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Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy

This policy applies to the Apprenticeship End Point Assessments (EPA) provided by In2Assessments.

In2Assessments is committed to ensuring that all Apprentices are granted equal opportunity, in line with the Equality Act 2010, to receive recognition of their achievement, while maintaining the equity, validity and reliability of assessments through the application of reasonable adjustments and special considerations where appropriate.

As such, In2Assessments offers the below reasonable adjustments and special considerations policy in order to provide external parties with the process of requesting a reasonable adjustment or special consideration.

If an Employer or Training Provider does not find the information they need within this policy, they should send any queries to contact@In2assessments.co.uk

In2Assessments Internal Responsibility

In2Assessments is responsible for the maintenance and compliance of this policy.

Review arrangements

We will review the policy annually as part of our self-evaluation process and revise it as and when necessary, in response to feedback, trends from our internal monitoring arrangements, and changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or external agencies or changes in legislation.

The annual review of this policy will be undertaken by the EPA Manager approximately four weeks prior to the submission of In2Assessments Statement of Compliance to our regulators. Any amendments or updates to this policy will be approved by In2Assessments Governing Committee.

Where the regulators notify In2Assessments of failures that have been discovered in the reasonable adjustments and special consideration processes of another awarding organisation, In2Assessments will review whether or not a similar failure could affect our reasonable adjustments and special considerations processes and arrangements and take action to amend this policy where necessary.

Training Provider / Employers Responsibility

In2Assessments suggests that all Training Provider or Employers involved in the delivery, management, assessment and quality assurance of In2Assessments End-Point Assessments, and their Apprentices, are fully aware of the contents of this policy.

An Employer or Training Provider should identify as early as possible any difficulties an Apprentice may have in accessing assessment, select an appropriate adjustment to make the assessment accessible and follow In2Assessments process for requesting adjustments. Employers should follow In2Assessments guidance for implementing adjustments to assessments while maintaining records of these adjustments and ensuring a quality appeals procedure is in place for Apprentices wishing to query any decisions made regarding adjustments by the Employer or EPAO.

 

Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration Definitions

Reasonable Adjustment

The following definition is given by Ofqual’s General Conditions of Recognition:

“Reasonable Adjustments are adjustments made to an assessment for a qualification so as to enable a disabled Learner to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding to the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.”

While the applicable definition of ‘disabled’ has been taken from the Equality Act 2010, an Apprentice seeking a reasonable adjustment does not necessarily have to fit within this definition of disabled to be entitled to one. A reasonable adjustment is any action that aids with reducing the effect of a long-term disability or difficulty which places the Apprentice at a disadvantage in an assessment situation.

Reasonable adjustments will be based on the Higher Education Statistical Authority's (HESA) diasability grouping framework.

In2Assessments are only required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of allowing an adjustment, and what is considered reasonable will depend on the individual needs of the Apprentice, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. A reasonable adjustment is not a concession to make an assessment easier for an Apprentice, or to give an Apprentice an advantage over others.

Adjustments to End-Point assessments may include but are not limited to changes as:

·       The location and timing of the assessment

·       The format, wording, or type of assessment activity

·       The availability of support personnel for additional needs

·       The availability of adaptive software or hardware, or specialist equipment

​The adjustments should reflect reasonable adjustments or additional support provided to the apprentice during their training provided by the employer and training provider.

Any reasonable adjustment given should not affect the reliability or validity of the assessment and should not give the apprentice an advantage over another apprentice taking the same assessment.

Special Consideration

The following definition is given by Ofqual’s General Conditions of Recognition:

“Special Consideration is consideration to be given to a Learner who has temporarily experienced –

a) an illness or injury, or

b) some other event outside of the Learner’s control, which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on that Learner’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her level of attainment in an assessment.”

Special considerations can be a pre-assessment or post-assessment adjustment to cover a ‘temporary’ condition that may disadvantage, or may have disadvantaged, the Apprentice in an assessment situation (including, for example; a temporary illness, injury or some other event outside of their control).

If approved, a pre-assessment special consideration may result in an access adjustment being made to the assessment, and post-assessment special consideration may result in either a small adjustment made to the mark of the Apprentice, or another appropriate adjustment. The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances and reflect the level of difficulty faced.

A special consideration should not give the Apprentice an unfair advantage. The result must reflect their achievement in the assessment and not necessarily their potential ability. It should be noted that a successful application of special consideration will not necessarily change an Apprentice’s result.

Training Providers and Employers should note that:

Where an assessment requires the Apprentice to demonstrate practical competence, it may not be possible to apply special consideration.

In some circumstances, for example for on-demand assessments, it may be more appropriate to offer the Apprentice an opportunity to take the assessment at a later date.

In2Assessments will review a request for special consideration on a case by case basis and will take the particular need of each individual Apprentice into consideration when making a decision to grant the request.

Who can request a Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration?

1. A Training Provider

A Training Provider may wish to request reasonable adjustments or special considerations for an Apprentice completing an End-Point Assessment component.

2. An Apprentice undertaking End-Point Assessment with In2Assessments

An Apprentice undertaking End-Point Assessment with In2Assessments who believes they are eligible for reasonable adjustments or special considerations must first consult with their Training Provider regarding the relevant component(s). A Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration request relating to End-Point Assessment provision must be submitted by the Training Provider.

Who and how are Special Considerations and Reasonable Adjustments evaluated?

All special considerations in the first instance are evaluated by the independent assessor and will be clarified by the EPA Manager.  The internal verifier will evaluate decisions made by the assessor based on assessments made by the same assessor or at the same location/employer. EPAs that have been subject to a special consideration will also be reviewed by the EPA Manager as part of ongoing training and review.

Apprentices should be made aware of what reasonable adjustments are available for their needs after registration and discussions with the employer and training provider should reduce or mitigate the need for reasonable adjustments. Where there is an intrinsic need for a reasonable adjustment to be put in place it will be the responsibility of the independent assessor and the employer to ensure that these adjustments are put in place. It is the responsibility of the EPA Manager to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are appropriate and applied and meet the needs of the candidate. This will be based on the HSEA Disability grouping framework.

Eligibility Criteria

A reasonable adjustment to an assessment will only be considered where the permanent disability, difficulty, or individual learning need experienced by the Apprentice would place them at a disadvantage, in comparison with persons who are not disabled.

A special consideration to an assessment will only be considered where the ‘temporary’ condition would place the Apprentice at, or has placed them at, a disadvantage in an assessment situation.

An Apprentice who is fully prepared and present for a scheduled assessment may also be eligible for special considerations if:

performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the Apprentice (e.g. recent personal illness, accident, bereavement, serious disturbance during the assessment);

alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate;

part of an assessment has been missed due to circumstances beyond the control of the Apprentice or;

there is a sufficient difference between the part of the assessment to which special consideration is applied and other parts of the qualification that have been achieved to infer that the Apprentice could have performed more successfully in the assessment.

An Apprentice will not be eligible for special considerations if:

no evidence is supplied by the Training Provider that the Apprentice has been affected at the time of the assessment by a particular condition;

any part of the assessment is missed due to personal arrangements including holidays or unauthorised absence;

preparation for a component is affected by difficulties during the course; e.g. disturbances through building work, lack of proper facilities, changes in or shortages of staff, or industrial disputes;

the disadvantage is caused by disregard for the Training Provider or In2Assessments requirements, recreational drugs or misreading of exam instructions or;

disruption in a controlled assessment environment is minor and momentary (e.g. a mobile phone ringing) and dealt with immediately by the assessment invigilator.

Health and Safety

There are no circumstances when the health and safety of an Apprentice should be compromised during assessment. Where there is a concern that the effect of a person’s disability or additional learning needs may have health and safety implications for them or others, a suitably qualified person should carry out a risk assessment, related to the Apprentice’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 Apprentice which may remove or reduce the risk.

Assumptions should not be made about an Apprentice’s disability or additional learning needs, posing a health and safety risk. The health and safety of all Apprentices and others must always be of paramount importance.

Types of Assessment

End-Point Assessments

End-Point Assessment activities cover a range of assessment types, including, for example; Multiple Choice Question examinations, Professional Discussions, Interviews, Portfolios of Evidence, Practical Observations and Synoptic or Written Projects.

As all of these assessment components are externally set and assessed by In2Assessments, any reasonable adjustment and special consideration requests must be submitted to In2assessments for approval and cannot be applied by Training Providers themselves.

Where End-Point Assessments are subject to assessment windows in which the entire End-Point Assessment must be completed within a certain timeframe. This timeframe is specific to each Apprenticeship Standard and is detailed within the respective Assessment Plan. Should an Apprentice have experienced an event outside their control which may cause this timeframe to be breached, a Training Provider may seek an extension with In2Assessments via the special considerations process.

Timings

Apprentices should be made aware of reasonable adjustments following registration onto the programme and will have time to work with employers and training providers to mitigate the need of reasonable adjustments possible, where there is an obvious disadvantage for the candidate reasonable adjustments will be made or expected to be made. Candidates should notify the independent assessor as soon as possible following Gateway by completing the reasonable adjustments request form and submit this via email to contact@in2assessments.co.uk or via the online portal. Candidates should submit any reasonable adjustment request, no later than two weeks prior to the EPA.  Where the candidate does not meet the requirements for a reasonable adjustment to be applied, they will be informed within five working days of receiving the application, providing them time to make their own adjustments to their EPA plan.

The independent assessor should liaise with the employer three days prior to the assessment to ensure such adjustments have been put into place.

Special considerations should be informed to the independent assessor as soon as possible. Where possible this should be three weeks prior to the EPA or even on the day of assessment by completing the special circumstances request form and emailing to contact@in2assessments.co.uk or via the online portal. Special circumstances forms following the assessment must be submitted within three working days to be taken into consideration prior to internal verification. Candidates will be informed of the outcome of the request within 10 working days, following the EPA.

Reasonable Adjustments 

Request

Apprentices will apply for a reasonable adjustment through their training provider.  The training provider will ensure that supporting evidence is supplied by the apprentice and relates the RA that had been applied to their on-going training or employment. RA should be based on a learning need or disability and is requested because it is deemed that the apprentice will be put at an unfair disadvantage for the assessment.

The training provider will submit their application to the EPAO no later than two weeks prior to the EPA.

Decision

All applications in the first instance will be assessed by the EPA Manager. Their decision will be based on the evidence submitted and will be compared with identical or similar applications to help them come to the correct conclusion. Where the EPA Manager is unable to make a judgement, they will draw upon the advice of a technical freelance Internal verifier to come to the right decision.

Implementation

The EPA Manager will outline the changes that are to be made within the framework of the assessment plan.  They will inform the training provider and the independent assessor of what actions should be taken.

The independent assessor should record these changes on to the apprentice’s registration documents and undertake the assessment plan with the revised reasonable adjustments in place.

Rejection and Appeals

If the apprentices request for reasonable adjustments is rejected, then they will be informed of the outcome and why this is the case.  If the apprentice feels that their application has not been delt with in an appropriate manner, they may appeal against the process to the EPAO. The EPA Manager will convene an independent panel made up of 1 technical freelance IV and 2 Governing Committee members. This panel will review the process undertaken by the EPA Manager and will inform the EPA Manager of their decision. If the appeal is upheld the EPA Manager will action as appropriate. This could include implementing the actions imposed by the panel to make provision for reasonable adjustments for the assessment to be in place. If the appeal is rejected, then the EPA Manager will be advised to contact the training provider to let them know the decision stands. Reporting the findings of the panel.

Special Considerations

Request

Ideally the Training Provider will notify the EPAO prior to the date of the EPA, this is not always possible where special considerations may need to be applied.  If this is the case the Independent Assessor will need to make a judgement on the day regarding whether the assessment should take place, or if the apprentices current mental or physical position puts them at a disadvantage which would lead to an unfair assessment and therefore either a reasonable adjustment needs to be put in place or a Special Consideration should be applied when grading the apprentice’s performance.

Apprentices may also apply for special considerations to be considered post assessment but must inform the EPAO within three days of the assessment.  The EPA Manager will assess whether there is a legitimate claim based on the evidence supplied and will forward this to the Internal verifier responsible for moderating the assessment.

Decision

All requests in the first instance will be verified by the EPA Manager. Where an assessor is confronted with a situation on the day of the assessment, they should clarify with the EPAO before they proceed with the assessment. There may be cases where a reasonable adjustment is applied rather than applying a special consideration following the assessment, this will beat the discretion of the EPA Manager.

Implementation

Decisions regarding special considerations that require a reasonable adjustment to be made, need to be made quickly and on the day of the assessment.  Special considerations will include a wide range of possible situations which may not always be solved on the day. On these occasions the Assessor may suggest that the EPA is postponed to another day.

Where the apprentice requests and supplies suitable evidence to have a special consideration considered post assessment, they must submit this within 3 days of the assessment taking place. Initially the request will be considered by the EPA Manager and then forwarded to the Internal Verifier to apply and special consideration based on the evidence.

On most occasions it will not change a result of an assessment that had warranted a failure.

Rejection And Appeals

If the apprentices request for a special consideration is rejected, then they will be informed within ten days. If the apprentices / training provider feels that their request was not dealt with in an appropriate manner, they may raise an appeal regarding the process undertaken. The EPA Manager will convene an independent panel made up of 1 technical freelance IV and 2 Governing Committee Members.

The panel will review the process undertaken by the EPA Manager, Assessor or the Internal Verifier and recommend action as appropriate.

Where the appeal is rejected the apprentice / training provider will be informed on the outcome decision.

Records

It is the responsibility of the In2assessments to maintain records of all adjustments made to internal assessments, and to hold these on file within In2assessments for Internal Quality Assurer and External Quality Assurer audit purposes. Records of reasonable adjustments and special circumstances will also be made to the apprentice’s registration records.

Records of reasonable adjustment and special circumstances that were rejected will also be maintained and shared with external verifiers when required. As with all records they will be held for 7 years, before being destroyed.

Requesting Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations

Once the need for a reasonable adjustment or special consideration has been identified and the assessment type requires permission to be sought from In2Assessments, the Training Provider must complete and submit the appropriate form on behalf of the Apprentice.

The Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration Forms are available on the following platforms: In2Assessments Website, The Apprentices Portal.  Separate forms will typically be completed for each Apprentice. However, in the event that a particular disturbance or situation has affected a cohort of Apprentices then a single form may be submitted, with a list of all the affected individuals attached. The forms will require the Apprentice’s name, In2Assessments registration number, the affected assessment(s), the nature of and rationale for the request, and additional supporting evidence.

For Training Providers, requests for reasonable adjustments on behalf of Apprentices must be submitted prior to submission through Gateway. Approved reasonable adjustment requests will be submitted as a Gateway requirement to be discussed in the Assessment Planning Meeting.

Requests for Reasonable Adjustments must be submitted at least 10 working days before the scheduled assessment. Requests for special considerations following the completion of an assessment should be submitted immediately and not after the confirmation of results by In2Assessments.

Should a Training Provider be made aware of the need for a special consideration within the 4 working days prior to an assessment after the due date for RA requests has passed, In2Assessments advises that the assessment be delayed to a later date.

Requests for special consideration may only be accepted after the results of assessment have been released in the following circumstances:

The application has been overlooked by the In2assessments or Training Provider and the oversight is confirmed by the In2assessments or Training Provider Coordinator;

Medical evidence has come to light about an Apprentice’s condition, which demonstrates that the Apprentice must have been affected by the condition at the time of the assessment, even though the problem revealed itself only after the assessment.

In2Assessments will confirm receipt of the request within 2 working days. The request review stage will typically take 5 working days from the date the request was received. With more complex cases which require input from experts, In2Assessments may be unable to respond in this timescale and an estimated extended response date will be communicated.

The review of the reasonable adjustment or special consideration request will be conducted by the EPA Manager or a suitably competent In2assessments staff member when the EPA Manager is not available.

Suitably Competent Staff

In2assessment staff undertaking these decisions will have an approved internal or external verification award and will have access to previous decisions and applications to be able to make an informed and standardised decision on the outcome of the request.

Competent staff must maintain a level of CPD development and have their decisions reviewed by the Governing Committee as part of their monthly process review.

Supporting Evidence

All reasonable adjustment or special consideration requests must be supported by evidence which is sufficient, valid and reliable alongside the relevant form. Requests may not be accepted without appropriate supporting evidence. It is the Training Provider’s responsibility to provide this evidence and to ensure that all applications for reasonable adjustments are based on the individual needs of the Apprentice.

The Training Provider should decide which of the following types of additional supporting evidence will best assist understanding of the Apprentice’s situation:

An assessment of the Apprentice’s needs in relation to the relevant assessment, raised by the Training Provider by the relevant member of staff with competence and responsibility in this area; staff include learning support staff, teaching staff, trainers, assessors and other specialist staff;

History of provision within the Training Provider;

Written evidence produced by independent, authoritative specialists.

How will my application be considered?

Decisions will be based on evidence provided by the learner. Adjustments to marks will be applied by the internal verifier. The EPA Manager oversees the process and ensures consistency and an objective approach. Strict guidelines will be in place to ensure that learners in similar circumstances are treated fairly.

 

It is your responsibility to provide all supporting information to put your case forward, failure to provide sufficient detail may affect the outcome of your application for special consideration.

Be aware that a successful application for special consideration will only result in a small adjustment to your overall mark.  It is unlikely to change a pass/fail decision if your exam performance is significantly below the passing standard or if several questions or whole sections of an exam were missed out.

The result you receive will reflect the outcome of the special consideration process. The decision is final, and In2Assessments reserve the right not to correspond further regarding your result or exam performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I miss the deadline to submit my application?

In2assessments will NOT consider applications received after the specified deadline or after results have been published.

Is there a charge for the reasonable adjustments or special consideration process? 

No, both processes are free of charge.

When will I receive my exam result?

There is no delay to exam results for considering special consideration applications. You results will be available on the results date published by In2assessments

Will the outcome of assessment be any different?

Where a reasonable adjustment has been put into place the apprentice must always:

·       Meet the requirements of the occupational standard regardless of the process or methods used.

·       Be as rigorously assessed as outcomes generated by other apprentices.

·       Be assessable.

·       Be a valid or occupational competence.

·       Be able to be moderated or verified.

If I have more questions about End-point assessment?

Please contact contact@In2assessments.co.uk

Appeals

If a Training Provider or Apprentice wishes to appeal against an In2assessments decision regarding reasonable adjustments or special considerations, please refer to the In2Assessments Appeals Policy.

If necessary, please also refer to the In2Assessments Appeals Policy for information on further avenues beyond the appeals process.

Glossary

Extra time up to 25%

Where an assessment is time-constrained, a candidate may be permitted up to 25% extra of the time allowed to complete the assessment.

Extra time in excess of 25%

Where an assessment is time-constrained, a candidate may be permitted up to over 25% extra of the time allowed to complete the assessment.

Supervised rest breaks

Supervised rest breaks, taken under assessment conditions, may be taken either in or outside the assessment room and the duration of the breaks will not be deducted from the overall assessment time.

Separate accommodation within the Recognised Centre

There may be a need to accommodate a candidate separately from others during an assessment, often to enable the candidate to utilise another approved adjustment while reducing distraction for others who are not requiring this adjustment.

Conduct assessment at an alternative venue

In certain circumstances, the candidate may be permitted to take an assessment at an alternative venue suited to the candidate’s requirements. Assessment conditions must still be met and the security of the assessment material maintained.

Assessment material on coloured paper

Subject to the supporting evidence, candidates with a visual impairment or learning difficulties may benefit from having assessment material printed on coloured paper.

Assessment material in enlarged format

Subject to the supporting evidence, candidates with a visual impairment or learning difficulties may apply for assessment material to be enlarged to a format suitable.

Assessment material in audio format

Subject to the supporting evidence, In2Assessments may be able to provide Learners with assessment material in audio format.

Use of English dictionaries

Learners may use an English dictionary for the purpose of checking the spelling of words or finding the meaning of words and phrases.

Use of ICT

The use of ICT in this context is taken to include electronic word processor devices producing output in text during an assessment. Spelling and grammar checks must be disabled prior to the assessment taking place.

Read aloud

Learners are permitted to read aloud during assessments, if this reflects their normal way of working. Recognised Centres must ensure that these Learners are accommodated separately.

Reader or computer reader

A reader is a responsible adult who reads the instructions of the question paper and the questions directly to the candidate. This may involve reading the whole paper to the candidate or the candidate may request only some words to be read.

A computer reader is computer software which accurately reads out text but does not decode or interpret the paper.

Prompter

A prompter is a responsible adult who can refocus a candidate with severe attention problems. A candidate may benefit from the use of a prompter in timed assessment situations to draw their attention back to the assessment task.

Scribe

A scribe is a responsible adult who may write, type or word process a candidate’s dictated answers to the questions during an assessment.

Where there is evidence of need, a scribe may be allowed in all assessments where writing or keyboarding is not the competency being assessed.

Transcriber

A transcriber is a responsible adult who will produce a transcript to assist the examiner/assessor in the assessment of a candidate’s work.

The examiner/assessor will assess the work and will only refer to the transcript if it is impossible to decipher any part of the candidate’s response. In some instances the examiner/assessor may refer solely to the transcript.

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