documentation is required from everyone, even if they are a UK or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen.

Once their appointment has been approved and before any work is commenced, examiners must provide the university with documentation which evidences their right to work in the UK (see the guide for details). It is strongly advised that when staff members approach suitable candidates, they should also mention to the candidate that they will be required to provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK.


It is imperative that the selection and appointment criteria is read prior to the faculty completing the necessary nomination form – colleagues should also be aware of the checks undertaken to ensure external examiners are eligible to work in the UK. Failure to fully consider this information may result in nominations not being approved by the appointments committee – this will invariably slow the process up. 

Extension/reallocation of duties

In exceptional circumstances, applications for extensions of appointment length for one year only will be considered by the appointments committee eg during a transitional phase or to ensure continuity within the examining team. A reallocation of duties ie to include further or new modules/programmes will also be considered.

Terminating appointments

The appointment of an external examiner may be terminated by the Academic Board if it judges that the responsibilities of the appointment have not been, or cannot be, fulfilled in the manner or to the standard to which the university requires.

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