Like Peter Messent ("All work, no fee", Letters, THES, October 30) I was recently asked to undertake a significant piece of reading, critical evaluation and final report for no fee. My work was for a learned journal but, like his validation event, it meant carefully judging validity and quality, although there was the added difficulty of assessing originality.
Of course, refereeing has a longer history than course validation but both are done for the good of the system - it is peer review for peer support - and I would argue that they benefit from the fact they are essentially unrewarded. I say "essentially" since I have always found both stimulating and rewarding.
All I can say to Messent is welcome to the club and be grateful to those who come to assist in the validation of courses in his department.
Ray Harris. Perth College