This policy is aimed at our Approved Training Centre/Providers (ATC/P) and learners who are undertaking or have completed an IQL UK qualification. We understand our requirements as an awarding body to make reasonable adjustments or special considerations where a learner, who is disabled within the definition of the Equality Act 2010, would be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled.

We endeavour to ensure that all training and assessments should be a fair test of the learner’s practical skills and knowledge. For some learners, we recognise the usual format of training and assessments may not be suitable, in these cases reasonable adjustments and a special consideration may be applied, on a case by case basis.

We aim to support and protect all individuals in providing reasonable adjustments and special considerations arrangements, to any learners that may have a genuine need, ensuring they receive recognition of their achievement without compromising the equality, validity and reliability of the assessment. Such arrangements are not concessions to make the assessment easier for learners.

Reasonable adjustments and special considerations are two ways in which access to a fair assessment can be maintained.

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. They are applied to an assessment process for a qualification, to enable a learner with a disability or difficulty, to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required in the qualification specification.

When a reasonable adjustment has been applied, the work produced by the learner will be marked to the same standards and assessment requirements as the work assessed of the other learners.

Definition of a Special Consideration

A special consideration is a post-assessment adjustment to the marks of a learner’s assessment paper, or rearrangement of an assessment time or date.

A special consideration can be granted after an assessment has taken place if a learner is deemed to have been disadvantaged.

Principles of making Reasonable Adjustments

The following principles should be followed by RLSS UK staff and our ATC/Ps, when making decisions about a learner’s need for adjustments to an assessment.

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

Both RLSS UK and our ATC/Ps have a responsibility to ensure the assessment is robust and fair, and allows the learner to demonstrate what they know, following the said guidance for both practical and theory assessments, without compromising the process.

Where appropriate RLSS UK and our ATC/Ps must ensure they consider the following, upon deciding whether an adjustment to an assessment is required:

      1. The reasonable adjustment must not compromise the competency standard.
      2. The reasonable adjustment must not give the learner an unfair advantage. While the process
        for examinations and assessments might be modified, the learner must demonstrate the
        skills and competence required by the assessment, to maintain the quality, validity and
        reliability of the assessment.
      3. The reasonable adjustment must be based on individual requirements. Decisions about the
        reasonable adjustment(s) required by each learner must be taken only after careful
        consideration of the assessment needs of each individual. Different learners with the same
        impairment may have very different reasonable adjustment requirements. Similarly, centres
        should not assume that the reasonable adjustment required by a learner for a particular
        assessment will be required for all assessments. Some learners may need a single
        adjustment, others may require a combination of several adjustments.
      4. The reasonable adjustment must reflect the learner’s normal way of working. The learner
        should have experience of and practice in the use of, the adjustment. For example, if the
        reasonable adjustment is for additional time for an examination, the learner must have had
        this reasonable adjustment in place for other examinations such as practice tests, while the
        learner has been studying for the qualification at the centre.
      5. The reasonable adjustment must be accompanied by suitable evidence, where appropriate.
        Centres/Providers will want to satisfy themselves that a learner’s request for a reasonable
        adjustment is legitimate. On some occasions, this will involve obtaining evidence that is
        sufficient, valid and reliable.
      6. The assessment activity is valid and is measurable against the assessment criteria.

    Any adjustment(s) that are implemented during the assessment must ensure that:

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

    Principle of requesting Special Considerations

    A special consideration could apply to a learner who has temporarily experienced an illness, injury or some other event outside their control, which has had or is likely to have, a significant material effect on the learner’s ability to take an assessment, or demonstrate the required level of competency. Learners’ results must reflect actual achievements not any potential ability.

    IQL UK will review the circumstances and evidence surrounding each request.

    Learners must have attended the course for the appropriate amount of guided learning hours and have been fully prepared by the Trainer, to take their assessment.

    How to apply for a Reasonable Adjustment and Special Consideration

    Where possible, all applications should be submitted prior to the assessment, using the following

        1. Log in to Tahdah
        2. Select Special Consideration or Reasonable Adjustment webform
        3. Complete the webform - candidate will need to agree to share their details with compliance
        4. Form reviewed by compliance
        5. Response given
        6. If necessary, appeal the decision

    Alternatively, you can email compliance directly: [email protected]

    If the candidate or the ATC/P is submitting the application request to RLSS UK, they must ensure the application form is fully completed and supported by evidence if required.

    When the Trainer Assessor (TA) or ATC/P makes the judgment to apply a reasonable adjustment(s) without applying to RLSS UK, they must ensure they follow the same principles as if they were applying to us, and obtain all the required information and evidence then document this in the same

    ATC/Ps have a duty to seek advice from RLSS UK in any case, where there is any doubt over whether an adjustment is needed or how it should be applied.

    ATC/Ps must keep records of any adjustments they have permitted, and those they have requested from RLSS UK. These records should be kept in line with IQL UK Guidelines.

    All special consideration will be confirmed in writing by a member of the compliance team. Special consideration will never be verbally agreed.

    Reasonable Adjustment application form

    Special Consideration application form

    Supporting Evidence

    With any application for a reasonable adjustment or special consideration, you may be required to provide supporting evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable.

    Where evidence cannot be viewed, we rely upon the professional judgment of RLSS UK staff and ATC/P staff to assess if the applicant has a genuine need.

    Supporting evidence can come in various formats including

          • A medical note
          • An educational statement

    The list is not exhaustive; ATC/Ps have a duty to seek advice from compliance, in any case where they do not have the necessary expertise to judge whether a reasonable adjustment is needed, and how it should be applied.

    RLSS UK maintain records of all cases for audit purposes and continually monitor the applications for internal product development.

    Health and Safety Considerations

    There are no circumstances when the health and safety of a learner or participant, should be compromised in the pursuit of an assessment. In a practical activity, if there is a concern that the effects of a person’s disability or difficulty may have health and safety implications for themselves or others, a suitably qualified person in the centre should carry out a risk assessment related to the learners’ particular circumstances. Assumptions should not be made about a disability posing a health and safety risk.

    Identifying learners who are eligible for reasonable adjustments

    Learners will only be eligible for reasonable adjustments if their disability or difficulty places them at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation, by comparison to a person who is not disabled or affected.

    Learners should be given ample opportunities to request a reasonable adjustment prior to their assessment. Ideally, at the first point of contact via the enrolment or registration process, day one of the training course or at the start of the assessment.

    Reasonable Adjustments permissions table

    The table below outlines some of the more commonly requested reasonable adjustments, that can be applied to an assessment for a candidate. This list is not exhaustive and other adjustments may be considered.

    Some adjustments need to be applied for in writing to [email protected] and other adjustments can be applied at the discretion of the ATC/Ps or TA.

        • Permitted – Reasonable adjustments at the discretion of the ATC/P or TA
        • Apply – Apply to RLSS UK for permission

    Reasonable adjustment Assessments taken under
    examination conditions
    Extra time up to 25% Permitted
    Extra time more than 25% Apply
    Supervised rest breaks Permitted
    Change in the layout of assessment room Permitted
    Candidates to take the examination solely under moderation of an
    Taking the assessment at an alternative venue Permitted
    Use of colored overlays Permitted
    Use of paper based bilingual dictionary Permitted
    Assessment materials in an enlarged format Apply
    Assessment materials on coloured paper Permitted
    Reader Permitted
    Scribe Apply
    Prompter Apply
    Any other reasonable adjustments Apply

    (Appendix one)

    Always seek advice if there is uncertainty over the adjustment(s) that can be applied to an


    Extra time

    Extra time is not permitted in practical skills performance. An allowance of 25% extra time is only permissible for assessment papers, if the learner has learning difficulties, supported by an assessment report evidencing the need for the adjustment.


    A reader must be a responsible adult, who does not have conflicting interests to the learner. The reader must not provide any other assistance to the learner other than read the questions or answers, as they appear on the assessment material.

    Supervised rest breaks

    Supervision of the learner during scheduled rest breaks. The duration of the breaks will not be deducted from the assessment time. During the rest breaks, the learner is still under examination conditions.

    Arrangements not covered within this policy

    If any circumstances arise, relating to internal or external assessments not covered within this policy, you should contact a member of our compliance team at [email protected] to discuss them prior to the assessment taking place.


    If you wish to appeal against our decision to decline a request, please refer to our Appeals Policy, this is available on our website or you can request a copy by contacting us.

    Frequently asked questions

    Is my current qualification valid if I’ve been given an allowance to sit as a renewal candidate, after my original qualification has expired?

    Yes, if your special consideration is granted and you are awarded an allowance to be assessed as a renewal candidate. The allowance of time does not extend the qualification itself. The qualification expires on the same date as stated on your certificate, meaning you will not hold the required pre-requisites until you successfully complete the relevant assessment.

    Do I get 28 days to retake my assessment if I have been granted a special consideration?

    If your special consideration is granted, you must complete the assessment and if required, any re-assessments by the date provided.

    When does the 28 days run out?

    If you sit the assessment on 1 February this is day one, so the last day you can be assessed is on 28 February of the same year.

    If my qualification was due to expire on 10 February and I fail on 1 February, when is the last day I can be assessed?

    The last day you can be assessed is the 10 February as you must pass all sections of the assessment within 28 days

    Contact Details

    Email: [email protected]
    Telephone: 0300 323 0096
    Address: RLSS UK, Red Hill House, 227 London Road, Worcester, WR5 2JG.

    Last updated: February 2022