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Prospective External Authenticator

Information for Prospective External Authenticators


Please ensure you read the following information prior to registering for a Training Session.

ETBI has convened a New National External Authenticator Directory (QQI Awards) which was activated in early 2020.

If you wish to be considered for inclusion onto this New Directory accessible to all 16 ETBs, step one of the process is your participation in the Online EA Briefing Session.  This is available on the ETBI Website.

About External Authentication:

External authentication provides independent authoritative confirmation of fair and consistent assessment of learners in accordance with national standards. It establishes the credibility of the provider’s assessment processes and ensures that assessment evidence has been marked in a valid and reliable way and are compliant with the requirements for the award.

External authentication is undertaken through the assignment of an independent External Authenticator (EA) by the provider for each major, special purpose and supplemental award. The EA must be independent of the centre to which they are assigned. The EA will moderate assessment results for an award or across a number of awards within a related field or sub-field of learning of the major, special purpose, supplemental award. Please see link to the ISCED Fields of Education listing click here.

The EA will have subject matter expertise in the appropriate field or subfield to which they are applying for/assigned.

The outcome of the external authentication process is an external authentication report which will comment on the effectiveness of the application of the assessment process and procedures and in particular comment on the extent to which the marks/grades conform to award standards.

External Authentication Reports are retained in the Centre/ETB for monitoring and self-evaluation purposes.

The External Authenticator must declare any potential conflict of interest and maintain confidentiality at all times.

Role of EA:

The role of the EA is to provide independent confirmation of fair and consistent assessment of learners in line with QQI requirements1 and to ensure consistency of assessment results with national standards.

EAs will:

  • Perform all authentication duties in accordance with an External Authenticator Professional Code of Conduct
  • Be independent and external to the programme delivery, assessment development and internal quality assurance at the centre
  • Visit the Centre and meet with appropriate staff
  • Moderate assessment results in accordance with the standards outlined in the award specification or validated programme (post 2017)
  • Apply the sampling strategy to select the portfolios to moderate assessment results consistent with QQI requirements
  • Review internal verification (IV) report(s); authenticate the findings/outcomes; and note cited evidence of IV process
  • Confirm the fair and consistent assessment of learners consistent with the provider’s procedures and with QQI policy on quality assuring assessment (including checking that the correct assessment instrument was used)
  • Follow up on recommendations of previous External Authentication reports if appropriate
  • Conduct a closing meeting with the relevant staff (if necessary, this may be completed by telephone)
  • Complete a full and comprehensive External Authentication Report and submit to the relevant persons within the agreed timeline
  • Adhere to provider data protection procedures
  • Participate in the results approval process as per the provider’s agreed procedures
  • Identify any issues/irregularities in relation to the assessment process
  • Recommend results for approval
  • Attend the Results Approval Panel (RAP) meeting, if requested
  • Produce an External Authentication Report
  • Any other duties appropriate to the needs of the local ETB as may be assigned for the effective and efficient management of resources

Qualifications required for External Authenticators:

The successful candidate should possess the following Skills, Abilities, knowledge, experience, qualifications:


Minimum of 3 years working in the field of learning for which you are applying.


Relevant third level qualification or minimum Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Other Relevant Experience

Experience of delivering subject matter training/teaching and/or 5 years relevant experience in subject matter area in Industry.


  • Knowledge of the specific field of learning/vocational area being applied for
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Common Awards System
  • Knowledge and experience of Awards, Assessment and Standards
  • Ability to communicate with Centre Coordinators, Principals, Learners and Senior Management
  • Administrative and Report Writing Skills
  • Excellent Information Technology Skills. (Familiarity with Microsoft Office 365 an advantage)


  • Experience of employment in the specific field of learning being applied for
  • Knowledge of Quality Assurance Systems

Online Briefing Session for Inclusion on the New National External Authenticator Directory:

Prior to applying for inclusion on the New National External Authenticator Directory, all candidates must firstly have:

  • participated in the ‘Online EA Briefing Event’
  • completed a comprehensive application form provided after completion of the Online Briefing
  • attended the mandatory training session provided

Topics covered at the briefing include:

  • Definition of the role of the External Authenticator
  • The EA process and related ETB Quality Assurance requirements
  • Requirements for the role
  • Introduction to the ETB sector
  • Introduction to the QQI System of awards
  • Details of the recruitment process and shortlisting onto the New National External Authenticator Directory
  • Operation of the New National External Authenticator Directory

NOTE: If you are successful and are included in the New National External Authenticator Directory, you will be eligible to work as an EA in all 16 ETBs

Place on the Directory:

External Authenticators will not be placed in order of merit – those placed on the directory will be selected according to their subject compatibility for the required employment.

You may be contacted by any of the 16 ETB’s to carry out EA work in one of their centres if and when your subject matter area is required.

By being placed on the directory, you are not guaranteed employment as an EA.

Applicants may be required to attend for interview.

You are required to undertake Garda Vetting.

This directory is for the specific purpose identified and does not give entitlements to any person placed on it.

Updating of Directory: Whilst the directory is initially established for the period 2020-2022 it maybe updated or enhanced at any time during this period.


Process to apply for inclusion on the New National EA Directory:

  • Read this Information document to ensure you are suitably informed to apply for the role.
  • Log in to the ETBI Online Briefing Session which will give more information on the role and responsibilities of External Authenticator. You must complete the Online EA Briefing Event in order to proceed with your application for inclusion on the Directory.
  • If you then decide that you wish to apply to be included on the Directory, you should complete the Official Online Application form, the link to which will be emailed to you once you have participated in the briefing event.

Applications will only be accepted through the online platform; no hard copies will be accepted.

  • Shortlisting will take place.
  • You may be required to attend for interview.
  • Those who are successful will have to complete training with ETBI/FESS prior to being placed on the New National External Authenticator Directory.
  • Details of training events will be forwarded to you if successful in your application, as they are arranged. 

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