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Information for External Examiners

Contact Information for further enquiries.

In the event that the Courts of External Examiners are conducted virtually by MS Teams, it is recommended that External Examiners be provided with access to Blackboard in advance of examination session.

In the academic year 2021/22 it is recommended that new and continuing External Examiners attending Trinity for examining duties apply for a PPS number to reduce the level of tax under new Irish Revenue requirement regulations. See information below.

Role of External Examiners

  • External Examiners are individuals appointed by the Senior Lecturer (Dean of Undergraduate Studies) or the Dean of Graduate Studies to provide impartial and independent advice on degree awarding standards, on student achievement in relation to those standards and on benchmarking of Trinity's education programmes against those of comparable universities.
  • The role of External Examiners as defined by the External Examiners Policy (April 2018) is to evaluate if academic standards are being maintained, ensure examination regulations are followed, moderate on borderline cases and ensure that individual students are treated fairly.
  • The minimum requirement at Trinity is for external examining of the degree awarding years of programmes. Additional requirements vary across schools and disciplines and may be subject to the requirements of external accreditation bodies.
  • The scope and role within specific Schools of external examining differs across Trinity Schools.
  • The term of appointment of external examiners is three years, with the possibility of extension for a further fourth and final year to the relevant Dean and will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.

Responsibilities of External Examiners

  • All External Examiners are required to submit their PPS numbers, when completing their External Examiner Requisition Payment Form. Non-Irish domiciled External Examiners should apply for a PPS number in advance of the payment claim. The application process takes approximately two weeks. Please use the application form entitled 'PPS Number Exceptional Registration Application Form'. Please note that the application form entitled 'PPS Number Third Party consent form' does not apply.
  • Data protection of student assessed work. Student exam scripts and coursework are regarded as personal data under the EU General Data Regulation (25 May 2018).
    • External Examiners should take appropriate measures to ensure electronic copies of student exam scripts or coursework are encrypted or if not encrypted, are stored locally on one computer and not on any internet service such as Dropbox. Latest and most secure versions of software available including anti-virus software and disk encryption and strong logon passwords is strongly recommended to mitigate risk of unauthorised access. If there is a concern of unauthorised access, this should be reported within 72 hours (refer to 'Terms and Conditions of Data Processing by External Examiners')
    • The School may provide a password to access encrypted data. The password should be saved in a secured place and disposed of after accessing the data or on completion of examination duties.
    • If hard-copies of exam scripts or coursework is printed, they should be disposed of in a secure manner or returned to the School for safe disposal at the time of the Court of Examiners.
    • In the case of a research thesis a student's written consent is required if the examiner wishes to retain a copy of the thesis beyond the examining period, this will be included in the declaration section of the thesis.   
  • Attendance at Court of Examiners: External examiners are required to attend at least one meeting per academic year of the Court of Examiners of which they are a member. The revisions to the External Examiner Policy (April 2018) make provision for remote attendance by external examiners at supplemental courts of examiners and under exceptional circumstances with the approval of the relevant Dean, at the annual court of examiners session.
  • Completion of Annual Report Template: External Examiners are asked to complete all sections of the annual report template, as appropriate and include any recommendations discussed and agreed at the Courts of Examiners for improvement at programme, course or module level.
  • Submission of Annual Report Template: External Examiners are required to submit an annual report to the relevant Dean as soon as possible following completion of their examination duties  and within two weeks of the publication of results. The report should be submitted to the email address, ensuring the report is identified in the subject row as UG or PGT. 
  • Note: Courts of Examiners (unlike in the United Kingdom) do not have a role or function in determining Ad Misericordiam cases, this falls under the Appeal Policy.

Note: External Examiners reports may be requested under the Guidelines for Internal and External Examiners, Freedom of Information Act (2014) - Examination Issues.

Relationship with Trinity Schools

  • External Examiner can expect their personal and financial data used to support the nomination and appointment process and facilitate payment of fees and expenses to be used, stored and disposed of in compliance with EU-GDPR regulations and the College Records Management Policy.
  • External Examiners will receive all the information necessary to perform their examining duties in a timely manner, prior to their arrival in College.
  • Newly appointed External Examiners should receive an induction to the role at the time of their first visit, be provided with copies of previous External Examiner annual reports and on request be provided with the opportunity with cohorts of students.
  • External Examiners can expect to receive a written response from the School addressing any recommendations arising from the review of draft exam questions and the annual report detailing actions, if any, to be taken in response.
  • Note: Due to the nature of personal sensitive data required for the application for a PPSN number, the Trinity Data Protection Officer has instructed that Schools staff cannot facilitate the application process for PPSN numbers on behalf on External Examiners, nor can they receive PPSN numbers for External Examiners directly from the Department of Social Protection.

Payment of External Examiners

Trinity pays External Examiners of taught programmes a fixed rate and also reimburses expenses. Payment is administered by Schools and External Examiners must complete the required External Examiner Requisition Payment Form in order to facilitate payment. This form will be provided to new External Examiners as part of the Information Pack by Schools in the case of undergraduate taught programmes, and by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies for postgraduate taught programmes.

In January 2019, the Irish Revenue introduced a change of tax regulations for External Examiners. Key points under this change include:

  • External Examiners in the Republic of Ireland :
    - The Irish Revenue have determined that, from the 1 January 2019, all fee payments to External Examiners based and registered for tax in the Republic of Ireland must go through HR Payroll.
    - Newly appointed External Examiners must complete the External Examiner Requisition Payment Form  and include their PPS number in order to facilitate payment. Tax is deducted at source for the fee component of the payment while expenses continue to be paid tax free. 

  • External Examiners outside the Republic of Ireland :
    - Non-Irish Domiciled External Examiners should apply for a PPS number to minimise the level of taxation levied on the proportion of days spent in Ireland to execute their examining duties. The application process takes approximately two weeks. Please use the application form entitled 'PPS Number Exceptional Registration Application Form'. Please note that the application form entitled 'PPS Number Third Party consent form' does not apply.Note Tax is not levied on time spent on preparation for, or completion of duties e.g. annual report, conducted outside of Ireland, i.e. in the examiner home country. Refer to the following link to apply for a PPS number. The PPS Number application process must be completed prior to submitting the External Examiner Requisition Payment Form (Excel format) which is used for payment of fees and reimbursement of expenses. Details should be in euro's and hard-copy of receipts should be attached to the form. If the External Examiner does not apply for a PPS Number, they must provide a 'Date of Birth' and 'Home Address' to facilitate the processing of payment, however, they will be subject to a higher level of tax for days worked in Ireland.
  • - Electronic bank transfer payments are for SEPA compliant account only.  Non-SEPA compliant accounts are issued by cheque, and thus Bank A/C details are not required on the External Examiner Payments Requisition Form from non-SEPA-compliant accounts.

Note, in the case of both undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes, the External Examiner is asked to complete and return the completed forms to the Course Coordinator/Programme Director or Administrative staff in the School. It is the responsibility of the School to forward the completed form to HR Payroll for further processing. Forms sent to HR directly by the External Examiner will not be accepted as completed forms must be sent via the School.

Need Help

Please refer to the table below for the appropriate person to help you with your query:



My nomination as an External Examiner

Designated contact person in the School

Submission of my CV

Designated contact person in the School

Return of payment requisition form

Designated contact person in the School

Arrangements for attendance at Courts of Examiner
including requests for remote attendance in extraordinary circumstances

Designated contact person in the School
Designated contact in the School who will escalate for approval to the relevant Dean

Information necessary for the conduct
of external examining duties

Designated contact person in the School

Payment of external examiner fee and expenses

Designated contact person in the School

Return of external examiner annual report

Email: Identifying the report as UG or PGT in the subject email title.