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Being an External Examiner

What is the role of an external examiner?

To examine the candidate and ensure they meet the requirements and standards to be an SVT accredited vascular scientist. You will have the overriding decision if the candidate passes or not.

Who can be an external examiner?

To be an external examiner you must be a current AVS and have 3 years post accreditation experience. 

How do I apply to be an external examiner?

You just need to contact us at to register your interest. Please note that the SVT can reimburse expenses for any travel and/or accommodation costs.

I’m worried about what to expect/advice

  • Don’t panic- the candidate will likely be more nervous than yourself
  • Review the accreditation document, score sheet and assessor guidance prior to the exam so the practical exam officers can answer any questions you might have before the exam
  • Seek advice from colleagues who might have been examiners previously.
  • Don’t be scared to fail someone- do you believe this candidate is competent and safe to practice?

Did you know?

If you do not know of anyone who has been an examiner before, don’t worry, you can contact the practical exam team ( and we can put you in contact with someone who has. If you would like the opportunity to shadow an external examiner before you commit to being an external examiner yourself, please let us know and we will try out best to organise this for you.

Case study

“Being an external examiner for the first time comes with a wide range of emotions, excitement, apprehension, nerves, and a combination of all of these and many more. This is completely normal; it can feel daunting – was it really 3 years ago that you passed your own practical exam?!

However, when participating as an external examiner for the first time this summer, I felt very supported and guided by the SVT exams officers. Efficient communication as well as the provision of detailed and thorough guidance was extremely helpful. The SVT have a very clear protocol in place of how these examinations are run and structured documentation to support this.

Before the agreed examination date, I was sent a copy of the departmental protocols and 25 scan reports from the last 3 months for each core modality for review. 

On the day of the examination, I arrived at my host hospital for 9am. I was introduced to the team, included the candidate, and made to feel very welcome. After a tour of the department, the internal examiner and I sat down to discuss the paperwork and a plan of action for the day ahead before the examination commenced. It’s always important to remember you are not doing it alone – the internal examiner is an invaluable source of knowledge and support, and they may have done these many times before! After each scan, the internal examiner and I had a follow-up discussion with the candidate and then had some time to fill out the relevant paperwork before moving onto the next patient. At the end of all 3 assessed scans, the three of us sat down to carry out the discussion around skills section D. All of the assessments and relevant paperwork were completed before I left the host hospital around 2pm.

Colleagues in your department may have also acted as an internal or external assessor, talk to them about their experiences, pick their brains for any top tips, or to alleviate any concerns you may have. If anyone is considering being an external practical examiner for the first time and doesn’t have anyone to talk to in their department and has any specific questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

In conclusion, I can only advise to go for it, it is an excellent opportunity to use and share your hard-earned knowledge, as well as meet new people and it provides a chance to visit a new department. You may even learn a thing or two along the way!“