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Degree standards training for external examiners

28 Apr 2022 | Advance HE Dr Patrick Baughan, Senior Learning Adviser at Advance HE and current external examiner, spoke to us about his experience on the Professional Development Course for External Examiners.

Advance HE’s Professional Development Course for External Examiners  has been developed as part of the Degree Standards project on external examining. It is the only training course for external examiners in the UK and has been developed in collaboration with a range of HE providers.

The course is blended, allowing for both online and in-person forms of learning. It also reflects an active learning approach, with an emphasis on valuing participants' experiences and prior knowledge, making it great for both first time examiners and those who are more experienced.  

We spoke to Dr Patrick Baughan, Senior Learning Adviser at Advance HE and current external examiner, about his experience undertaking the programme, asking him what the biggest benefits were, and how it has helped him further develop as an external examiner.  

Patrick said the course has professionalised his view of being an external examiner. "It's confirmed that most of the things I was doing were right. But it's given me one or two ideas about how I can be an even better external examiner and ensure that I work in all the right quality standards as well in the future.” 

One of the biggest advantages of the course for Patrick was the handbook. He said, “The handbook on many personal development programs is something you might use briefly during the life of the programme. There might be a few exercises in it and then you finish the programme and that's the end of it. But this handbook is a really tangible output, and as I pointed out to others during the course itself, it's something which I will go back to and use again in my future external examiner role.” 

Watch the full conversation with Patrick below: 


Professional Development Course for External Examiners
External examining is a key feature of the UK higher education system. This course comprises of two key parts: asynchronous online activities and reading, and two virtual workshops over two half-days, delivered via Zoom. Find out more

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