Below is a summary of the key areas of AAT’s guidance on the application of Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration.
For more detailed information on these areas, as well as further information about eligibility criteria, the types of Reasonable Adjustment that can and can’t be applied, responsibilities of the student and Assessment Centre, timescales for submitting forms, supporting evidence requirements and appeals, please see our Guidance on the Application of Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration in AAT assessments (PDF).
What are Reasonable Adjustments?
A Reasonable Adjustment is an arrangement that can be put in place by AAT or the Assessment Centre prior to an assessment to help students with a long-term disability such as dyslexia, or who are temporarily impaired, such as a student who has broken their arm, to do their best. For example, applying extra time for dyslexic students, or the use of a Scribe for a student with a broken arm.
What is Special Consideration?
Special Consideration is a process which takes into account the student’s circumstances, for example, a temporary illness or injury, or some other event outside of the student’s control, at or shortly before the time of assessment, which has or is likely to have had an effect on the student’s ability to take the assessment, in light of the result that has been / will be issued.
What do students need to do?
It is the responsibility of the student to inform the Assessment Centre of any:
- existing Reasonable Adjustment requirements upon enrolment to the course of study
- Reasonable Adjustment requirements before their assessment is scheduled
- personal circumstances that may affect, or have affected, their performance within the assessment (this must be notified before, during or immediately after the assessment)
- provide the Assessment Centre with any relevant evidence to support your request.
What do Assessment Centres need to do?
It is the responsibility of the Assessment Centre to:
- have effective internal processes in place to establish any Reasonable Adjustment and/or Special Consideration requirements for students, including an access-to-assessments policy.
- agree the type and level of Reasonable Adjustment required with students, ensuring they are comfortable with this, before any assessments take place.
- submit the necessary form and supporting evidence to AAT for approval prior to the assessment being scheduled (for Reasonable Adjustment) or immediately after the assessment has taken place (for Special Consideration).
AAT does not recommend that an assessment takes place if the student is uncomfortable with the Reasonable Adjustment, or lack of, being applied. Similarly, for Special Consideration requests made immediately before the assessment has started, it may be more appropriate for the assessment to be taken at a later date.
Application of extra time - key difference between AQ16 and Q22
There is a big difference in how any approved extra time reasonable adjustment is applied between AQ16 assessments on SecureAssess and Q22 assessments on ATLAS Cloud. This is covered in sections 9.3.3 and 9.5.2 of the above guide and must always be supported by the submission of the relevant form and supporting evidence. In short:
- In SecureAssess (AQ16) - up to one third extra time can be applied by the centre in scheduling. Any requirements over one third must be requested to AAT, who will apply it on your behalf.
- In ATLAS Cloud (Q22) - extra time up to 100% to support short-term conditions can be applied by the centre once the assessment has been unlocked. Extra time requirements for long-term conditions can be applied automatically via the application by AAT of an extra time 'profile' to the students account.
Forms and timescales
- For Reasonable Adjustment requests that can be applied by the Assessment Centre, complete the Reasonable Adjustment notification form (PDF) prior to the assessment being scheduled, and return with all required supporting evidence (AAT acknowledge receipt by email within five business days and may, if required, request further information before confirming the notification).
- For Reasonable Adjustment requests that must be approved by AAT, complete the Reasonable Adjustment request form (PDF) and return with all required supporting evidence four weeks prior to the planned assessment date.
- For Special Consideration requests, complete the Special Consideration request form (PDF) and return with all required supporting evidence by no later than the end of the next business day following the assessment taking place.
Any forms submitted outside of these timescales will not be considered.
What happens next?
Once a Reasonable Adjustment request or notification has been confirmed by AAT, the requested Reasonable Adjustment can be applied to the student’s scheduled assessment (for example, extra time) or to the sitting (for example, the use of the Scribe) by AAT or the Assessment Centre.
For approved Special Consideration requests, the student’s assessment performance will be reviewed in the light of available evidence and may result in a small post-assessment adjustment to the assessment mark.