External Examiners

The Role of an External Examiner

External Examiners are appointed to a particular programme, subject or module. In some cases, a programme may have a team of external examiners where specialist subject expertise required is too broad for any one external examiner.
Their role is to provide independent quality assurance for the assessment process. Their function is to provide externality to quality assuring the assessment process and the marking of learner work. The External Examiner process assists in assuring standards appropriate to the award level are maintained and that standards at DBS are consistent with national standards and are comparable to other institutions.
(Extract from DBS' Quality Assurance Handbook)


Appointment of External Examiners

External Examiners for QQI programmes are appointed by DBS under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012. Proposals for QQI External Examiners are nominated by the Course Directors. The nominating School complete the “Application for Appointment of New External Examiner”, which is accompanied by the candidate’s curriculum vitae. This is approved by the Academic Appoints Sub-Committee on behalf of the Academic Board. Where required, it is forwarded to QQI by the QA Officer. When approved, the candidate is then formally invited to become an External Examiner for modules/subjects within their field of expertise.


External Examiner Expenses and Fees

External Examiners receive an Annual Fee of €600.00 per annum, for standard coverage.
The External Examiner Annual Fee Form 2021 must be directed to the Quality Assurance Officer to process at the end of the academic cycle.

Expenses incurred in the course of the duties of Externally Examining can be reimbursed, as set out in the External Examiner Expenses Policy - this can be requested from the Quality Assurance Officer.
The External Examiner Expenses Claim Form (available from the QA Officer) must be submitted to the Quality Assurance Officer, with the relevant receipts, to process. These can be submitted at any time, rather than waiting until the end of the academic cycle.


Paper, Module and Annual Reporting

External Examiners are provided links to the online Paper Feedback Form, and Sample Feedback Form. These forms automatically trigger a summary of the feedback regarding an exam paper (in advance of assessment), and/ or the sample reviewed (following the assessment, in advance of Exam Boards) to the Examiner, and Course Directors have access to these reports.

At the end of the Academic Cycle, External Examiners are required to submit an External Examiner Annual Report. This must be submitted to the Quality Assurance Officer. The report will be forwarded to the Head of Academic Programmes and Head of Faculty and School Operations for review. This report is subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

These Reports are essential as part of the Quality Assurance process, and feed directly into annual programme reviews and meetings, and into Programme Review under QQI.


Awarding Body Guidelines and Awards & Standards

The majority of programmes delivered by DBS are accredited by QQI, and all assessment regulations are aligned to the QQI Assessment & Standards (revised 2013).

QQI also sets out a set of guidelines for External Examining: QQI Effective Practice Guidelines for External Examining (revised February 2015)