FE Assessment Arrangements Policy for Additional Needs Learners 2023/2024
This policy will be reviewed in full annually
The policy was last reviewed and agreed by Terry Patterson, Quality Manager on 27th July 2023
It is due for review in August 2024
Applicability of reasonable adjustments in vocational and occupational qualifications
Learners are individuals with a diverse range of needs — including assessment needs. For learners who are disabled under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, a reasonable adjustment might be required to compensate for a substantial disadvantage, but there may be other adjustments that need to be made in order to meet their individual needs.
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. Learners should be involved when any adjustment decisions are made. Reasonable adjustments must reflect the normal working practice of an individual working within the theory or practical elements of our qualifications. There is no duty on BAJ to make any adjustment to the competences being tested in an assessment. For example, it may not be possible to make reasonable adjustments where:
- an assessment requires the demonstration of a practical competence such as using tools in the workshop
- the assessment criteria have to be fully met
- adaptation of the physical environment for access purposes
- adaptation to equipment
- changing usual assessment arrangements
- adapting assessment materials
- providing assistance during assessment
- changing or adapting the assessment method
- using assistive technology
- extra time, e.g. assignment extensions
- use of a different assessment location
- use of coloured overlays, low vision aids, CCTV
- use of assistive software
- assessment material in an enlarged format or Braille
- practical assistant
- assessment material on coloured paper or in audio format
- language modified assessment material
- British Sign Language (BSL)
- Use of ICT/responses using electronic devices
Not all of the above adjustments will be reasonable, permissible or practical in particular situations. Learners may not need, nor be allowed the same adjustment for all assessments.
The Quality Manager will determine what adjustments can be made with assessment methods to suit the specific learner needs.
Providing advice to potential candidates / learners
It is vital that BAJ recruits with integrity. It is imperative that we ensure that learners have the correct information and advice on their selected qualifications and that the qualifications will meet their needs. BAJ will assess each potential learner and make justifiable and professional judgements about the learner’s potential to successfully complete the assessment and achieve the qualification. We have a duty of care not to enrol learners who we feel won’t pass the assessments for our courses.
Initial assessments and Individual Learning Plans (ILP’s) must identify, where appropriate, the support that will be made available to the learner to facilitate access to the assessment. Where the recruitment process identifies that a learner may not be able to demonstrate attainment and thus gain achievement in all parts of the assessment for the selected qualification, this must be communicated clearly to the learner. A learner may still decide to proceed with studying a particular qualification and not be entered for all or part of the assessment.
All BAJ learners will be made aware of:
- the range of options and support available for our courses and assessments
- the entire criteria that must be met on our assessments to pass the whole course successfully
Applying for a reasonable adjustment
Reasonable adjustments must not affect the reliability or validity of assessment outcomes, nor must they give one learner an assessment advantage over other learners undertaking the same or similar assessments. All internal assessment modifications must be made with the agreement of The Quality Manager who will inform the External Verifier for the awarding body of any changes. Only with their consent will the reasonable adjustment be made.
Any external assessment modifications must be approved by the Quality Manager. This must be done at the beginning of the academic year so the learner can be prepared and fully aware of the support they will get during the external assessments. Any request made within 6 weeks of an external assessment is highly likely to be rejected. The Quality Manager will process the adjustment request with the EV at the relevant awarding body.