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1. Introduction

Kaplan Professional Awards (KPA) access arrangement policy aims to ensure that there are no unnecessary barriers to assessment that prevent candidates from effectively demonstrating their competence, whilst ensuring that learners requiring reasonable adjustments are not given any unfair advantage.

KPA is regulated by Ofqual, and this policy is aligned to Condition G6 from Ofqual’s Handbook on General Conditions of Recognition.

1.1 Purpose and scope

This document:

  • Provides a definition of the Equality Act 2010 of disability
  • Describes how to apply for a reasonable adjustment
  • Lists types of reasonable adjustments that we can provide

1.2 Confidentiality

Information provided by candidates or stakeholders under this policy will be treated as confidential, and only be shared with the persons necessary when considering the claim/request.

1.3 Review of this policy

This policy will be monitored by Kaplan Professional Awards (KPA) and any necessary amendments will be made and implemented at the earliest opportunity. As a minimum, KPA will review this and all associated policies on an annual basis as part of its ongoing quality assurance procedures.

2. Definitions

2.1 Access Arrangements

Access arrangements are pre-exam arrangements made on behalf of a candidate with particular special needs, for example the use of a scribe, supervised rest breaks or extra time.

The intention behind an access arrangement is to meet the particular special needs of an individual candidate without affecting the integrity and demand of the assessment.

Examples of special needs, can include but are not limited to having a specific learning difficulty (SpLD), short-term or long-term impairment, disability or health condition, being pregnant, breastfeeding or needing to observe daily prayers.

2.2 Reasonable Adjustments

A ‘reasonable adjustment’ is made following an access arrangement request from a candidate with a disability, who would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled. Examples of reasonable adjustments available are shown in Appendix A.

A reasonable adjustment can vary and be unique to an individual. Whether an adjustment will be considered reasonable will depend on a number of factors which include, but are not limited to, the:

  • needs of the disabled candidate
  • effectiveness of the adjustment
  • cost of the adjustment
  • likely impact of the adjustment upon the candidate and other candidates
  • the security and integrity of the assessment

2.3 The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability

The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is where you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

Within this definition, the following terms are interpreted as below:


Where the difference between the effects on a person with the impairment compared to a person without the impairment is more than minor or trivial.

Examples of a substantial adverse effect include persistent and significant difficulty in reading, understanding written material in one's native language, concentrating or following simple verbal instructions and having a physical impairment.


The impairment has existed for at least 12 months, or is likely to do so.

Normal day to day activities

Study and education related activities are included in the meaning of ‘day to day’ activities.

Applying for an access arrangement

Requests for access arrangements are made by emailing no later than the closing date for entry onto the respective exam session.

KPA will confirm the reasonable adjustment put in place on behalf of the candidate at least five working days before the exam date.

Where a reasonable adjustment has been put in place, the candidate will be required to confirm that they agree with the adjustments and that by sitting their exam they have accepted the adjustments made.

Where KPA has not been able to provide an adjustment in line with the request for access, the candidate will be notified and informed of our decision with the option to continue, defer or withdraw from the exam.

Applying for access arrangementsEnquiries and requests for access arrangements should be emailed to Where a request is made, please also email the relevant information from the list below:
  • a covering letter explaining why you are applying for access arrangements
  • a recognised evidence-based performance or assessment report
  • in the case of an SpLD (specific learning difference), a formal diagnostic report relating to your SpLD (please see ‘report requirements’ below)
  • a completed medical statement for access arrangements, to include:
    • candidate name, date of assessment
    • description of condition(s) and functional affects
    • access arrangement recommendations for the exam (e.g. extra time, use of reader, scribe, personal assistant)
    • period of time or exam session that the recommendations cover
    • date of the statement, doctors name, address and stamp
  • any additional supporting evidence that will help us consider your application, for example from your employer or tuition provider.
SpLD formal diagnostic report requirementsAll of the following must be met. The formal diagnostic report or medical statement, must:
  • be a post-16 diagnostic report
  • be less than five years old on the day of submission
  • clearly diagnose a SpLD and not a suggestion of a ‘possible’ diagnosis

The report or medical statement should be signed by one of the following:

  • an appropriately qualified psychologist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, who holds an up-to-date practising certificate
  • a specialist teacher for adults with dyslexia who holds an up-to-date practising certificate in the assessment of SpLDs
  • a chartered educational psychologist.
Diagnoses and recommendations can only be made by qualified medical practitioners as listed above and not from a nurse, a practitioner of complementary medicine or an occupational health advisor; although these can be provided as supporting evidence.
Information to include with reportEvidence provided by the medical practitioner must be current and clear about the particular difficulties and the arrangements needed to overcome them, e.g. just stating that 'extra time required' is not enough, the recommendation must include how much time and why it’s needed.
KPA review of the access arrangement requestIf your request meets our criteria, KPA will make an independent and fair decision on the adjustments which can be provided (please see Appendix A), this could mean that the adjustments awarded may be different to the recommendations made by your doctor, or other relevant body. The type and extent of any reasonable adjustments proposed are at the discretion of KPA. Adjustments which are made on a temporary basis may require you to apply again for other exam sessions.
Request process timeAn enquiry is reviewed within three working days from receipt. Its process time depends upon the complexity of the application, but in all cases KPA will provide a response, at the latest, five working days before the exam session starts. If we’re unable to meet the specific needs for the exam session chosen, we will discuss alternative options and/or exam sessions where we can accommodate access arrangements.
When a reasonable adjustment has been granted Reasonable adjustments will be made alongside other candidates at the same venue, with the exception of a ‘sole occupancy’ adjustment, where the candidate will be provided with their own room. Our venues can provide the vast majority of reasonable adjustments, however, for complex requirements, arrangements will be discussed on an individual basis. If access arrangements have been granted before an exam session, but cannot be accommodated later on, KPA will discuss alternative centre arrangements with the candidate.

Data Privacy statement - The protection of personal privacy is an important concern to KPA. Any personal data collected will be treated in accordance with current data protection legislation. For further information on our GDPR policy please email

Special consideration

Special consideration is a post‐exam adjustment for candidates’ who can evidence that their exam performance has been adversely affected by unforeseen circumstances that had a substantial impact on their performance or disadvantaged their ability to demonstrate their normal level of attainment. For further information please email to request a copy of our Special Consideration Policy.

Appendix 1: Types of Reasonable Adjustments available

Additional time

Candidates eligible for additional time could include those who have a physical disability, which affects their writing skills, visual impairment or a student who is dyslexic Each application, whatever the disability, is judged individually and accordingly.

The length of additional time will be based on the individual’s needs.

Provision of a reader

A reader can be provided in the event of a disability that cannot be addressed through other means. Where this accommodation is awarded, the candidate will sit in a separate exam room to stop any disturbance to others. A scribe may be used in conjunction with a reader.

Provision of scribe

A scribe will be provided in the event of a candidate who is unable to record their answers in a written form, a reader may be used in conjunction with a scribe.

Supervised rest breaks

Supervised rest breaks can be awarded to candidates who have cognition and learning needs; communication and interaction needs; sensory and physical needs; social, mental and emotional needs.

In such cases exams will be paused and restarted. The number of supervised rest breaks will be awarded on an individual needs basis.


A candidate with a substantial and long term adverse impairment resulting in persistent distractibility or significant difficulty in concentrating, e.g. candidates with ADHD or ASD, can request the use of a prompter to keep them focused and be prompted as to when to move on to other questions.

Practical assistant

A candidate with very poor motor coordination or a severe vision impairment may need practical assistance to guide their hand to relevant sections in their test.

Hearing impairments

KPA only operates examinations that are in a written form.

Accommodations can include additional time and/or a communicator.