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1. Introduction

This document sets out our Special Considerations Policy for candidates who experienced an unforeseen incident that had a substantial impact upon them during the sitting of an exam delivered on behalf of Kaplan Professional Awards (KPA).

KPA is regulated by Ofqual, and this policy is aligned to Condition G7 from Ofqual’s Handbook on General Conditions of Recognition.

1.1 Purpose and scope

The document:

  • defines special consideration in the context of an examination and assessment
  • sets out the circumstances within which a candidate can make a request for special consideration
  • states the procedures to be followed when a candidate submits a request for special consideration

1.2 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. What is special consideration

Special consideration is a post‐exam adjustment for candidates’ who are able to evidence that their exam performance has been materially and adversely affected by unforeseen circumstances that had a substantial impact on their performance or disadvantaged their ability to demonstrate their normal level of attainment.

A special consideration cannot be guaranteed to reflect the candidates’ ability had their exam been taken in more favourable circumstances and as such may only go some way towards compensating a candidate who has been disadvantaged due to unavoidable circumstances.

2.1 What constitutes a special consideration?

It is important that the candidate understands that this policy does not supersede our ‘Fit to Sit’ statement as provided within the ‘Candidate Instructions’ and shown below.

Candidates are provided with the ‘Candidate Instructions’ document upon registration; it is the candidates responsibility to ensure that they have read and understood the document, and that by sitting their exam, they have accepted the rules and regulations contained within it.

Circumstances that could be considered for special consideration are:

  • Personal circumstances - where applying for reasonable adjustments or withdrawing from the exam were not possible, such as an illness that manifests at the time of the exam
  • Issue at the test centre
    • where the test centre environment had a significant impact
    • where technical problems were experienced within the exam room
  • Issues with a remote invigilated exam
    • test platform failure
    • exam set-up issue
      (Please note technical issues on the candidate's own computer or environment such as internet or bandwidth, may not constitute a special consideration).

A candidate who is taken ill during an examination or experiences other unexpected or unforeseeable personal circumstances beyond their reasonable control, which are having or are likely to have a material and adverse effect on their performance should report to the invigilator. In these circumstances the candidate should decide whether to withdraw from the examination. Marks may not be automatically adjusted due to illness or other unexpected or unforeseen personal circumstance.

When requesting a special consideration the candidate would need to demonstrate the following

  • the issue was significant and likely to have had a clear impact on their performance
  • withdrawal was not an option
  • the circumstances can be independently verified with appropriate evidence
  • applying for access arrangements was not an option

KPA’s ‘Fit to Sit’ statement

It is the responsibility of every candidate to ensure that they sit the examination only if they are fit to do so. Being ‘Fit to Sit’ means that the candidate knows of no reason why their performance would be adversely affected during the examination or why they may subsequently bring a claim for special consideration. Examples of situations that this would cover include illness of a candidate, illness of a close relative or bereavement.

2.2 How to apply for special consideration?

Step 1

  • Request a special consideration form by emailing the KPA team on within 24 hours of finishing your exam. Please note that all forms emailed directly to KPA will be verified with the invigilator - you must ensure that your invigilator is aware of and has recorded the incident.
  • Depending on the nature of your request, supporting evidence may be required. Where supporting evidence is required that was not available to submit with the application, you are required to email the evidence to KPA within five working days from the date of your exam or by the date agreed with KPA.

All special consideration forms must be submitted within 24 hours of your exam finishing, any request received after 24 hours will not be considered.

Step 2

  • KPA will investigate your special consideration request.
  • Any adjustment made in view of the investigation will be reflected in your result. Please note that:
    • even if a special consideration request is accepted, the outcome may not change the overall grade to a pass.
    • any adjustment made will be dependent on the circumstances and to a maximum of 3% of the marks.

Special consideration applications will not be accepted after results have been released.

Step 3

  • The outcome of your application will be communicated to you a few days before results release, once the KPA Exam Board has signed off all results.
  • If your application is refused, you can appeal this decision following the KPA Appeals Policy (found on our website).

2.3 Acceptable evidence

Certain special consideration applications will need to be supported by independent evidence which must be verifiable and can demonstrate the incident's impact on the candidate's exam performance. It’s up to the candidate to supply appropriate evidence, KPA will not contact third parties on the candidates’ behalf.

Where relevant, we will also consider the statements of centre invigilators in the context of your application and corresponding evidence.

Specific exclusions

In addition to the requirements above, for avoidance of doubt we will not accept applications:

  • that are supported by statutory sick notes with insufficient detail of the illness or where the evidence is provided by the candidates family or friends
  • that relate to:
    • minor illness such as colds or headaches
    • where the candidate chose to attend in an unfit state
    • minor disturbances such as mobile phones ringing, or keyboard noise
    • travel or lateness
    • where you were eligible for access arrangements but did not inform KPA
    • set-up issues with remote invigilated exams, where the root cause is the candidates own computer.
  • where the candidate failed to:
    • report the incident to the test centre or remote invigilator on the day of the exam
    • email their application within 24 hours and supporting documents within 5 working days
    • attend their exam at the right time and location or not attending the exam at all.

This list is not exhaustive and only represents common circumstances that are not eligible for special consideration.