Office for Digital Learning


Protocol for VLE Access for External Examiners

Posted on: 17 Aug 2016

The Office for Digital Learning administers the Blackboard Helpdesk which supports, inter alia, the VLE (Blackboard). The Blackboard Helpdesk can add External Examiners to online modules on the request of a Module Coordinator (to verify the module) with copy to the Head of School (in verification of the External Examiner access).


In order to add an External Examiner to a module, the external individual must be allocated an Associate ID (A code) for a defined period. Blackboard then authenticates this A code against Active Directory and will enforce the IT User Account Management Code of Practice.

In accordance with this code, these accounts will become inactive after the defined period. The Module Coordinator can request an Associate ID, prior to anticipated need, by following the procedure outlined at:


Associate accounts are requested and authorised through the RAD process and then provisioned. Details are sent directly to the associate in a sealed envelope. The Blackboard Helpdesk does not have visibility of the account password.

The account will not become live until The University Acceptable Use Code of Practice, contained within the information pack, is signed and returned to the ISD Service Desk.

ISD policy prevents information packs from being sent outside the University. As external examiners do not have an on campus address, the packs are often sent to the School Office.

The relevant section of the ISD website recommends contacting the ServiceDesk for password issues or to resend associate details.

Once an Associate ID has been activated, the Module Coordinator can email quoting the A code and CRN of the module to which the External Examiner needs access. This e-mail must be copied to the Head of School in verification of the Course, the Module and the External Examiner.