Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy

Reasonable adjustments and special considerations

1.      Introduction

This policy is aimed at centres, teachers and learners who are involved with UKAdance qualifications.  UKAdance staff, examiners and moderators should also refer to this policy.  This policy covers all the qualifications we offer.

The purpose of this policy is to set out the procedures that learners, teachers, examiners and centres should follow when implementing reasonable adjustments and special considerations.  The policy also gives details of the service provided by UKAdance for these arrangements.

This policy will be subject to review and monitoring by UKAdance and if necessary will be amended and updated following feedback from learners and centres.  All future versions to this policy will be flagged and will be posted on our website.

Please note that we treat all records of reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements in confidence and will not make details available to any other parties.

Get the application form HERE

If learners wish to appeal against the decision by UKAdance to decline requests for reasonable adjustments or special consideration arrangements, please refer to our Appeals Policy

2.         Issue and review

The date of issue of this policy is January 2022.  This policy will be reviewed annually.

3.     What are reasonable adjustments and special considerations?

UKAdance is committed to fair and equal assessment of its qualifications.  We expect all learners, regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender, race or disability to have equal and fair access to all the assessments we provide.

Therefore we recognise that in some cases there will be a need for some learners to have access to a range of arrangements which meet their individual needs and provide fair access to the assessments they are undertaking.  This could include:

  • learners who have a permanent disability or specific learning needs
  • learners who have a temporary disability, medical condition or learning needs
  • learners who are indisposed at the time of the assessment

The provision for reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements is made to ensure that learners receive fair recognition of their achievement whilst maintaining the equity, validity and reliability of the assessment.  In this way, these arrangements make valid provision for learners without making assessment easier for learners.

Learners requiring access to fair assessment can gain these in the following ways:

  • Through reasonable adjustments
  • Through special considerations

3.1       Reasonable adjustments

A reasonable adjustment is defined as an action that will reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the learner at a substantial disadvantage during assessment.

Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of the assessment, but may involve:

  • Making changes for individuals to the standard assessment arrangements, for example allowing learners extra time to complete the assessment
  • Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in Braille for those with visual impairments
  • Providing access facilitators during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or a reader
  • Re-organising the assessment room, such as removing visual stimuli for an autistic learner

Reasonable adjustments are requested and approved before the assessment takes place. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a learner’s work.

Every request for a reasonable adjustment will be considered on a case by case basis by UKAdance.  What is reasonable in terms of an adjustment to the assessment will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment.

3.2       Special considerations

Special considerations are different to reasonable adjustments as they apply to a disadvantage that occurs to the learner either just before or during the assessment.  Reasons for special consideration could be:

  • Temporary illness
  • Injury
  • Adverse circumstances at the time of the assessment.

Special considerations will be taken into account by the examiner at the time of the assessment and will be recorded and sent to UKAdance. Special considerations may result in a small post-assessment adjustment to the mark of the learner. The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances during the assessment and will reflect the difficulty faced by the learner.

4.     Services available for learners requesting a reasonable adjustment

All reasonable adjustments should be applied for in advance.  Teachers and centres are responsible for making applications on behalf of learners.

4.1  Learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia for written assessments

Learners who request a reasonable adjustment due to a learning difficulty such as dyslexia will need to supply UKAdance with appropriate evidence of the learning difficulty (eg medical evidence). 

For Graded Examinations, learners with dyslexia may be offered longer preparation times for the unprepared tests and/or tests in larger type or on coloured paper.

For qualifications requiring written examinations or the production of written evidence, requests could be made for:

  • A reader
  • A scribe
  • Using voice recognition technology
  • Use of word-processing or transcription packages
  • Use of coloured overlays

4.2       Hearing impairment

UKAdance will make every effort to accommodate learners who are hearing impaired.  However any reasonable adjustments requested will only be taken into account if they do not give the learner an unreasonable advantage over other learners.  Requests could include:

  • Use of a communicator/interpreter
  • Use of mechanical/electronic aids
  • Use of any other suitable aids (recommended by a teacher of the hearing impaired)

4.3       Visual impairment

UKAdance can make available certain options within its Graded Examinations syllabus on agreement with the examiner for learners with a visual impairment.

Other requests for reasonable adjustments for written assessments could include:

  • Use of a reader
  • Use of a scribe
  • Use of appropriate mechanical/electronic aids
  • Use of coloured overlays

4.4       Permanent physical impairment

Learners with a permanent physical impairment which requires assistance in the examination room will be allowed assistance in exceptional circumstances. However, the aid must not be given by the learner’s teacher.

Other requests for reasonable adjustments for written assessments could include:

  • Use of a reader
  • Use of a scribe and/or interpreter
  • Use of mechanical/electronic aids

4.5       Medical condition or temporary injury

Learners with a medical condition or temporary injury which requires assistance in the examination room will be allowed assistance in exceptional circumstances. However, the aid must not be given by the learner’s teacher.

Other requests for reasonable adjustments for written assessments could include:

  • Use of a reader and/or scribe and/or interpreter
  • Use of mechanical/electronic aids
  • Use of an assistant in practical tasks

4.6       Change in the organisation of the assessment room

There may be instances where minor changes to the organisation of the assessment room can benefit learners – for example some learners with visual or hearing impairment or with physical difficulties.

  • Visually impaired learners may benefit from sitting near a window so that they have good lighting
  • Hearing impaired learners may benefit from being seated near the front of the room or may need visual/noise stimuli to be removed, such as a ticking clock, from the room

4.7       Extra time and/or rest brakes

Except where performance within a specific timescale is an assessment objective, learners and centres can be allowed additional time, up to a maximum of 25% of external assessment time, and/or rest breaks, to learners with particular requirements and with appropriate evidence of need.

For examinations conducted within centres, the centre is responsible for managing this.  As with other reasonable adjustments, if a learner requires rest breaks and/or additional time this must be requested in advance.

However, should additional time or rest break be granted through a special consideration on the day of the examination, the invigilator or examiner should note this in the appropriate documentation.

Please note anyone involved in implementing Reasonable Adjustments; such as a reader, scribe or interpreter should be employed by the centre but not involved in the course delivery.

5.         Submitting applications for reasonable adjustment arrangements

Learners and centres should send requests for reasonable adjustments to UKAdance before the assessment.

For learners taking Graded Examinations, requests for reasonable adjustments should be sent in with the examination applications. UKAdance reserves the right to refuse an entry from a learner if the adjustment required would affect the integrity of the examination.

For learners taking other qualifications, requests for reasonable adjustments will normally be made by the centre.  Centres should submit their applications to UKAdance along with any supporting evidence (e.g. a medical certificate) at least 4 weeks before the assessment.  UKAdance cannot guarantee to process applications less than 3 weeks before the assessment takes place.

Centres and learners are required to fill in the Reasonable Adjustments Application form and send this to UKAdance along with an original copy of the relevant supporting information (e.g. a medical certificate).

Each request should include the following information:

  • The nature of the learner’s disability/learning need
  • The special assessment arrangements requested
  • Any supporting evidence or a copy of the evidence.

Please post or email the completed form back to the Senior Examinations Officer at UKAdance. 

When we receive the application, we will make a decision and inform centres, teachers and individual learners within 48 hours of receipt. If it will take longer than this to make a decision, we will inform you and indicate a timescale for the decision.

5.         Evidence requirements

Learners requiring arrangements for reasonable adjustments should provide, in the case of centre-based assessment, centres with evidence of their learning needs or medical condition. The centre must ensure that suitably qualified personnel check that the evidence is current and relevant to the learner. Examples of evidence could be a relevant diagnostic report or statement of learning needs or medical condition from appropriately qualified personnel. For graded examinations, learners should provide UKAdance with evidence directly.

In the case of an appeal, centres must ensure that evidence to support a reasonable adjustment or special consideration is retained for 3 months after the learner has been issued with the results of an assessment.

6.         Special considerations

Special considerations are usually granted at the time of the examination or assessment. Therefore responsibility for special consideration lies with the UKAdance examiner.

Details of any special considerations arrangements should be communicated to UKAdance by the individuals responsible using the appropriate documentation.

A learner may be eligible for special consideration if:

  • Their performance in an external assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the learner, e.g. recent personal illness, accident, bereavement, serious disturbance during the assessment
  • The alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the
  • assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate
  • Any part of an assessment has been missed due to circumstances beyond the control of the learner.

When recording a special consideration, examiners, assessors and invigilators should include:

  • Centre name (if applicable)
  • Learner/ Candidate name
  • Qualification title and level
  • Date of the examination/assessment
  • Summary of adverse circumstances affecting the learner’s performance in the assessment

The records of the special consideration should be submitted to UKAdance as soon as possible after the assessment and not later than 7 working days after the assessment.

We can only accept requests for special consideration after the results of the assessment had been released in the following circumstances:

  • The application has been overlooked at the centre and the oversight is confirmed by the person at the centre responsible for quality assurance
  • Medical evidence comes to light about a learner’s condition, which demonstrates that the learner must have been affected by the condition at the time of the assessment, even though the problem revealed itself only after the assessment