External Examiners appointment policy

  1. The College is required by the BAAB to have two external examiners from different institutions. The external examiners appointed cannot have had any previous relationship with CICM (e.g. graduate or staff member).  The external examiners will normally be from another acupuncture College/course or have taught on an acupuncture course.

Previous external examiners:

              Geoff Wadlow (formerly of the London School of Acupuncture)

              Pauline Giesberts (ICOM)

              Richard Blackwell (Northern College, York)

              Celia Tudor-Evans (CTA)

              Dr Chris Low (LCTA)

              Katie Scampton (Westminster)

              Sam Patel (ICOM)


2. External Examiners normally serve for a period of 3 years although this can be extended by one year.

3. Kingston appoints the external examiners on CICM’s recommendation.

4. Kingston pays the external examiner an honorarium plus travelling expenses.

5. External examiners attend all Module and Programme Boards.

6. External examiners submit one report per year, usually after the summer/September board. The reports are sent direct to Kingston and Kingston then forwards them to us.   The course team drafts a response (which the Academic Director coordinates) and this is discussed at the November Board of Studies before being finalised and sent to the external examiners by Kingston. 

7. Responsibility for the course modules is divided between the two external examiners. In the past one has been responsible for Chinese Medicine and Research and Reflective  Practice and the other for Professional Practice, CMS and Five Element Skills.

8. About 4-6 weeks in advance of a  Module and Programme Board the external examiners are sent samples of student coursework (samples of written exam scripts are sent as soon as internal marking and moderation has been completed) relating to the upcoming Board.  Samples must include all fails, the highest and lowest marks, samples of marks on grade boundaries and samples from within each grade.

In addition to the samples the following paperwork must be included for each piece of coursework:

Assignment specification

Marking grid and, where appropriate, model interpretation

Moderator’s report

General class feedback

Individual student feedback for the samples sent

A list of marks for the whole cohort.


In the case of written exams, the external examiner is sent the draft exam papers as soon as they are ready and once the exam has been marked and moderated samples are sent  including all fails, the highest and lowest marks, samples of marks on grade boundaries and samples from within each grade.  The following paperwork must be included:

Exam question paper(s)

Marking grid and, where appropriate, model interpretation

Moderator’s report

Individual moderator comments for the samples sent

A list of marks for the whole cohort.


9. New external examiners are inducted partly by Kingston and partly by CICM. The induction is either at Kingston with the Academic Director attending or the general induction is at Kingston and the subject-specific aspects of the process carried out at CICM with the Head of Life Sciences chairing the meeting.  It is CICM’s responsibility to supply the following documentation:            

Student Handbook

Field Specification

Module Descriptors

Module Guides

Dates for Module and Programme Boards


Please see document “Induction of external examiners” for details of documentation supplied by CICM and Kingston.





Agenda for Faculty/School level Induction of External Examiners – 2016

  • Review reports and responses to previous external examiner (to provide context) -KU
  • Calendar of events – what will happen when and names of Faculty staff who will communicate with external examiner -CICM
  • Pass contact details of mentor (nominated experienced examiner within team), if applicable -CICM/KU
  • Ensure external examiner has received course documents – module outlines, assessment criteria, student handbooks course guides, programmes specifications (as appropriate) -CICM
  • Pass copies of other information including Subject Benchmark Statement and any changes that are proposed for the next academic year -CICM
  • Clarification of duties if more than one external examiner in the team -CICM
  • Assessment boards (combined or separate) – part of examiner’s contract to attend assessment boards -CICM/KU
  • Sample student work including whether it will be viewed in advance and when (does it need to be returned and how) or on the day -CICM
  • Moderation process will including evidence of student feedback (including generic feedback if provided) -CICM
  • Validated and/or franchised programmes/modules – if examiner visits partner, attend assessment board at partner/ details of KU liaison officer -CICM
  • Involvement in setting of assessment, if any -CICM
  • Examiner to keep Faculty/AQS informed of any changes to personal circumstances or any changes to email/address -KU