Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd

Access to Assessment Policy

1. Introduction

Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd supports and complies with the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010.

Any Learner assessment should be a fair test of their knowledge and the skills they have obtained however, for some Learners, the usual format of assessment may not be suitable.

We are committed to making sure individuals with special educational needs, disabilities, temporary illness or injury or other adverse circumstance outside their control are not unfairly disadvantaged when undertaking qualifications or assessments.

Learners with additional needs will not be treated differently because of their religion, beliefs, age, gender, race, disability or sexual orientation. This includes gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity and ethnicity.

With a view to removing barriers which prevent Learners from undertaking assessments, reasonable adjustments may be made and special consideration may be given. These arrangements ensure that Learners are able to undertake assessments on a fair and equitable basis and they allow Learners to receive recognition of their achievements while ensuring the integrity, validity and reliability of assessment is maintained.

We will ensure that we do not unfairly exclude the assessment needs of a particular Learner by following this policy to determine if it is appropriate to make a:

  • Reasonable Adjustment
  • Special Consideration – given during or within 5 working days of any LearnerassessmentVictoria O’Neill Director

2. Language

We are conscious that we are becoming a more diverse society in the UK, with English being a second language to many people. However, there are no current plans to produce assessment materials in other languages. All direct teaching and assessments will be carried out in English but Learners with EAL will be allowed the use of a paper bilingual dictionary. In some cases, specific topic-related word lists may be approved by SQA before the start of the course. No online language resources may be used during assessments. In accordance with other policies, assessments are allowed to be conducted in British Sign Language.

3. Reasonable Adjustments

The aim of a reasonable adjustment is to reduce the negative impact of a disability (as defined by the Equalities Act 2010) on a Learner’s ability to achieve a qualification. The objective is that a Learner with a disability experiences no substantial disadvantage to a Learner that does not.

Examples of reasonable adjustments we may make for a Learner during a theory assessment include supporting Learners with dyslexia or other reading or writing disadvantages by:

  • Using coloured overlay on written questions
  • Giving additional time (an additional 25% time allocation is the standard)
  • Reading the questions to the Learner and/or scribing the Learner’s answers.Note: this must be carried out in private or after all other Learners havecompleted their assessments and these have been collected.
  • Allowing Learners to use a bilingual dictionary if English is not their firstlanguageIn some cases, reasonable adjustments may not be permitted due to published legal criteria. For example, if a Learner is unable to meet the requirements of a qualification that are outlined in Health & Safety legislation (which takes precedence over Equality legislation) such as inability to perform CPR on the floor. In this scenario, we may issue Learners with a certificate that details the Learners attendance and specific achievements on the course.

    Adjustments that are not “reasonable” will not be made. For example, if the adjustment:

  • incurs an unreasonable cost to us;
  • has an unreasonable timeframe in which to be achieved;
  • negatively impacts the integrity or security of the assessment.

4. Special Consideration

A special consideration is a change to an assessment outcome, mark or grade made when the Learner has been affected by adverse circumstances beyond their control at the time of the assessment.

Learners will be eligible for special consideration if they have completed the training and covered the whole course but performance in the assessment/coursework is materially affected by such adverse circumstances. Learners should provide evidence of their circumstances as appropriate.

Examples of when a Learner may be eligible for special consideration:

• Temporary illness or accident/injury at the time of assessment
• Bereavement at the time of assessment
• Domestic crisis at the time of assessment
• Disadvantage due to the Centre failing to provide adequate provisions

We will always aim to reschedule an assessment for a Learner in the first instance. Applying a special consideration should be a last resort and must not compromise the integrity of an assessment or the reliability and validity of its outcome. It may be possible to extend the registration period for the qualification to allow time for assessments to be completed, however this would need to be approved by Qualsafe Awards.

  • If a Learner is unable to attend alternative assessment sessions due to specific circumstances, a special consideration may be applicable.
  • A Special Consideration Request Form should be completed along with supporting evidence and approved by the IQA prior to implementation.Special Consideration will not be made:
  • when they affect any minimum standard requirements Learners must meet when being assessed (detailed in the relevant qualification specification or assessment guidance) e.g. to achieve a first aid qualification a Learner must be able to demonstrate competency performing CPR on a manikin on the floor;
  • if the integrity of an assessment, and therefore the reliability and validity of the outcome, would be compromised or undermined;
  • the individual needs of the Learner are undermined;
  • a negative impact on the Learner and any other Learners would occur;
  • when an unreasonable cost is incurred.

5. Our Responsibilities

  • Centre staff must refer to the qualification specification and QA assessment guidance in full to ascertain whether there are any minimum standard requirements a Learner must meet during their assessment for a particular qualification.
  • Trainer-Assessors should take all reasonable steps to identify and support any specific assessment needs before the Learner takes an assessment. Assessors should contact the IQA / Qualsafe Awards as soon as possible if they need support to make a decision.
  • Full details of the reasonable adjustments or special consideration required by Learners should be recorded using the attached form (Appendix 1).
  • Wherever possible we will ascertain the individual needs of Learners prior to their attendance on a course.
  • If able to identify where we are able to make a reasonable adjustment for a Learner, we will take all reasonable steps to support Learners to achieve a qualification.
  • When a reasonable adjustment is made, a reasonable adjustment form must be completed and approved before any assessment takes place. A copy of this form should be retained for quality assurance purposes in line with the record retention policy. NB – should a learner declare a particular need on the day of the training, independent verbal confirmation should be obtained from the IQA or Qualsafe Awards over the telephone in the meantime. The reasonable adjustment form must then still be completed on the day by the assessor and candidate who are present. This will then be signed by the IQA.

6. Record keeping

Learner records will be retained for a minimum of three years. Records must be made available to the External Quality Assurer or QA representatives. QA may request documentation for review as part of ongoing monitoring and quality assurance activities.

7. Complaints and Appeals

If a Learner is dissatisfied with a decision regarding reasonable adjustments made or special consideration given by us they can submit their concerns in writing in line with our Complaints Procedures and Appeals Policy.

8. Monitoring & Review

The procedures set out in this policy will be widely promoted and are mandatory for all staff involved with delivery of qualifications and/or assessment at Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd. Failure to comply with these procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in withdrawal of training/assessing privileges.

We will review this policy on an ongoing basis as part of our continuous improvement activities and revise as required in response to changes in legislation, our practices and actions in response to customer and Learner feedback.

Revisions are made to this document to ensure our arrangements for allowing fair and equitable access to assessments remain effective. Updates will be communicated through Standardisation Meetings.

This policy will be reviewed annually as well as following:

  • changes in Awarding Body guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.Dated: 28.01.2020
    Next review: January 2021