Examiner appointments and payments

Information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic

For the most up-to-date advice and guidance about policies and processes relating to Examinations and Assessments, please refer to the following webpages:

Advice for student-facing staff: https://academic.admin.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus
Advice for students: https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/coronavirus-advice

The Examinations and Assessments Framework (EAF) has been updated to reflect changes implemented due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

OVERVIEW

Each year, departments are responsible for appointing an exam board for each University examination and, subsequently, for requesting that payments are made to examiners via the Examiner Appointments and Payments (EAP) portal.

The composition of each exam board is determined by its associated standing order. At a minimum, each exam board must consist of:

  • a Chair of Examiners
  • an Internal Examiners
  • an External Examiners (an exception is with first Public Examinations (prelims) whereby no External Examiner is required)

Assessors may also be optionally appointed to assist an exam board, for example with the marking and setting of examinations.

Full guidance relating to examiner appointments is available from the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

Full guidance relating to the EAP portal, including how to gain access and user manuals, is available from the EAP support page. Any queries relating to the EAP portal should be directed to the Student Systems Support Centre at student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or 01865 (2)84848.

 

STANDING ORDERS

The structure of exam boards is governed by their standing orders. A standing order outlines the minimum number of Internal and External examiners who must be appointed to the exam board, as well as the terms of office (i.e. lengths of each appointment) of its Chair of Examiners, Internal Examiners and External Examiners.

Further guidance on standing orders is available from Part 2 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

Further information on terms of office is available from the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations:

  • Chair of Examiners - see Part 5 of the regulations
  • Internal Examiners - see Part 4 of the regulations
  • External Examiners - see Part 6 of the regulations

Amending and approving Standing Orders

Senior Nominating Officers (SNOs) are responsible for confirming the accuracy of standing orders and any required amendment prior to the start of each academic year, and in advance of exam boards being appointed.

An exam board can only be appointed once any amendment made to its standing order has been approved by the SNO and the central Examinations and Assessments Team. If no amendment has been made, the approved standing order from the previous academic year will remain in place without the need for any additional approval.

Exam Board Administrators (EBAs) can view and amend standing orders via the EAP Portal.

SNOs can view standing orders and approve any amendments entered by the EBAs via the EAP Portal.

Full guidance relating to the EAP portal, including how to gain access and user manuals, is available from the EAP support page. Any queries relating to the EAP portal should be directed to the Student Systems Support Centre at student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or 01865 (2)84848.

 

APPOINTMENTS

Departments are responsible for appointing Chairs of Examiners, Internal Examiners and External Examiners, as well as optional Assessors, for each University examination in each academic year, via the EAP Portal.

The Examinations and Assessments Team will notify departments when they can start appointing Exam Boards for the upcoming academic year towards the end of each Trinity Term.

All appointments are for one term of office only - the duration (number of years) of each appointment is governed by the term of office stated in the Exam Board's standing order. Appointments that are within their terms of office will be automatically rolled over in the EAP Portal to the subsequent academic year's Exam Board.

Examiners and Assessors must not carry out any examination duties until their appointments have been confirmed. An appointment is confirmed once it has met the following two conditions:

  1. Received the necessary academic approvals, from either Chair of Examiners or Senior Nominating Officers and, if required, from the Proctors
  2. Confirmed valid Right to Work (RtW) status - see RtW section below for further information.

The EAP Portal manages the appointments approval process and provides information on appointment statuses, including confirmed appointments. Further information about the EAP Portal, including user manuals, is available from the EAP support page.

Full guidance relating to the appointments of Chairs of Examiners, Internal and External Examiners, and Assessors, the terms of office for their appointments, as well as their roles and responsibilities is available from the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

Specific information relating to the appointments of Chair of Examiners, Internal and External Examiners and Assessors, as well as appointments of new examiners and assessors, and Right to Work, is available from the relevant sections below.

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A Chair of Examiners must be appointed to all exam boards by 1st October of each academic year.

All appointments of Chairs of Examiners require approval from Senior Nominating Officers (SNOs).

Appointments also require approval from the Proctors if the nominated individuals do not meet at least one of the following two criteria:

  1. Have full faculty membership
  2. Have previously been appointed as either Chair of Examiners or Internal Examiner

Appointments that require approval from the Proctors must be submitted with a Chair supporting information form.

Chairs of Examiners may be reappointed to serve additional terms of office with approval from SNOs.

For joint school examinations where the Chair of Examiners is appointed on a rotating basis between the departments which jointly manage the exam board, the departments must agree on a process for ensuring that the Chair of Examiners for any particular academic year is appointed by the correct department.

Regulations relating to the appointment of Chair of Examiners is available from Part 5 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

A minimum of one Internal Examiner must be appointed to all exam boards by 1 November of each academic year. The total number of Internal Examiners that must be appointed is governed by the standing order.

All appointments of Internal Examiners require approval from Senior Nominating Officers (SNOs).

Appointments will only require approval from the Proctors if the individuals being appointed do not meet at least one of the following two criteria:

  1. Have full faculty membership
  2. Have previously been appointed as either Chair of Examiners or Internal Examiner

All appointments that require approval from the Proctors must be submitted with an Internal supporting information form.

Internal Examiners can be reappointed to serve one additional term of office with approval from SNOs.

For regulations relating to the appointment of Chair of Examiners, please see Part 3 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

External Examiners must be appointed by 1 November of each academic year.

With the exception of First Public Examinations (prelims), a minimum of one External Examiner must be appointed to all Exam Boards to act as an arbiter of standards. The total number of External Examiners that must be appointed to an exam board is governed by its standing order.

Note: See External Assessors section below for appointing External Examiner as provider of subject/academic expertise. External Examiners must not act as both arbiter of standards and as provider of subject/academic expertise without advance permission from the Proctors.

All appointments of External Examiners require approval from Senior Nominating Officers (SNOs) and from the Proctors, and must be submitted with a CV and External supporting information form.

External Examiners can only be appointed for one term of office, of either three or four years. After serving one term of office, they cannot be reappointed for at least five years.  

Extension on External Examiners term of office

The Proctors may grant permission for an External Examiner’s term of office to be extended beyond that stated in the standing order by one additional year. Such permissions will only be granted where there is sufficient justification of exceptional circumstances and must be sought well in advance of the start of the academic year.

To appoint External Examiner for a one year extension, you simply nominate the external examiner via the EAP Portal as normal. The appointment must however be submitted with a document outlining the exceptional circumstances along with sufficient justifications as to why an extension would be appropriate (as ‘Other Files’) in addition to CV and External supporting information form.

The system will automatically recognise this reappointment as a one year extension and will not roll over the appointment to subsequent academic year. It will also disallow the same External Examiner from being reappointed again for at least five years.

For regulations relating to the appointment of External Examiners, please see Part 6 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

Exam Boards may, at their discretion, choose to appoint Assessors to assist them with their duties, for example with setting exam questions and marking scripts.

Unlike Examiners (Chairs, Internals and Externals), Assessors are not, strictly speaking, official members of the exam board. They should not therefore take part in the decisions made by the exam board regarding final results/classifications/awards at exam board meetings.

External Assessors

External Assessors are optional External Examiners appointed by Exam Boards to assist them solely as a provider of subject/academic expertise.

Note: External Assessors must not carry out the role of arbiter of standards. See External Examiner section above for appointing External Examiner as arbiter of standards.

All appointments of External Assessors require approval from the Senior Nominating Officers and from the Proctors, and must be submitted with a CV and External supporting information form.

The term of office for External Assessors is always four years. External Assessors can be reappointed to the role. Each reappointment will require a new nomination being submitted via the EAP Portal, with up-to-date CV and External supporting information form, for approval by the Senior Nominating Officer and the Proctors.

For regulations relating to the appointment of External Assessors, please see Part 6 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations.

Internal Assessors (Assessors)

All appointments of Assessors require approval from the Chair of Examiners.

Appointments will only require approval from the Proctors if the individuals being appointed do not meet at least one of the following two criteria:

  1. have full faculty membership
  2. have previously been appointed as either Chair of Examiners or Internal Examiner

All appointments that require approval from the Proctors must be submitted with an Internal supporting information form.

Once Assessors have been appointed to an Exam Board, their appointments will remain in place in the EAP Portal and be rolled over to the subsequent year’s Exam Board until they are removed by the Exam Board Administrators.

For regulations relating to the appointment of Assessors, Please see Part 7 of the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations

Postgraduate Research (PGR) Student Assessors

Appointments of Postgraduate Research (PGR) Student Assessors are for one term only (e.g. Michaelmas Term). They may continue to act as assessors in subsequent terms (e.g. Hillary and Trinity Terms), but must be reappointed for each subsequent term.

Each appointment and reappointment of PGR Student Assessors requires approval from the Chair of Examiners and from the Proctors, and must be submitted with an up-to-date PGR Assessors supporting information form.

PGR students should only be appointed as assessors on Postgraduate exam boards under exceptional circumstances, which must be clearly outlined in the supporting information form.

Further policy and guidance on the appointment of PGR Student Assessors, including eligibility criteria, can be found in the Examinations and assessments framework (EAF).

Note: Any individual employed by the department in a part- or full- time academic post who also hold a PGR student status must be nominated in the role of 'Assessor - PGR' via the EAP Portal and accompanied with the PGR Assessors supporting information form, unless the individual has been issued with the leave to supplicate notice.

Note: This section is applicable for appointments of casual employees as Examiners or Assessors to Undergraduate Exam Boards only.

The EAP Portal provides information on the RtW status of each appointment. Please refer to the Exam Board Administrator User Manual for further information on RtW statuses.

Where an appointment has been indicated in the portal as missing valid RtW information, Exam Board Administrators (EBAs) must carry out a physical RtW check in advance of any examining work being carried out by the appointee. In exceptional cases, such as External Examiners who are remote to Oxford, RtW checks may be carried out upon first arrival in Oxford, which must be prior to attendance at final exam board meetings.

Departments are only required to carry out RtW checks on casual Examiners and Assessors who are appointed to Undergraduate Exam Boards.

All RtW information for Examiners and Assessors must be recorded in the University's central CoreHR system to be considered valid.

Examiners and Assessors must not carry out any examining work until their appointments have been confirmed in the EAP Portal. This means their appointments have received all of the necessary academic approvals, including from the Proctors if required, and there is valid RtW information against their appointments in CoreHR.

Recording missing RtW information for existing casual examiners and assessors with appointment records in CoreHR

After carrying out physical RtW checks, EBAs must liaise with either CoreHR users in their departments or HRIS Support Centre (depending on local arrangements) to ensure that the RtW information is accurately recorded against the existing appointment records in CoreHR. A physical copy of the RtW must also be retained.

The interface between CoreHR and EAP system will automatically transfer the RtW information and update then RtW status in the EAP Portal.
 
Recording RtW information for new casual Examiners or Assessors

Appointments of new Examiners or Assessors who do not already exist in EAP will require a new casual appointment record being created in CoreHR.

In these instances, the process for recording RtW is as follows:

  1. EBA creates a temporary record and submits the nomination in the EAP Portal. Further guidance on how to create temporary record is available from the Exam Board Administrator User Manual.
  2. Once the appointment has received all of the necessary academic approvals, including from the Proctors if required, the EBA will receive an automated notification. The notification contains links to HR data forms that will need to be completed with information relating to the Examiner or Assessor, including RtW and bank details information.
  3. EBA carries out the physical RtW check, retaining a physical copy of the RtW and completes the correct HR data form. Which data forms to use will depend on whether the form will be forwarded to Core HR users in the department or to HRIS Support Centre.
  4. EBA liaises with CoreHR users in the department or HRIS Support Centre to create a new casual appointment record in CoreHR based on the information in the HR data form.

Once the record is created in CoreHR with valid RtW information, the temporary record in EAP will automatically be replaced with the new record created in CoreHR, the RtW status will be updated and the appointment will be confirmed in the EAP Portal.

As with all new casual appointments, once the record has been created, CoreHR users in departments must also send the Equality and Diversity form to the new casual appointment holder to complete, and return to HRIS Data Services at monitoring@admin.ox.ac.uk. The form can be produced using the letter module in CoreHR or by downloading a non-core version of the form (Staff Starter Form) from the Equality and Diversity website.

Note: The Central Assessments and Examinations team will continue to liaise with the Accounts Payable team on creating records for new casual appointments to PG courses.

Letters of Engagement are sent to all examiners and assessors who are external workers (i.e. to those not on the University’s main payroll) once their appointments have been confirmed, via an automated notification from EAP system. 

There are two versions of the letter: one for examiners serving on undergraduate Exam Boards and one for those serving on postgraduate Exam Boards.

CHANGES TO EXAM BOARD

Departments may change the composition of exam boards providing that the changes do not contravene the minimum exam board composition outlined in the standing order.

Changes to exam boards include removing, replacing, or changing the role of appointed Examiners (Chairs, Internal and Examiners) or Assessors.

Depending on the status of the appointment, departments can either make the changes directly in the EAP Portal or by submitting a change request to the Central Examinations and Assessments Team.
Please refer to the table below to determine which route to use. 

Change requests must be submitted via email by the Senior Nominating Officer (SNOs) to the Central Examinations and Assessments Team in advance of any subsequent examination activities, such as exam board
meetings, for which the new composition will come into effect. The email must include the following information:

  • exam board name and four letter code
  • date of final exam board meeting
  • name and role of the examiner to be removed
  • name and role of the examiner who will be nominated as a replacement (if required)

The Central Examinations and Assessments Team will send a confirmation once the request has been fulfilled.

 Change required

Appointment Status*

Change route

Steps required*

 Remove an   Examiner/
  Assessor

Draft

EAP Portal

 

Delete the appointment

 

Nominated

Approved

Change Request

Submit request via email

 Replace an   Examiner/
 Assessor

Draft

 

EAP Portal

  1. Delete the existing appointment
  2. Confirm board composition (draft status only)
  3. Nominate the replacement Examiner/Assessor in EAP Portal

Nominated

Approved

 

Change Request

  1. Submit request via email
  2. Receive confirmation request has been fulfilled
  3. Nominate the replacement Examiner/Assessor in EAP Portal

 Change role

 

 

Draft

EAP Portal

  1. Delete the existing appointment
  2. Confirm board composition (draft status only)
  3. Nominate the same individual to a different role

Nominated

Approved

Change Request

  1. Submit request via email
  2. Receive confirmation request has been fulfilled
  3. Nominate the same individual in EAP Portal
 *Please refer to the Exam Board Administrator User Manual for full guidance on appointment statuses and how to carry out the steps required in the EAP Portal.
PAYMENTS

Departments are responsible for ensuring that all Examiners and Assessors are promptly paid for any examining duties carried out in accordance with the published Schedule of Fees.

Further information relating to retainer fees for Chairs of Examiners and External Examiners, as well as the fee payable to Chairs of Examiners for overseeing paper setting is available from the relevant section below.

When to submit payments

Departments can submit payments at any point throughout the academic year. It is advisable that Examiners and Assessors are paid as soon as they have completed each assignment. For example, if an assessor is due to mark two sets of assignments for which the deadlines are one month apart, payment for marking the first set of assignment is submitted as soon as the assessor completed the marking for that assignment, as opposed to after the marking for both assignments have been completed.  

How to submit payments

All payment requests must be submitted to the University's Central Finance Team via the EAP Portal. Once the payment request has been submitted by an Exam Board Administrators to the EAP Portal, the Chair of Examiners and subsequently the Financial Countersignatory will receive system notifications requesting their approval. Once approved, the submitted payments will be sent automatically to Finance for processing ahead of the upcoming payroll deadline.

The deadlines by which approved payment requests must be received by the Finance team in order for payments to be reflected in a particular month's payroll are available from the payroll deadline section below.

Full guidance relating to the EAP portal, including how to gain access and user manuals, is available from the EAP support page. Any queries relating to the EAP portal should be directed to the Student Systems Support Centre at student.systems@admin.ox.ac.uk or 01865 (2)84848.

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The deadlines by which approved payment requests must be received by the Finance team in order for payments to be reflected in a particular month's payroll are available on the table below.

Payroll month Deadline date
January 2020

Monday 6th

February 2020

Wednesday 5th

March 2020

Thursday 5th

April 2020 Friday 3rd
May 2020 Tuesday 5th
June 2020 Friday 5th
July 2020 Monday 6th
August 2020 Wednesday 5th
September 2020 Friday 4th
October 2020 Monday 5th
November 2020 Thursday 5th
December 2020 Thursday 3rd

 

Fixed retainer fee

All Chairs of Examiners are eligible for one fixed retainer fee per exam board for which they are the Chair in any given academic year. This takes the form of a fixed fee for 1-30 candidates, for which the rate differs depending on the type of examination, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees.

Additional retainer fee

Depending on the type of examination, Chairs of Examiners may also be eligible for additional retainer fee when the number of candidates assessed by the exam board exceeds 30, as follows:

  • Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates: no additional fee payable
  • All other examinations: additional piece rate fee payable per additional candidate over 30.

The additional retainer fee is the sum of the piece rate fee for each additional candidate over 30 (e.g. if the exam board assessed  40 candidates, then the sum of the additional retainer fee will be = 10 x piece rate fee). This piece rate fee also differs depending on the type of examination, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees.

How to submit payments

Payments of Chairs' retainer fees must be submitted to Finance for processing via the EAP portal in the same way as any other type of payments. Full guidance relating to the EAP portal, including how to gain access and user manuals, is available from the EAP support page.

Chairs of Examiners are entitled to receive payment for checking the composition of exam papers set for the examination. This fee is payable in respect of each paper set for the examination, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees.

How to submit payments

Like all other type of payments, it must be submitted to Finance for procesing via the EAP portal. Full guidance relating to the EAP portal, including how to gain access and user manuals, is available from the EAP support page.

Which payment task to select

Depending on the type of examination, one of the following payment tasks should be selected to submit payments of this fee in the EAP portal:

  • Continuing Education Diplomas and Certificates: select payment task entitled 'Chair paper set – Cont. Ed.'
  • All other Examinations: select payment task entitled 'Chair paper set’.

Note: This fee is not equivalent to the higher rate fee payable for actual setting of written exam papers. If a Chair of Examiners is directly involved in the setting of an exam paper (i.e. writing questions or preparing other material for inclusion in the exam paper) then the higher rate paper setting fee payable to examiners and assessors should be claimed, by selecting the payment task entitled ‘Paper Set’ in the EAP Portal.

External Examiners are entitled to receive one fixed retainer fee per academic year for carrying out the role of arbiter of standard, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees. This is regardless of the number of exam boards to which they have been appointed as External Examiners. Departments must therefore take extra care to ensure that only one retainer fee is attributed to a given External Examiner in the EAP Portal for the given academic year.

Fixed retainer fee

The fixed retainer fee payable to External Examiners covers their duties as arbiter of standard, as outlined in the Examinations and Assessments Framework (EAF), and attendance at exam board meetings for up to three days.

The rate of retainer fee varies, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees, depending on the type of examinations – a lower rate for some (e.g. Postgraduate Diplomas) and a higher rate for others (e.g. Final Honour Schools). If examiners serve as arbiter of standard for multiple exam boards with different type of examinations for which a higher and a lower rate are applicable, the retainer fee should be paid at the higher rate.

Additional Fee

In instances whereby External Examiners are required to attend exam board meetings beyond the three days covered by the fixed retainer fee, they will be entitled to receive additional daily fee, i.e. for the fourth, fifth and sixth day, as outlined in the published Schedule of Fees.

External Examiners are not normally expected to attend exam board meetings for more than six days. In instances whereby they are required to attend more than six days, departments must seek permission in advance from the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) via Education Policy Support (EPS).

Condition of fee payment

Both the fixed retainer fee and the additional fee are only payable to External Examiners once they have submitted the External Examiner’s report for the given academic year. Further guidance on the report, including the form, is available from the External Examiners webpage.

Please note that External Examiners can submit claim for any expenses that they have incurred, e.g. for attending exam board meetings, at any time. Please refer to the ‘Expenses claims for External Examiners’ for further information.

External examiners are entitled to claim for reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses incurred during the course of attending exam board meetings.

Claiming for Expenses

In order to submit a claim, examiners must complete the expenses claim form, which can be found on the External Examiners webpage. The form must be completed in full and submitted to the department who will need to authorise the claim before forwarding it to E&A for processing.

Full guidance on how to ensure that expenses claim meets the requirements for processing is available from Finance webpages.

In some instances, departments may arrange for External Examiners to be accommodated in a college during the course of attendance at exam board meetings in Oxford. In such instances, the college may send an invoice for the cost incurred directly to the department.

Upon receiving the invoice, the department should send a hard copy of the invoice to E&A for the attention of Examiner Payments Team, at the Examination Schools, for processing. The team will cost-code the invoice accordingly and forward it to Finance for payment to be issued to the college from the corresponding cost-code.

Please note that E&A cannot raise purchase order number in relation to college accommodation invoice. In cases whereby the college has requested for a purchase order number to be raised, departments will need to do so directly following the normal arrangement within their departments. No documentation or notification needs to be sent to E&A.