Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy and Procedure for Course Assessments

You can download the content of this page as a document here

A form to request these adjustments can be downloaded here

SSERC is committed to high levels of quality assurance and policies that are open, transparent and free from bias.

SSERC has a responsibility under relevant equalities legislation to ensure that all learners have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills or understanding of the level of attainment required within each qualification and that barriers to entry are removed where possible.

It is the responsibility of SSERC to ensure that appropriate adjustments are made for learners during the learning process, as well as ensure that learners are given appropriate adjustments to the assessment process to give them an equal opportunity.

NB: SSERC will not make adjustments to standards or pass marks. All adjustments must be deemed reasonable and not give a learner an unfair advantage.

This Reasonable adjustment and Special Consideration Policy and Procedure relates to all SSERC SCQF Certificated Professional Learning Courses (including the Young STEM Leader SCQF Awards). This document outlines the process that should be followed by learners undertaking SSERC SCQF credit and levelled programmes which are undertaken at SSERC HQ in Dunfermline; or at an external venue where the delivery and assessment are the responsibility of SSERC staff.

For Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy and Procedures linked to a  SSERC Accredited Centre, initial contact should be with the SSERC Accredited Centre itself.   If, on completion of the investigation undertaken by the SSERC Accredited Centre still remain dissatisfied, follow the standard SSERC Complaints procedure which can be found here

Reasonable Adjustments

Adjustments to the assessment process will typically be made in the following circumstances:

Learners with a physical, sensory or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Under equalities legislation, learners are deemed to have such impairment if they can show that the condition:

  • is more than minor or trivial
  • has an effect that has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months
  • affects everyday activities such as eating, washing, walking and going shopping.

Supporting evidence will be required in all cases. Evidence could include medical reports from doctors, psychiatrists, educational psychologists, specialist teachers, or funding agencies.

Providing the adjustment required is the same for each assessment, learners  do not need to re-reasonable submit evidence or a learner reasonable adjustment request form with subsequent applications when enrolling onto an assessment.

Learners  with temporary physical, sensory or mental impairment

Learners are deemed to have a temporary physical, sensory or mental impairment if the condition is under one year’s duration and is likely to improve. Examples of temporary disability could include broken limbs or injury to hands which could impair a learner’s ability to type or write. Supporting evidence will be required in all cases.

If a learner applies for an adjustment due to a temporary physical, sensory or mental disability, evidence must be re-submitted with a Reasonable Adjustment Request Form for each assessment series.

Types of Reasonable Adjustments available

  • Extra time during assessment
  • Supervised rest breaks
  • Use of readers, scribes, transcribers
  • Miscellaneous types of reasonable adjustments including brailing of non-secure assessment material, taped responses, modified question papers (e.g. enlarged, or printed on coloured paper).

Procedure for applying for a new reasonable adjustment request

All learners must submit a request for a reasonable adjustment prior to the closure date for entry to an assessment. This must be submitted to SSERC before the course closure date.

SSERC will consider the request for reasonable adjustment and liaise directly with learners and/or centres to facilitate the requirements at least four weeks prior to the assessment date.

Please note that SSERC must grant approval for all reasonable adjustments and reserves the right to refuse requests. If an adjustment is made without written approval from SSERC, this could constitute malpractice. Once a reasonable adjustment has been agreed and implemented, no further adjustment will be made to the assessment or marking process.

Special Consideration

Special consideration is a minor, post-examination adjustment to the mark of an assessment.

This may be given to a learner for circumstances that could not have been predicted, or were outside the learner’s control, which may have impacted on their performance.

Special consideration ensures that learners who have a temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of the assessment are treated fairly. Examples include influenza, bereavement of a close family member, evacuation of the assessment venue, and disturbances during the assessment such as a fire alarm or severe noise disturbance.

SSERC  will review and consider the special consideration application. The special consideration adjustment will normally be given, taking into consideration the total value of potential marks for the individual exam component.  The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances experienced in the time leading up to, and during the assessment, but will always be a minor adjustment as to do more may jeopardise the standard.

SSERC will not enter into discussion with learners as to how much special consideration should be applied.

Procedure for applying for Special Consideration

All learners must advise SSERC by email; , within 7 days of the end of the assessment, of the circumstances which caused the request for special consideration.  Please use the following in the email subject line: Special Consideration

Where appropriate, supporting evidence must be provided e.g. letter from a doctor/hospital / authorised person/invigilator’s report etc.

Learners will receive confirmation of their Special Consideration application and SSERC will take the incident into account prior to the release of results.

Contact details:

Email:  using  Reasonable Adjustment or Special Consideration in the email subject line.

Post: Assessment Standards Manager


2 Pitreavie Court


KY11 8UU