Access Arrangements and Special Consideration

Access Arrangements

Some candidates may not be able to access assessments for either general or vocational qualifications without additional support.  It may be necessary for a centre to made arrangements for additional support to enable candidates with a medical condition or learning difficulty, or for those who are injured or otherwise disabled at the time of their assessment to access their examinations.  An application for the relevant access arrangement(s) will need to be submitted to the Awarding Body by the centre.  This must be done in advance of the assessment or examination and evidence will normally be required.

One thing to remember is that access arrangements exist to enable those candidates to access examinations who would otherwise be unable to do so.  They do not exist to give candidates an unfair advantage over their peers in examinations, nor do they exist to ‘maximise the potential’ of a given candidate.

It should also be understood that access arrangements must not themselves become a barrier to the assessment objectives in a given subject.  If a candidate is unable to demonstrate a particular skill without the support of an access arrangement, then it may be necessary to agree an exemption from a particular component for the candidate with the Awarding Body before the examination.

Special consideration

When a candidate has sat an assessment under adverse circumstances through no fault of their own, or has been absent from an assessment for acceptable reasons; the candidate has been fully prepared for the examination, has already completed 40% or more of the total assessment in a given subject, and there is no further re-sit opportunity for the qualification, a centre may apply to an Awarding Body for special consideration for the affected assessed component.  The Awarding Body will consider the circumstances and may, at their discretion, award a small additional tariff to the overall mark for the component.  Depending upon the circumstances, this may be set between 0 and 5%.

Under certain circumstances, if a candidate’s controlled assessment or coursework has been lost or damaged within the examination centre it may also be possible to apply for special consideration.

For further details of available access arrangements and the full criteria for special consideration, please see the JCQ publication ‘Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments’ for the current academic year.

JCQ Members