Quality Manual

Examination Arrangements for Disabled Students or those with Long-Term Medical Conditions


1. Overview

The University is strongly committed to equality of opportunity in its provision for all students. The University is committed to providing ongoing support with the focus being on providing accessible services and supporting students in completing their courses as independently as possible. Information about the services provided by the University's Academic and Disability Support Teams can be found at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/StudentServices/supportforyourstudies/index.aspx/ .

As part of this commitment, the University believes that assessment methods should, as well as being appropriate to the academic objectives of the course, minimise any impact of a student's condition on performance in assessment. This means that some students may require alternative arrangements for examinations or other assessments. These guidelines set out the arrangements for organising the effective assessment of disabled students or those with long-term medical conditions.

2. Policy

The University adheres to the Quality Assurance Agency's Quality Code for Higher Education and in this context in particular with the following Indicator that "Through inclusive design wherever possible, and through individual reasonable adjustments where required, assessment tasks provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement" (Indicator 11 from Chapter B6 Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning). At the same time, the rigour and comparability of the assessment should be protected with the affect that one academic standard is applied to all students.

Wherever possible, students who are disabled, or have a Specific Learning Difference, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D, or long-term medical conditions should undertake the same assessments as others on their course. Where the nature of the condition makes it impossible for a certain form of assessment to be used, any alternative form of assessment must be of the same standard and present a comparable level of challenge.

The University will ensure that policies and procedures for requesting modification to assessment and examinations are widely publicised and easy for students to follow and will endeavour to apply them consistently across the institution. It is the University's responsibility to give students opportunities to disclose their disability or long-term medical condition and to ensure appropriate confidentiality. Students must be aware, however, that in order for alternative arrangements to be implemented, relevant staff will need to be informed of the disclosure. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the University is aware of his/her disability and to apply for any variation in assessment conditions within deadlines which are established for this purpose. Any request must be supported by acceptable medical evidence, see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/supportforyourstudies/disabilitysupport/medicalevidencepolicy.aspx.

3. Procedure for Students

Student Service - Specialist Processes Accessibility (Academic Support and Disability Support) are responsible for the final determination of arrangements, after consultation where appropriate with relevant University staff or bodies. Alternative arrangements, known as 'accommodations', will be implemented by Student Services - Service Development for examinations controlled centrally, or implemented by schools where examinations are held by schools independently or where it involves another form of assessment.

Information for students who wish to request alternative arrangements is available on the Student Services - Service Development Examinations section

4. Additional Procedural Information for Staff

Information for staff is available at Student Services - Service Development Examinations section

5. Determination of Alternative Assessment Arrangements

(a) Formal Examinations

Specific provision may be necessary for students who have disclosed a disability for formal examinations. A list of arrangements that can be made is online; if an arrangement is requested that does not appear on this list then Student Services - Specialist Processes Accessibility (Academic and Disability Support) should, in consultation with the School Examinations Officer, consider whether it is appropriate and if so should request that Student Services Development (Academic Processes) add the arrangement to this document.

Students who have provided evidence to the University of a Specific Learning Difference such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D are offered the opportunity to attach a sticker to their examination papers which alerts the marker to the need to make reasonable adjustments. Guidelines for marking the examination papers of these students are available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/supportforyourstudies/academicsupport/index.aspx 

(b) Coursework and other Assessments

Students should not be required to make a disclosure on cover sheets for coursework in order to allow them the same opportunities for anonymity that are available to other students. However, where there are requests for alternative forms of assessment or for extensions to deadlines, relevant staff may have to be informed of the condition.

The University recognises that the production of written work may present particular challenges for some students with Specific Learning Differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and AD(H)D, and has made provision for additional specialist support for these students. Therefore the written work of students with Specific Learning Differences is marked following the same criteria as that applied to all students. Students with Specific Learning Differences can request that Schools clarify their marking criteria so that they are aware of any penalties imposed for inaccurate spelling or poor presentation.

Extensions to deadlines may be deemed ‘a reasonable adjustment’ for some disabled or specific learning differences students and will be one of the recommendations made by Academic Support or Disability Support in the Support Plan (formerly known as the Academic/Disability Referral Form) sent to DLOs and Welfare Officers. However it is the responsibility of the student to request an extension to a deadline. Students requesting a deadline extension should complete and submit the Deadline Extension Request form available from the Student Services website https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/services/students-with-academic-or-disability-referral-form.aspx

A small number of disabled or specific learning differences students may require an alternative form of assessment for coursework on occasion. In these instances, there should be consultation between the School, the student and Academic or Disability Support. 



 Last updated 2 July 2018

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