Under HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC), how you are paid will depend on whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate degree examiner.
As an External Examiner, you will typically be engaged in one or more of the following activities (not exhaustive):
• Verifying academic standards are appropriate – reviewing units/courses
• Ensuring national comparability of standards
• Rigorous/fair assessment processes
• Feedback on assessments, advice on content
Please visit the HMRC webpages for more information: ESM4150 - Particular occupations: examiners - general - HMRC internal manual - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Undergraduate External Examiners
Under HMRC guidance, undergraduate degrees are classed as integral to the functioning of the University and the terms and conditions under which External Examiners are engaged amount to contracts of employment. You will therefore need to be taxed under PAYE through Payroll.
National Insurance Contributions
How you pay National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will depend on the length of time during which your duties are to be performed.
If your contract is for less than 12 months – you will be treated as self-employed for NIC purposes and will need to pay Class 2 and Class 4 NICs. This should be reported through your self-assessment tax return.
If your contract is for more than 12 months – you will need to pay Class 1 NICs through Payroll.
Right to work check
Due to the legislation on right to work in the UK, you must complete a satisfactory right to work check prior to your appointment at the University commencing (this does not apply to postgraduate taught or research External Examiners).
If you are a British/Irish citizen, you can complete this right to work check by:
- providing us with your original documentation (such as a British passport or Irish passport/passport card) in-person
- using our secure, encrypted Identity Service Provider, Yoti, if you are unable to attend the University in-person prior to your start date (you will need to have an in-date British passport or Irish passport/passport card in order to use this option)
If you are a non-British/Irish citizen, you can complete this right to work check by:
For further details, please refer to our right to work guidance.
Postgraduate External Examiners
As a higher degree examiner, you will oversee the assessment processes and examination of students undertaking postgraduate taught programmes or research programmes.
Your payments will be regarded as trade profits with liability for Class 2/4 NICs under HMRC. You will therefore be treated as self-employed with no deduction of income tax/NICs and should declare your fees through your self-assessment tax return.
You will be able to claim expenses if you are either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree examiner and these will be paid to you gross i.e. with no deduction of tax/NICs.
Payment of fees and expenses
For undergraduate and postgraduate taught External Examiners, your department will arrange payment of your fees and expenses on receipt of your annual report as below.
For postgraduate research External Examiners, your department will arrange payment of your fees and expenses once the Doctoral College has received your joint examiners report following a student viva as below.
- Payments will be made through the University’s payroll and will be paid direct to your nominated bank account.
- Fees will be subject to tax and NIC deductions.
- Reimbursement of expenses is not regarded as taxable and will be paid in full without deduction of tax and NIC.
Please complete the Undergraduate External Examiner Claim Form to claim your fees and expenses and include your bank details on this form.
- Payments will be made by BACS, without deduction of tax. You will need to include this income in your self-assessment tax return to HMRC.
- Reimbursed expenses are not regarded as taxable. If you incur any expenses which are not reimbursed, you will be entitled to claim a deduction for the cost of these against your earnings.
Please complete the Postgraduate External Examiner Claim Form to claim your fees and expenses.