HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

ESM4151 - Particular occupations: examiners - status

The special arrangements for deduction of tax described in ESM4150 apply to payments made in respect of the duties of examiners, markers, invigilators, and question setters, and for all related duties in any way connected with:

  • GCSE and ’A’ level examinations conducted by the various examining boards, and
  • first degree examinations conducted by universities
  • National Curriculum Assessment Tests.

Note that examiners may have various other titles, for example moderator, chief examiner, or assistant examiner.

Payments made to external examiners engaged by universities for masters’ degrees and doctorates generally fall to be treated as trade profits with liability for Class 2/4 NICs.

Payments relating to examinations other than GCSE, ‘A’ level, and university degrees, for example for professional qualifications, may be chargeable to tax as trade profits with Class 2/4 NICs liability or as employment income, depending on whether a contract of employment exists (see ESM0506).