Review of External Examining Arrangements for Higher Education

Review of External Examining Arrangements for Higher Education

This specification concerns the external examining arrangements operated by institutions, which are central to the UK.

UK SBS Review of External Examining

Reference number:RE140214HEFCE

Deadline date:20/01/2015

This deadline is for…The final date and time for the submission of bids is 20/01/2015 at 14:00

Contract value:£0 – £0

Location where the contract is to be carried out:Bristol, City ofHigher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, Avon BS16 1QD To register on our e-sourcing portal click on and follow the link ‘Register for CCS eSour

Is this suitable for smaller suppliers?Yes

Name of the buying organisation:UK Shared Business Services Ltd.

Description of the contract

Quality assurance in the UK is based on both internal and external arrangements. Providers are responsible for having in place systems and processes which provide them with assurance on the quality and standards of their provision. This specification concerns the external examining arrangements operated by institutions, which are central to the UK approach to assuring the standard of higher education awards. In the UK higher education landscape, where providers are autonomous and those with degree awarding powers are responsible for the standard of their awards, the external examining system is intended to ensure that standards are maintained over time, and are broadly comparable between providers and between subject areas. This review is not proposed in response to any predetermined view that the current system is ‘broken’. Rather, the review will seek to assess how recommendations from previous reviews have been implemented, and whether any further reforms or strengthening of the system would be desirable in light of future requirements. The review is taking place now given the changing and more competitive environment in which higher education institutions operate. The outcomes of this research will inform the sector debate taking place concurrently on the wider review of future quality assessment arrangements. As such the overall purpose of this review is to assess whether: current arrangements remain fit for purpose in the changing HE environment; and looking ahead to the longer-term future what, if any, changes would be required to these arrangements if more reliance were to be placed on them to provide assurance to stakeholders about the academic standards of awards. Given the autonomous nature of UK HE providers in this country and such providers’ role in the development of the current external examining arrangements, in addition to some desk-based research, the contract awardee will be expected to undertake extensive engagement with UK HE stakeholders and a wide representation of institutions to secure the views of the sector on this matter. The Contracting Council is The Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) “The Council”. The contract will be for a period from January 2015 to March 2015. About UK Shared Business Services Putting the business into shared services UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) brings a commercial attitude to the public sector; helping our customers improve efficiency, generate savings and modernise. It is our vision to become the leading provider for our customers of shared business services in the UK public sector, continuously reducing cost and improving quality of business services for Government and the public sector. Our broad range of expert services is shared by our customers. This allows our customers the freedom to focus resources on core activities; innovating and transforming their own organisations. Core services include Procurement, Finance, Grants Admissions, Human Resources, Payroll, ISS, and Property Asset Management all underpinned by our Service Delivery and Contact Centre teams. UK SBS is a people rather than task focused business. It’s what makes us different to the traditional transactional shared services centre. What is more, being a not-for-profit organisation owned by its customers, UK SBS’ goals are aligned with the public sector and delivering best value for the UK taxpayer. UK Shared Business Services Ltd changed its name from RCUK Shared Services Centre Ltd in March 2013. Our Customers Growing from a foundation of supporting the Research Councils, 2012/13 saw Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) transition their procurement to UK SBS and Crown Commercial Service (CSS – previously Government Procurement Service) agree a Memorandum of Understanding with UK SBS to deliver two major procurement categories (construction and research) across Government. UK SBS currently manages £700m expenditure for its Customers, our growth projections anticipate this will rise to £1bn in 2013/14. Important information From the 2nd April 2014 the Government is introducing its new Government Security Classifications (GSC) classification scheme to replace the current Government Protective Marking Scheme (GPMS). A key aspect of this is the reduction in the number of security classifications used. All potential suppliers should make themselves aware of the changes as it may impact on this Requirement. The link below to the website provides information on the new GSC:

Classification of the contract

79342000Marketing services

79312000Market-testing services

79310000Market research services

79300000Market and economic research; polling and statistics

Additional information

Contract type:Services – Unspecified

Is it a framework agreement?No

Is this contract related to a programme of funding?No

Contract will be awarded based on:Most economically advantageous tender in terms of: The criteria stated in the contract documents

Estimated length of contract:6 Months

Who to contact

Contact nameKerry Hammond

Organisation nameUK Shared Business Services Ltd.

AddressNorth Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 1FF


Extension number:



How to apply

UK Shared Business Services eSourcing As part of the strategic alliance between UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) and Crown Commercial Service (CCS), UK SBS can use the CCS eSourcing Suite for future procurements. If you have not yet registered on the eSourcing Suite, this can be done online at by following the link ‘Register for CCS eSourcing’. Please note that, to register, you must have a valid DUNS number (as provided by Dun and Bradstreet) for the organisation which you are registering, who will be entering into a contract if invited to do so. Once you have registered on the eSourcing Suite, a registered user can express an interest for a specific procurement. This is done by emailing Your email must clearly state: the name and reference for the procurement you wish to register for; the name of the registered Bidder; and the name and contact details for the registered individual sending the email. Crown Commercial Service will process the email and then enable the Bidder to access the procurement online via the e-Sourcing Suite. The registered user will receive a notification email to alert them once this has been done. The Sourcing documents can then be accessed on the eSourcing Suite at: using the instructions detailed in the Specification documents within Contracts Finder. As a user of the e-Sourcing Suite you will have access to Emptoris email messaging service which facilitates all messages sent to you and from you in relation to any specific RFX event. Please note it is your responsibility to access these emails on a regular basis to ensure you have sight of all relevant information. For technical assistance on use of the e-Sourcing Suite please contact Crown Commercial Service Helpdesk : Telephone: 0345 010 3503 Training documents to support Bidders utilise Emptoris CCS eSourcing are available in the Contracts Finder Tender documents section.