Alternative Arrangements

Access arrangements – guidance

This guidance document is intended for all applicants except for those applying for specific learning difficulties. We know that exam conditions can be difficult for some students so we offer access arrangements if you have a short-term or long-term impairment, disability or health condition, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What access arrangements are available?

We will do what we reasonably can to meet your needs. Common arrangements include:

  • giving you rest breaks; and
  • giving you extra time. Some arrangements cannot be granted for short term conditions. Rest breaks or extra time for short term conditions will be a maximum of 17%. Let us know if your condition means you may need to use equipment that you own or your employer has provided for you, or if your condition prevents you from travelling.

How do I apply for access arrangements?

Please send us:

  • an email explaining why you are applying for access arrangements;
  • the medical report form Application for access arrangements: supporting evidence which should be completed by the appropriate medical expert; and
  • any additional supporting evidence that will help us consider your application; if we understand your difficulties, we will be able to help you more effectively.

What information do I need to include?

Please send us the documents described above with the relevant sections filled out by a registered medical practitioner who has treated you. This will usually be your normal doctor or the specialist treating you for your condition. We will only accept diagnoses and recommendations from qualified medical practitioners. We won’t accept a diagnosis from a nurse, practitioner of complimentary health, or occupational health advisor – although we’ll consider this evidence together with a diagnosis. In almost all cases the medical practitioner will have seen you in person, and the diagnosis must be up-to-date.

Your evidence must be current and must explain as clearly as possible what the particular difficulties you may encounter are, and the arrangements that would help you overcome them. For example, telling us that ‘extra time will be required’ is not enough. We need to know how much time and why this is needed; eg, ‘five minutes extra time per exam hour is required to allow stretches to be carried out’. We will not accept applications which do not fully evidence the circumstances and the resulting recommendations.

 When do I need to apply?

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible. This means you should apply when you register as a student, or as soon as you are aware that you may need arrangements. For each exam session, the access arrangements application deadline is the same date as the exam booking deadline. However, your chosen centre may not be available with the arrangements you are awarded, so if you do not apply as soon as possible, there is a risk that we won’t be able to accommodate you. We will not be able to process your access arrangement application if we receive it after the deadline for that exam session, unless you have a condition which arises, or is first diagnosed, after the deadline.

If you do have a condition which arises after the deadline, you should contact us immediately so we can advise you on the best course of action. You may need to consider whether to defer your exam or sit your exam with limited arrangements. Such circumstances will be dealt on a case-by-case basis and we cannot guarantee that any applications received after the deadline will be processed.

Who should I write to?

Please send your application or any queries to aa@icaew.com

How long will my application or enquiry take to process?

We will review your enquiry or application and aim to provide a response within 10 working days; in some circumstances this can take a little longer. We will then let you know if your application can be approved, or if we need more information. If we need further information, we will write to you telling you what you need to send us. Once we’ve received the information we need, we will deal with your application within our published timescales.

Some access arrangements take longer to arrange than others. These include using a reader or an exam in a special format. If we’re not able to meet your needs on the date you have chosen, we’ll inform you of the next exam session when we can accommodate your needs.

How will the application be reviewed?

If your application meets the criteria set out in this document, an independent decision on the arrangements which we can provide will be made. This means that the arrangements we award may be different to those recommended by your practitioner, or those you were granted by another organisation. This is at our discretion and arrangements which are made on a temporary basis will require you to apply again when your award expires.

 Are access arrangements available at all exam venues?

We can accommodate most access arrangements at your usual exam venue. We recommend that you apply for access arrangements as early as possible to secure the arrangements you need at the centre of your choice. If you are granted access arrangements after applying for an exam session, which cannot be accommodated at the venue you have applied to, your booking may be transferred to a different centre.

  • You will usually be accommodated with other students in the usual venue of your choice, regardless of whether they also have access arrangements.
  • Students awarded the ‘sole occupancy’ arrangement type are provided with their own room as standard. However, it is possible for any student to sit an exam alone in a room, if through chance they are the only candidate who was booked into that exam room. If you are awarded sole occupancy, you may have two invigilators present.

The information pertaining to venues covers the vast majority of access arrangements students. However, if your requirements are complex we will discuss individual arrangements with you.

Contact us

For information on access arrangements, please email aa@icaew.com

 

Access arrangements – SpLD guidance

This guidance is for students who intend to apply for access arrangements for a specific learning difficulty (SpLD). We know that exam conditions can be difficult for some students with an SpLD, so we offer access arrangements accordingly.

Who can apply for access arrangements for an SpLD?

You can apply for access arrangements if you have been diagnosed with an SpLD by an appropriately qualified assessor, and have a diagnostic report which meets our requirements below.

What access arrangements are available?

We will do all we reasonably can to meet your needs. Common arrangements include:

  • giving you rest breaks; and
  • giving you extra time.

How do I apply for access arrangements for an SpLD?

Please send us:

  • an email explaining why you are applying for access arrangements;
  • a formal diagnostic report relating to your SpLD, which meets the requirements below;
  • any previous reports, or additional relevant information from other organisations; and
  • any additional supporting evidence that will help us consider your application.

Report requirements

All of the following must be true. The formal diagnostic report must:

  • be a full adult (post-16) diagnostic report; top-up reports or update reports will not be accepted;
  • be less than five years old on the day it is submitted;
  • clearly diagnose an SpLD; we will not accept reports which suggest a ‘possible’ diagnosis, or indicate specific difficulties which do not amount to a diagnosis of an SpLD;
  • comply with the SASC / SpLD Working Group Guidelines for Assessment of SpLDs in Higher Education;
  • include a statement confirming that it adheres to the Working Group guidelines;
  • contain an appendix page setting out the individual test scores; and
  • be of sufficient quality for us to be able to have confidence in the recommendations which are made.

The report should be signed by one of:

  • an appropriately qualified psychologist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, who holds an up-to-date practising certificate;
  • a specialist teacher for adults with dyslexia who holds an up-to-date practising certificate in the assessment of SpLDs; or
  • a chartered educational psychologist.

If you have multiple reports, they should not be from the same assessor. If your report does not meet all of these requirements, we will not accept it.

How will the application be reviewed?

If your application meets the criteria set out in this document, we will make an independent decision on the arrangements which we can provide. This means that the arrangements we award may be different to those recommended by your assessor, or those you were granted by another organisation. The type and extent of any access arrangements you are awarding are entirely at our discretion.

When do I need to apply?

We recommend applying as soon as possible. This means you should apply when you register as a student, or as soon as you are aware that you may need arrangements. For each exam session, the access arrangements application deadline is the same date as the exam booking deadline. However, your chosen centre may not be available with the arrangements you are awarded, so if you do not apply as soon possible there is a risk that we won’t be able to accommodate you. We will not be able to process your access arrangement application if we receive it after the deadline, unless you have a condition which arises, or is first diagnosed, after the deadline.

If you do have a condition which arises after the deadline, you should contact us immediately so we can advise you on the best course of action. You may need to consider whether to defer your exam or sit your exam with limited arrangements. Such circumstances will be dealt on a case-by-case basis and we cannot guarantee that any applications received after the deadline will be processed.

Who should I write to?

Please send your application or any queries to aa@icaew.com

How long will my application or enquiry take to process?

We will review your enquiry or application and aim to provide a response within 10 working days; in some circumstances this can take a little longer. We will then let you know if your application can be approved, or if we need more information.

If we need more information, we will write to you telling you what you need to send us. Once we’ve received the information we need, we will deal with your application within our published timescales.

Some access arrangements take longer to arrange than others. These include using a reader or an exam in a special format. If we’re not able to meet your needs on the date you have chosen, we’ll inform you of the next exam session when we can accommodate your needs.

Are access arrangements available at all exam venues?

We can accommodate most access arrangements in your usual exam venue. We recommend that you apply for access arrangements as early as possible to secure the arrangements you need at the centre of your choice. If you are granted access arrangements after applying for an exam session, which cannot be accommodated in the venue you have applied to, your booking may be transferred to a different centre.

  • You will usually be accommodated with other students in the usual venue of your choice, regardless of whether they also have access arrangements.
  • Students awarded the ‘sole occupancy’ arrangement type are provided with their own room as standard. However, it is possible for any student to sit an exam alone in a room, if through chance they are the only candidate who was booked into that exam room. If you are awarded sole occupancy, there may two invigilators present.

The information relating to venues covers the vast majority of access arrangements students. However, if your requirements are complex we will discuss individual arrangements with you.

Contact us

For more information on access arrangements, please email aa@icaew.com