The programme has a number of standing external examiners who are appointed for a four year period. All external examiners are experienced clinical psychologists involved in training on other Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programmes and all are from the relevant part of the HCPC Register. The appointment process for external examiners is approved by the university. There are usually at least three external examiners involved in the programme.
The role of the external examiners can be summarised as follows:
- Moderating academic assignments. External examiners are sent at least one example of a low pass, mid-range pass and a high pass for each academic piece of work submitted. Individual assignments are then commented on briefly and any general issues can be reported at the relevant Exam Board. For pieces of work which markers have passed, the external examiner only comments on the marks and would not, unless in exceptional circumstances, recommend a mark change. Where the internal markers cannot agree a mark or where there is a recommended fail grade, then the external examiner can change the mark recommended by the internal markers.
- Moderating placement assessments. External examiners are sent examples of the supervisor's assessment of trainee forms. Placement assessment is then commented on and any general issues can be reported at the relevant Exam Board.
- Attendance at Exam Boards. At least one external examiner attends each Exam Board to make the Exam Board quorate. The role of the external examiner in this setting is to report on moderated work, provide more general comments on progression/performance, make comments on Exam Board procedures and provide an experienced opinion on issues of debate or contention.
- Providing an annual report. Each external examiner is requested to provide an annual report on their experience and where issues have been raised, these are replied to from the Chair of the Exam Board or the Head of DHR depending on their topic.
- Providing expert opinion. Where a special Exam Board is called, an external examiner would be asked to attend to provide expert opinion on the assessments/processes carried out to that point.
Thesis External Examiners
External examiners are also specifically appointed for the examination of a thesis. These are one-off contracts and examiners are chosen for their expertise in an area relevant to the trainee's thesis topic. Where the external examiner is not a clinical psychologist the internal examiner would be a clinical psychologist so that there is always someone from the HCPC register of clinical psychologists on the examiner panel. Appointments for thesis external examining are approved at a university level and criteria need to be met regarding the appropriate level of research expertise of the examiner (evidence by publications and grant income), the need to have an equivalent level of qualification (e.g., other doctorate level qualification) and their lack of significant prior contact with the trainee.
Additional information can be found in the notes of guidance on the appointment of external examiners below.