Dyslexia and RLSS UK qualifications. 

Simon Crute is one of RLSS UK’s Principle Standards Managers and works within the Compliance Team. In this role, he supports Approved Training Centres and Providers (ATC/Ps)learners, Trainers and Instructors throughout their RLSS UK journey from enrolment, to passing their first assessment then to the next opportunity with RLSS UK 

Here, in his first blog, Simon explores the importance of ‘reasonable adjustments’ for learners with dyslexia; as someone with dyslexia himself, Simon is best-placed to explore how to enable accessible and inclusive learning opportunities, balanced against the rigorous, requisite demands of the assessment process, to ultimately provide a fair learning experience for all. 

“First things first, let’s look at RLSS UK’s formal definition of a reasonable adjustment: 

A reasonable adjustment relates to any actions that help to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty, which may place the learner at a disadvantage during the delivery of a qualification or an assessment situation. 

“Think about how many training and education modules have you done that involved sitting a formal, written test? Now imagine doing those whilst managing some level of dyslexia – a unique neurological difference that can present people with daily challenges in reading, writing and information processing. 

“It is only right and fair that we do the best we can, to support people with dyslexia through their training, without prejudice or favouritism so, how do we do that? 

“There are four guiding principles that we have to adhere to when we grant reasonable adjustments, the adjustments should: 

  • Not invalidate the assessment requirements of the qualification 
  • Not give the learner an unfair advantage 
  • Reflect the learner’s normal way of working 
  • Be based on the individual need of the learner 

“And once the adjustments have been agreed, when they are implemented during the assessment, they must ensure that: 

  • They do not impact on any other learner 
  • Will only provide the intended learner with the necessary assistance, without giving them an unfair advantage over others 
  • The ATC/Ps are clear about the extent to which the learner is affected by the disability or difficulty  

“It sounds like a lot to think about, but when you consider how flexible the reasonable adjustments can be, and how that flexibility empowers people to develop their skills, increase their employability and enhance their communities, it is worth the extra flexibility. 

Some examples of how our reasonable adjustments might offer support to a dyslexic candidate would be: 

  • Up to 25 per cent extra time for written assessments 
  • Provide a reader 
  • Use of coloured overlays on paperwork 
  • Assessment materials provided on coloured paper 

“It’s vitally important for both the accessibility of learning by candidates and the integrity of our qualifications, that both candidates and ATP/Cs feel confident in applying for either, reasonable adjustments or special considerations, when conducting or sitting assessments.  

“Our robust ‘Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy’ has been created so candidates and ATC/Ps have a comprehensive guide to the entire process of applying and implementing either a reasonable adjustment or a special consideration, and if there are still questions, RLSS UK’s Compliance Team are on hand to help.” 

You can read the policy here: https://www.rlss.org.uk/atcps-policies