Information for external examiners

HMRC view external examiners for first degree and higher degrees slightly differently, for further information please see the HMRC web pages. In order to comply with these regulations, the following arrangements apply to external examiners:

First degree programmes

External examiners are taxed at source (PAYE) but are not liable for national insurance deductions – provided that the whole of the work is performed under a contract for services (ie the external examiner is treated as self-employed) in less than twelve months.

Higher degree programmes

External examiners for higher degree programmes (masters’ degrees and doctorates) are treated as self-employed and Universities are not required to deduct tax or national insurance – provided that the whole of the work is performed under a contract for services (ie the external examiner is treated as self-employed) in less than twelve months.

Other programmes

Payments relating to examinations other than University degrees, eg for professional qualifications, will be chargeable to tax as self-employed income provided the work is carried out under a contract for services.

All external examiners (ie for first degree, higher degree and professional programmes) are responsible for liaison with HMRC to ensure that they have paid the correct amount of tax on their earnings as external examiners.

Administrative arrangements

Human Resources, Legal Service and the Faculty Offices have developed revised documentation for external examiners which complies with HMRC requirements and ensures that payments are only made through payroll where a tax/National Insurance liability falls on the University.

Payment arrangements

Payment for first degree programmes is done via the Pay team. If you have queries with regard to your payment please contact them on 01392 723085 or email payandbenefits@exeter.ac.uk

Payment for higher degree programmes is done via the accounts payable office. If you have queries with regard to your payment please contact them on 01392 722777 or email payments@exeter.ac.uk.

The payment of external examiners for taught programmes is authorised through Colleges.

Taught Programmes

Please see here for the following Contracts for Services:

For additional information see the External Examiner Flowchart, the External Examiner Taught Handbook and Forms and templates for more information.

Research Programmes

Please see here for the Contract for Services for External Examiners - Research Programme.

For additional information see the External Examiner PGR Handbook