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External Examiners, expertise and accreditation

Within Higher Education in England, the use of external expertise remains one of the principal means for assuring the maintenance of threshold academic standards. The University of Bradford works with External Examiners, External Experts and professional bodies to ensure that programme development, delivery, assessment and classification processes across the institution are reliable, current, fair and transparent.

Privacy Notice - External Examiners and Experts (PDF document - email us to view in another format)

External Examiners

External Examiners are a key means of ensuring that:

  • The academic standard for each award and its component parts is set and maintained by the University at the appropriate level and that student performance is properly judged against this.
  • The assessment process measures student achievement appropriately against the intended outcomes of the programme, and is rigorous, fairly operated and in line with the institution’s policies and regulations.
  • The University is able to compare the standards of its awards with those of other degree awarding bodies and against the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, and other appropriate external reference points.

External Examiners also play a key role in the on-going enhancement of the quality of the University’s awards.

Being an External Examiner at Bradford

The main duties of the External Examiner role are as follows:

  • Reviewing and feeding back on proposed assessment tasks.
  • Reviewing samples of student work.
  • Endorsing the outcomes of module marking and moderation.
  • Attending Assessment Committees and/or Board of Examiners meetings.
  • Producing an annual report.
  • Providing ongoing feedback to Programme/Module Teams, as required.
  • Addressing professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements, where applicable.

For further information about External Examining at the University of Bradford, or to discuss current External Examiner opportunities, please see the Guide below or contact

External Examiners Guide

For Taught Programmes. Updated February 2020

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

External Experts

Experts external to the University bring their professional expertise and insight to activities such as programme review, modification and approval. External Experts are a valuable asset to the University in assuring that the programmes it delivers are academically coherent, current in terms of the most recent academic, professional and industrial developments and relevant to the needs of employers.

Being an External Expert at Bradford

External Experts will typically be asked to undertake the following duties:

  • Provide a detailed written report to the Panel to advise on proposals for new programmes, proposals for major modifications to programmes and on documentation to inform the periodic review of existing programmes.
  • Offer an independent and objective viewpoint on proposals within a specific area of academic or professional interest and expertise in order to enhance and inform lines of enquiry and the deliberations of the Panel.
  • Consider programme specifications and associated documentation and assess the extent to which these take proper account of University and external regulation, reference points and policy.
  • Offer judgements on the setting and maintaining of academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities in the context of the QAAHE Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), subject benchmarks and other associated elements of the UK Quality Code.
  • Comment with regard to the organisation and coherence of the detailed new programme proposal or programme under review.
  • Comment on the ability of the programme to provide a relevant and effective experience in the context of preparation for vocational or professional practice.
  • Make recommendations to the Panel on syllabi, learning and teaching strategy, learning outcomes and assessment in the context of relevance to current professional and employment practices, developments in academic research and the potential for the programme to offer a stimulating and interesting experience for students and the opportunity to attain the programme learning outcomes.
  • Advise, where appropriate, on whether proper consideration has been given to the requirements and regulations of professional and statutory bodies.

For further information or to discuss current External Expert opportunities, please contact

External Expert Role Description

Updated February 2020

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Eligibility to work as a Bradford External

Right to work in England

External nominees are usually appointed as individual employees of the University paid for completed reports. All applicants must be eligible to undertake paid work in England, in line with UK Home Office regulations and guidance. We work with the University HR department to assess this, using digital ID verification and video interviews before your appointment where possible. We will not discriminate based on national origin or settlement status, but regret that the University cannot sponsor a new visa for an External Examiner/Expert role.

Individual Eligibility Requirements

It is required for all applicants to Bradford External roles to:

  • Be proficient in academic English (equivalent to IELTS 7.0/CEFR C1 or above).
  • Have some understanding of learning, teaching and/or assessment in a defined area of academic study.
  • Hold qualifications to at least the level (RQF/FHEQ) of the course being examined, or have extensive experience as a practitioner in a cognate field.
  • Have access to a computer device and the Internet.
  • Be familiar with the standard to be expected of students/learners achieving the assessed award.
  • Where applicable, have proficiency in relevant languages where parts of a programme are delivered and assessed in a language other than English.
  • Where applicable, meet criteria set by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies that accredit or support the delivery of the course.

Desirable Applicant Qualities

Bradford External nominees usually meet these additional criteria:

  • They have sufficient breadth and depth of experience within fields of study under consideration to be a credible peer reviewer in British higher education.
  • They have knowledge and understanding of UK sector agreed reference points for academic standards and quality assurance in England.
  • They are competent and experienced relating to designing and/or operating a variety of assessment tasks appropriate to the subject or professional role.
  • They are aware of current developments in the design and delivery of a modular curriculum
  • They have competence and experience in the enhancement of the student learning experience
  • For examiner roles, they have no more than 1 other external examining appointment in the UK or Ireland.

The nominating Faculty may make an exceptional case for a nomination to be approved by the External Examiners and External Experts Sub-Committee without one or more of these qualities.

Conflict of Interest Guidance

In order to avoid conflict of interest, the University is unable to accept External Examiner applications if any of the following criteria apply:

  • They are a member of a governing body or committee of the University or one of its partners, or a current employee of the University or one of its partners.
  • They are working for the University as a current External Expert for the validation and review of the programmes to be examined.
  • They have a close professional, contractual or personal relationship with a member of staff or student involved with the programme of study to be examined.
  • They are involved in the assessment and/or recruitment of students to the programme of study.
  • They are, or know they will be, in a position to influence significantly the future of students on the programme of study.
  • They are significantly involved in recent or current substantive collaborative research activities with a member of staff closely involved in the delivery, management or assessment of the programme(s) and/or modules in question.
  • They are a former member of staff or student of the University - unless a period of five years has elapsed and, in the case of a former member of staff, all students taught by or with the proposed External Examiner have completed their programme(s).
  • They are involved in a reciprocal arrangement involving related programmes at another institution.
  • They are taking over the External Examiner role from a colleague in the same department in the same institution.
  • There is already one External Examiner from the same department of the same institution examining within the same Department within the University of Bradford.
  • They are deemed to have any conflict of interest in relation to commercial sensitivity.

Previously working as an External Examiner or External Expert for another Faculty of the University is generally NOT considered a conflict of interest.

Any potential conflicts of interest must be identified and resolved prior to appointment or, in the case of an existing External Examiner, as soon as they arise. Honesty and integrity are important values for all staff and contractors working with the University of Bradford. Existing External Examiners with potential conflicts of interest arising should contact their Faculty contact or the Learning, Teaching and Quality Enhancement team at

Bodies Corporate Eligibility

We can register intermediary companies carrying out academic quality assurance to the role of External Expert. In addition to evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria, corporate nominees should supply: a company invoice, detailing VAT registration and proof of banking; and a University of Bradford new supplier form. The nominee’s representative or contractor should also carry out their own “IR35” assessment to understand how we will determine their status through the same procedure, and generally be aware of current developments in legislation and practice around off-payroll working in the public sector.

In line with HMRC guidance (ESM 4150-4152), the University of Bradford believes External Examiners to be necessary, ancillary members of the Board of Examiners. We will only accept a corporate nomination as External Examiner in exceptional circumstances.

Bradford staff/students more information about External Examiners/Experts

Visit our SharePoint site for:
  • recently published External Examiner's Reports for your programme
  • a detailed guide to the roles of External Examiners and Experts
  • information about the External Examiners and External Experts Committee
  • information on how to extend an appointment or appoint a new External Examiner or Expert.

Professional accreditation

A large number of our undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes are accredited by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (collectively known as PSRBs). Such professional accreditation ensures our programmes align with current sector/industry standards and this, in turn, strengthens the value and currency of our students’ qualifications and graduate attributes in preparation for future study or employment.

Accreditation is achieved through a rigorous process of testing and re-testing that our programmes meet certain professional requirements and standards. Among other activities this involves regular returns of performance data, involvement in our periodic review panels/visits, and/or external assessment by the professional bodies.

Records of our accreditations

What charter marks does the University of Bradford hold?

The University has certification for aspects of its practice and operations by accrediting bodies, including Athena Swan, EFMD, the Quality Assurance Agency and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for HE. We are regulated by and registered with the Office for Students as a provider of higher education. The University's Royal Charter was awarded in 1966 by the Privy Council of HM Queen Elizabeth II and was most recently reapproved in 2015.

Which programmes are accredited?

The University is proud of its record in securing accreditation from standards bodies, having actively maintained and expanded its portfolio of professional accreditations across each of the four faculties. Accreditation details are available on individual faculty pages and on course pages accessible at the University’s Course Database.

Students in wigs and tails conducting a mock criminal trial in the Lady Hale Courtroom on campus