Retired examiners

Royal colleges and faculties examiners and assessors

We support the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with publishing their Requirements for colleges and faculties in relation to examiners and assessors.

It includes information about the minimum requirements for royal college and faculty examiners and assessors relating to:

  • examiner selection
  • training
  • performance management
  • duration of appointment
  • collection of equality and diversity data.

Retired examiners

During the coronavirus pandemic, we saw increased pressure on the availability of examiners. The increased pressure was due to:

  • clinical commitments
  • a backlog of assessments and exams to be carried out
  • changes to assessment that require larger pools of examiners.

Our standards allow suitable retired examiners to be appointed without needing to be registered with a licence to practice. You can read more about this in Excellence by design.

Our standards allow Colleges and faculties to determine the nature, role and responsibilities of assessors and examiners. This includes deciding whether individuals must be licensed or on the Specialist Register, which might include recency of practice.

In Designing and maintaining postgraduate assessment programmes (p35), we say that colleges should define:

  • 'what professional expertise is needed for in each assessment and when or if particular training is required. This should not unduly restrict the range of assessors that can be used, but where particular professional qualifications, experience, credibility or training is necessary, this should be clear'.

The guidance Requirements for examiners and assessors sets out an expectation that examiners who no longer practise still maintain their licence to practise, but this is not an absolute requirement of our standards.

Some areas that you should consider are:

  • Do they have recent practise relevant to the area being examined?
  • Do they have the right training for the role? Not only relating to the assessment itself, but also equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Do they have the time and opportunity to familiarise themselves with the standards?
  • Will their marking be to the same standard as the pool of regular examiners?

If you have any queries please email us