Access to Fair Assessment Policy and Procedures

1 Overview

1.1 The Association of British Education Awards (ABEA) is committed to ensuring that individual learners can access qualifications and assessment in two ways:

1.1.1 By recognising the diverse needs of learners at the stage where qualifications and assessments are designed and developed. ABEA takes a positive approach to the provision of a range of flexible and responsive qualifications and assessment methods. The aim is to provide the same access for all learners by seeking to remove barriers which may place people of different religions and beliefs, racial backgrounds, ages, ability, sexual orientation, gender, political opinion or any other status, at a disadvantage.

1.1.2 By making appropriate reasonable adjustments to standard assessment arrangements wherever this is required to enable access. Where special arrangements are still required, ABEA provides the opportunity for a range of adjustments. The nature of any special arrangements allowed depends largely upon the qualification being followed and the assessment method employed. At all times ABEA seeks to ensure that the application of such arrangements does not give an unfair advantage over other learners or diminish the validity of the assessment process.

2 Reasonable Adjustments

2.1 A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of any barriers or difficulty that places the learner at a substantial disadvantage in an assessment situation.

2.2 The general principles which are applied to ABEA decisions about reasonable adjustments are as follows:

2.2.1 The nature of the reasonable adjustment is determined according to the assessment needs of the individual learner.

2.2.2 Account is taken of the learner’s usual method of working.

2.2.3 Arrangements are such that they accurately reflect the learner’s achievement and competence to work in a sector, and do not give a misleading picture of the learner’s ability.

2.2.4 Arrangements do not reduce the validity and/or reliability of the assessment, and must not compromise the integrity of the assessment;

2.2.5 No unfair advantage accrues to the learner where reasonable adjustments are applied.

2.3 Centres are expected to log all cases of Reasonable Adjustments applied to internal assessments.

2.4 Reasonable Adjustments for timed external assessments must be sent to ABEA 28 working days prior to the assessment date.

2.4.1 ABEA will consider all reasonable adjustments and the decision to accept or reject them will be confirmed to the centre within 10 working days of receipt.

2.5 Centres are expected to confirm in writing (fill out appropriate form) that any reasonable adjustments approved by ABEA are applied during the timed external assessment. This must be sent along with the candidate’s written script for marking or in the case of onscreen tests emailed to ABEA with the signed invigilator pack. Failure to return this document will indicate that the adjustment was NOT applied/required.

2.5.1 ABEA will require centres to explain why approved adjustments were not implemented.

3 Special Consideration for timed External Assessments

3.1 Special Consideration is given to candidates who may have suffered temporary illness, injury or adverse circumstances that may have affected their performance immediately before or during an assessment.

3.1.1 Applications for Special Consideration must be made by the centre using the relevant form within (do you mean ‘at least’ rather than ‘within’) 5 working days before of the external assessment date.

3.2 Adjustments to marks, if made, will be small in these circumstances, and will be applied according to the severity of the difficulty faced by the candidate. Adjustments may not be applied:

3.2.1 If an assessment requires the demonstration of competence, is a licence to practice or the assessment criteria have to be fully met;

3.2.2 If there is a viable alternative to re-sit the assessment;

3.2.3 If outside the timescales for applying;

3.2.4 If qualifications have been awarded and certificates despatched.

3.3 In the case of lost or damaged work, applications for Special Consideration must be made by the centre using the relevant form as soon as the loss or damage has been notified or discovered.

3.4 Each request for Special Consideration will be judged on its own merit and in line with the criteria published in ABEA’s centre guidance.

4 Aegrotat

4.1 An Aegrotat may be awarded in exceptional circumstances.

4.2 Each application will be reviewed by ABEA on a case by case basis.

4.3 An Aegrotat can only be awarded if the learner has completed, and can evidence, at least 50% of the assessment, or has generated sufficient alternative evidence of achievement at the appropriate standard upon which to base an assessment decision.

4.4 In cases when an Aegrotat is awarded, the maximum grade achievable is a pass.

5 Quality Assurance

5.1 This policy and guidance is reviewed annually to ensure it continues to meet the needs of ABEA, its customers and the Regulators – Ofqual in England.