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Reasonable Adjustments Procedure

Reasonable Adjustments Procedure

Reviewed – December 2023
Next Review – December 2025

Introduction

This policy is primarily aimed at our learners who are registered on or have taken a T2 Fitness approved qualification or unit. It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all reasonable adjustment and special consideration requests in a consistent manner.

Assessment should be a fair test of learners’ knowledge and what they are able to do, however, for some learners the usual format of assessment may not be suitable. We ensure that our qualifications and assessments do not bar learners from taking our qualifications.

We recognise that reasonable adjustments or special considerations may be required at the time of assessment where:

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

The provision for reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements is made to ensure that learners receive recognition of their achievement so long as the equality, validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured. Such arrangements are not concessions to make assessment easier for learners, nor advantages to give learners a head start.

There are two ways in which access to fair assessment can be maintained:

  • through reasonable adjustments
  • through special considerations

Process for requesting reasonable adjustments and/or special considerations our learners can complete a reasonable adjustments and special consideration request form and in doing so supply relevant supporting information. For example:

  • learner’s name
  • nature of, and rationale for, the request
  • supporting information/evidence (e.g. medical evidence or a statement from the assessor or any other appropriate information)

Learners can, in exceptional circumstances, make requests direct to Focus Awards / YMCA by contacting the Head of Quality Assurance

Requests for reasonable adjustments should be submitted no later than 14 days before the assessment.

Requests for special consideration should be submitted as soon as possible after the assessment and not later than 5 working days after the assessment. Requests for special consideration may only be accepted after the results of assessment have been released in the following circumstances:

  • application has been overlooked at the Centre and the oversight is confirmed by the Head of Centre
  • 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.
  • If the application for special consideration is successful, the learner’s performance will be reviewed in the light of available evidence. It should be noted that a successful application of special consideration will not necessarily change a learner’s result.

 

How T2 Fitness Awards will deal with requests

  • We will aim to respond to all requests within 48 hours of receipt. If we are unable to respond on the same day we will provide you with an estimated response date.
  • Definition of reasonable adjustments

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the learner at a substantial disadvantage
in the assessment situation. They are made to an assessment for a qualification to enable a disabled learner to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.

Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:

  • changing usual assessment arrangements, for example allowing a learner extra time to complete the assessment activity
  • adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in Braille
  • providing assistance 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
  • changing the assessment method, for example from a written assessment to a spoken assessment
  • using assistive technology, such as screen reading or voice activated software
  • providing the mechanism to have different colour backgrounds to screens for onscreen assessments or asking for permission for copying to different coloured paper for paper-based assessments
  • providing and allowing different coloured transparencies with which to view assessment papers.

Reasonable adjustments are approved or set in place before the assessment activity takes place; they constitute an arrangement to give the learner access to the programme. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a learner’s work.

T2 Fitness will follow the rule of Focus Awards who follow only what is required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. Other factors, such as the need to maintain competence standards and health and safety, will also be taken into consideration.

 

Principles of making reasonable adjustments

These principles should be followed when making decisions about a learner’s need for adjustments to assessment:

  • should not invalidate the assessment requirements of the qualification
  • should not give the learners an unfair advantage
  • should reflect the learner’s normal way of working
  • should be based on the individual need of the learner

We have a responsibility to ensure that the process of assessment is robust and fair and allows the learner to show what they know and can do without compromising the assessment criteria.

When considering whether an adjustment to assessment is appropriate, T2 Fitness will bear in mind the following (where appropriate for the related qualification): adjustments to assessment should not compensate the learner for lack of knowledge and skills. The learner must be able to cope with the content of the assessment and be able to work at the level required for the assessment.

 

The process for making the adjustments

There are three routes through which a learner may be granted adjustments to assessment. These routes are to:

  • Use reasonable adjustments permitted at the discretion of the Centre
  • Apply to Focus Awards, YMCA or CIMSPA for permission
  • Agree the adjustment with the assigned EQA to the Centre

 

Qualification specific information

Health and safety considerations for practical assessments

There are no circumstances when the health and safety of a learner should be compromised in the name of assessment. In a practical activity, if there is a concern that the effects of a person’s disability or difficulty may have health and safety implications for him/herself and for others, a suitably qualified person in the Centre should carry out a risk assessment related to the learner’s particular circumstances. The risk assessment should identify the risks associated with the particular activity, but should also take account of any reasonable adjustments put in place for the learner which may remove or reduce the risk. The risk assessment may reveal that it is not possible for the learner to fulfil all the requirements of the assessment. In this case it may be appropriate to substitute another task.

Assumptions should not be made about a disability posing a health and safety risk, but the health and safety of all learners and others must always be of paramount importance.

 

Assessments which are not taken under examination conditions

With these types of assessments T2 Fitness has greater flexibility to be responsive to an individual learner’s needs and choose an assessment activity and method that will allow the learner to demonstrate attainment.

These types of assessments may include, for example, coursework, set assignments which are researched in the learner’s own time, assessment activities devised by the T2 Fitness, assessments where the learner has to collect, present or describe evidence, information or opinion in order to demonstrate competence and video assessments.

 

Identifying learners’ needs

Any adjustment to assessment should be based on the individual learner’s needs to access the assessment.

T2 Fitness has a responsibility to ensure it has effective internal procedures for identifying learners’ needs and that these procedures comply with the requirements of disability and equal opportunity legislation.

We may choose to use the following guide:

  • Identify those learners who are having difficulties or are likely to have difficulties accessing assessment

A learner should be encouraged to make any access-related assessment needs known to us at the earliest opportunity, and preferably before they are registered or entered for a qualification. To assist with the early identification of learners with access- related assessment needs, we ensure that all staff who recruit, advise or guide potential learners have had training to make them aware of access-related issues. Once the learner’s need has been identified, it should be documented for audit purposes.

Relevant staff should decide, in conjunction with the learner, whether he or she will be able to meet the requirements of the assessment or whether adjustments will be required. It is important that the learner is involved in this discussion as he or she knows best what the effect of their particular disability or difficulty is on how they do things. Where the implications of a particular difficulty are unclear, we will make use of specialist advice in order to determine how the difficulty will affect the learner’s performance in the assessment. We will avoid making assumptions, on the basis of previous experience, about whether adjustments may be necessary. Judgments should be made on the basis of individual need. If an adjustment is needed, it should be documented for audit purposes.

 

Identify the appropriate adjustment

When identifying which adjustments the learner will need in the assessment, our staff will take into consideration the learner’s normal way of working, history of provision during teaching and during informal assessments and the assessment requirements of the qualification.

Different qualifications make different demands. For example, a dyslexic learner may need extra time to complete a written test, but may not need extra time for a purely practical activity. Once the adjustment has been identified, it should be documented for audit purposes.

 

Ensure that the adjustment is in accordance with the guidelines in this policy

T2 Fitness will ensure that the adjustment will not impair the ability to assess the learner’s performance, skill or knowledge fairly in each assessment.

 

Identifying and obtaining supporting evidence

Any application for an adjustment to assessment must be supported by evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable using the form at the back of this policy.

In order to ensure that any adjustment to assessment will only provide the learner with the necessary assistance without giving him or her an unfair advantage over others, we must be clear about the extent to which the learner is affected by the disability or difficulty.

Where T2 Fitness can verify evidence of the disability or difficulty and where the implications are clear, such as for a learner with physical difficulties, profound hearing impairment or who are registered as blind or partially sighted, we do not need to provide further evidence of these physical difficulties.

Where the implications of the difficulty are not obvious, such as for learning difficulties, or mental health difficulties, we will have to provide additional evidence of the effect of the impairment on the learner’s performance in the assessment. We will decide which of these will best assist understanding of the learner’s situation.

If necessary, external experts may be called upon to assess the learner. This evidence should include an indication of how T2 Fitness plans to meet the learner’s needs and should show that the learner can cope with the level and content of the assessment.

 

Written evidence produced by independent, authoritative, specialists.


This could take the form of medical, psychological or professional reports or assessments. These reports should state the name, title and professional credentials of the person who carried out the assessments and wrote the report. The report should set out the nature of the difficulty and extent to which the learner is affected by the difficulty, including the effects of any medication that the learner may be taking. In cases where it might be expected that there could be changes in the way the learner is affected by the difficulty, there will have to be recent and relevant evidence of assessments and consultations carried out by an independent expert.

A learner with a Statement of Special Educational Need does not automatically qualify for reasonable adjustments. The demands of the qualification should be taken into account.

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