External examiners for taught provision - FAQs for External Examiners

‌If you are an external examiner with a query about the external examiner system for taught provision at the University of Liverpool, this page may assist.

If your query remains unresolved, please contact extexam@liv.ac.uk or telephone 0151 795 0121 for further assistance.



Fees and expenses



Q: What will my role as external examiner involve?
A: The details of your appointment are described within the letter of appointment sent to you by email. You may have been asked to externally examine at Subject Level and/or Programme Level and/or Award Level. These roles are described in Appendix H of the Code of Practice on Assessment. For more information on External Examining can be found on the Support for External Examiners web page.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting my report(s)?
A: The deadline for submitting your report(s) is listed in HERMES. Typically this is one month after the relevant meeting of the Board of Examiners to which you will be asked to contribute (in person or remotely). External examiners appointed to cover both undergraduate and postgraduate taught levels of provision, including provision shared by integrated Master's programmes and postgraduate taught programmes, for which there are different deadlines, are required to submit separate reports to provide feedback for each level.

Payment of a fee is contingent upon the receipt of all expected reports which must include both a completed checklist and substantive written component.

Q: What is the maximum length of an appointment?
A: External examiners for taught provision may be appointed up to a maximum of four years. All external examiners are (re)appointed on an annual basis.

Please ensure that you provide a summary of your term of office when completing the annual report following your final year of appointment.

Q: Where can I find Appendix H of the Code of Practice on Assessment?
A: This is available from the Academic Quality and Standards Division website. Appendix H defines the external examiner system for taught provision.



Q: What is HERMES?
A: HERMES (Handling External examiner Reports, Maintenance of appointments, and Expense claim Submissions) is an online system designed to manage all aspects of the external examiner system for taught provision. All appointments are held within this system. You will be asked to accept the offer of an appointment, upload and submit your annual reports via HERMES.

Q: How do I access HERMES?
A:The link to your EE portal in HERMES can be found at following link

You require your MWS login credentials to access HERMES

Q: Is there a manual or user guide to HERMES?
A: Yes; the HERMES User Guide for External Examiners  is available to download.

Q: Why did I get a generic/automated email from you?
A: HERMES will send automated reminders when further action is required or alerts to highlight important information.

Q: Where do I find my appointment details?
A: Appointment details are available once you log in to HERMES.

Q: How do I complete and submit my annual report?
A: The report form template is available from the 'Report Template' link in HERMES. Once you have downloaded the report form, please complete the form and save it on your own computer (e.g. in the 'My Documents' folder). Click on the 'Submit Report' link in HERMES to upload and then submit your report.

Reports must be completed using the template provided. Variants will not be accepted.

Q: I've forgotten my username/password - what should I do?
A: These are your MWS login credentials that you created at appointment.

If you forget your MWS password, please follow the link https://register.liv.ac.uk/ResetPassword/

You will need your username and staff/person id number for this


Fees and expenses

Q: When will I be paid?
A: Payment of your fee is contingent upon submission and approval of your annual report and SAS will authorise the Payroll Team to process the payment.

Payment of expense claims is handled by the University's Payroll Team in Human Resources. Expense claims should be submitted through COREHR and instructions on how to do this can be found at Submit Expense Claims. SAS will authorise the Payroll Team to process payment.

 External Examiners – Introduction of Online Payslips

With effect from August 2019, the University has replaced paper payslips with online payslips for all External Examiners. To enable you to access your University payslips (and P60’s where applicable) on-line, please follow instructions at Viewing Payslips, you can also update your background and diversity information on-line.

Q: What are the restrictions on expense claims?
A: The University will reimburse reasonable costs incurred directly as a consequence of undertaking work as an external examiner. Please refer to the External Examiner Expenses Claim Policy for further details.

Q: Can the University arrange, and pay for, my accommodation?
A: Should an overnight stay in Liverpool be required, in line with the External Examiner Expenses Claim Policy, it is at the discretion of your host department, or school, as appropriate, as to whether accommodation can be booked and paid for in advance of your visit. Please contact the department, or school, with any such request. Student Administration and Support Division (SAS) cannot arrange accommodation, and cannot pay invoices sent directly to the University from venues.

Q: Is it possible for my fee to be taxed at 40% instead of 20%?
A: The University will apply a 40% tax code to any earnings paid from external examining (taught provision) on the instruction of HMRC only. External examiners are advised to contact HMRC prior to the first payment of an external examining fee (i.e. in the first year of appointment) and HMRC will then instruct the University to apply the appropriate tax code. The University cannot guarantee that instructions from HMRC will arrive in advance of the first payment being made. A P46 form can be supplied to accompany the first expense claim form submitted to the University, to facilitate this process.

Q: I am a Research Degree External Examiner, will I pay income tax on my fee?
A: No.  Research Degree external examiner fees are not subject to deductions of income tax or national insurance.  If you have any further queries regarding Research Degree examinations/payment of expenses please contact the team at vivafees@liverpool.ac.uk