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Can an external authenticator moderate/authenticate in areas outside their range of expertise?

No. According to QQI Quality Assuring Assessment Guidelines for Providers (revised 2013, p. 26), the external authenticator selected should "have technical/subject matter expertise within the appropriate award area/field of learning". However, in some cases an external authenticator may be in a position to moderate results in general award areas within the context of the field of learning in which s/he is moderating, for example, an external authenticator moderating a major award in childcare may be in a position to moderate a minor award in communications for the same group of learners.