Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Higher Education Special Consideration Procedure

Policy Code: SS1967

Purpose

This procedure supports and mandates the implementation of Federation University Australia's Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy. It expands on the principles outlined in the policy as they relate to special consideration and provides guidance on processing and granting special consideration to eligible students.

Scope

This procedure applies to all students enrolled in undergraduate and coursework postgraduate programs, seeking special consideration. Higher Degree by Research students are excluded from this procedure and should refer to the HDR Examinations procedure

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Statute 5.2 Entry Quotas, Admissions and Enrolments
  • Statute 5.3 Assessment The Schedule Part 1
  • Statute 5.4 Exclusion for Reasons of Unfitness
  • Statute 5.6 Admission to Academic Awards
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
  • Disability Standards for Education (2005)
  • Privacy Act (1988)
  • Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (as amended), Educational Services to Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 and National Code of Practice 2007
  • Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing Policy.

Term Definition
Delegate Delegate: A person chosen, by the Dean or Education Manager, to act or represent them when assessing applications for special consideration.
Discretionary Assessment Extension An assessment extension of up to 5 University working days for one assessment and granted at the discretion of the Trainer/assessor, tutor, lecturer or course coordinator (dependent on school process) upon request by the student.
HE Special Consideration – Deferred Examination

Acknowledgement by the Dean or delegate that a student has experienced or encountered some form of disadvantage or impediment that has prevented them from undertaking or completing an examination during the timetabled examination period. The University will schedule the deferred examination in the timetabled deferred examination period.

Students will not be able to apply for grade consideration; however, in unique circumstances, a school can elect to apply grade consideration principles to an examination if there is enough evidence to make an appropriate consideration, and only with the authorisation of the Dean.

HE Special Consideration - General

Acknowledgement by the Dean or delegate that a student has experienced or encountered some form of disadvantage or impediment that has prevented them from performing on their merits in an assessment task/s. In such circumstances, the particular disadvantage or impediment will be taken into account when assessing the student’s work. To enable the student to demonstrate their achievement of the course learning outcomes, they may be granted a supplementary assessment, an extension of an assessment due-date or altered attendance requirements. Such allowances may be made for one or more assessment tasks or courses within any teaching semester. Grounds for a student to submit an application for Special Consideration include medical reasons, compassionate grounds, hardship/trauma, or other significant cause.

Students will not be able to apply for grade consideration; however, in unique circumstances, a school can elect to apply grade consideration principles to an assessment if there is enough evidence to make an appropriate consideration, and only with the authorisation of the Dean.

Actions

1. Confidentiality and Privacy

Any Special Consideration Applications received must be treated by all parties as strictly confidential – refer Information Privacy Policy.

Information forming part of the Special Consideration Application shall only be discussed with, or made available to, a person who is:

  • A party to the application;
  • Is or has been legitimately involved in the management of that application; or
  • Has a formal management role in following up the consequences or implications of the application

Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration applications and all relating documentation will be stored in accordance with privacy legislation.

Parties must be aware of the consequences if there is a breach of confidentiality, which may include disciplinary action.

2. Communicating Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration procedure / forms

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Communicating via Course Description  Course Coordinator
  1. All Course Descriptions will include important information relating to Discretionary Assessment Extensions and Special Consideration.
B. Communicating via FedUni website  Manager, Health & Wellbeing
  1. The University has developed a Special Consideration webpage which is managed and maintained by the Manager, Health & Wellbeing and outlines all aspects of the Procedure as it affects students.

3. Requesting a Discretionary Assessment Extension

A Discretionary Assessment Extension is an application for a short-term extension on one assessment task. If a longer extension is being sought, or extensions for multiple assessments or courses, the student is required to apply for Special Consideration (Action 6-10)

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Accessing the Discretionary Assessment Extension Application form  Student
  1. Download the application form from the FedUni Special Consideration webpage.
B. Submit completed Discretionary Assessment Extension Application form and supporting documentation (if applicable)  Student
  1. Submit the completed application form to their lecturer / teacher (email preferred) no later than two working days prior to the assessment submission date and outline the length of extension you are requesting (up to 5 University working days) and the reasons for this request.
  2. Student to submit any documentation that may support their discretionary assessment extension request (includes, but not limited to doctors certificate, assessment drafts or evidence of progress, evidence of group-work difficulties) if applicable.

4. Assessing a Request for a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Assess the request Lecturer / Teacher
  1. Lecturer / Teacher to assess the request and make a decision at their own discretion based on the details of the request.

5. Notifying the Result of the Request for a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notify the Student Lecturer / Teacher
  1. Lecturer / Teacher to notify the student in writing, by email, of the outcome of their request within two University working days including the revised submission date.
  2. If the response is to decline the request, the student is to be referred to the formal process for applying for Special Consideration.

6. Applying for Special Consideration – General & Deferred Examination

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Accessing the Application for Special Consideration & Associated forms  Student
  1. Download the forms from the University’s Special Consideration webpage
    • Higher Education Special Consideration – General form
    • Higher Education Special Consideration – Deferred Exam form
    • Health Care Professional Certification form
B. Completing the Special Consideration – General form  Student
  1. Complete all personal information as directed
  2. Outline all pieces of assessment, including:
    • Course Code
    • Course title
    • Name of Lecturer/Teacher
    • Assessment task
    • Request Code
    • EXT: Extension of Assessment date
    • SA: Supplementary assessment
    • AR: Attendance Requirements
    • Assessment due date (if applicable)
  3. Select the grounds for the application and specify the length of time that their studies have been affected
  4. Provide additional information regarding the impact of the condition / circumstances on their studies and the request they are making.
  5. Identify whether they have had previous Special Consideration applications
  6. Sign the form
  7. Consider the type of additional documentation which they may need to source to support the Special Consideration – General application.
C. Completing the Special Consideration – Deferred Examination form  Student
  1. Early Applications: Students can submit a completed Special Consideration - Deferred Examination prior to the examination date. If the student has not received notification prior to their examination date they should notenter the examination room and attempt the examination.
  2. Other Applications: Students must submit their Special Consideration – Deferred Examination form no later than three University working days after the date of the examination.
  3. Students who are severely/moderately unwell on the day of their scheduled examination should not enter the examination room and attempt the examination; they are encouraged to apply for a deferred examination.
  4. Complete all personal information as directed
  5. Outline all pieces of assessment, including:
    • Course code
    • Course title
    • Name of Lecturer/Teacher
    • Examination date
  6. Select grounds for the application and specify the length of time their studies have been affected.
  7. Provide additional information regarding the impact of the condition/circumstances on their studies and outline the request that they are making.
  8. Sign the form.
  9. Consider the type of additional documentation which they may need to source to support their Special Consideration- Deferred Examination application.
  10. Students who are unable to finish their exam due to the onset of serious illness or other eligible cause must:
    • Inform the exam invigilator, who will note the time of exit and the reason associated.
    • Collect Special Consideration – Deferred Examination form.
    • Submit the Special Consideration- Deferred Examination application for and supporting documentation, no later than three University working days after the date of the exam.
    • Possible outcomes are:
      • Special Consideration granted: a deferred examination will be provided for the student.
      • Special Consideration not granted: School has enough evidence to apply grade consideration to exam at the approval of the Dean.

Special Consideration not granted: Student’s exam will be assessed as per normal.

D. Collating supporting documentation  Student
  1. Decide on the most appropriate additional documentation to support their application, which could include, but is not limited to:
    • Health Care Professional Certification form
    • Medical Certificate which includes a specific statement that in the health care professionals opinion (not the student’s opinion) that, as a result of the complaint or treatment, the student is impacted or unfit or unable to undertake the assessment.
    • Death Notice
    • Police report
    • Defence Reserve Service Notification
    • Jury Service notification
    • Emergency Service (e.g., CFA) notification
  2. Collect supporting documentation and attach to the Special Consideration (General or Deferred Examination) application.
E. Lodging a complete application

 Student

Student HQ staff

  1. Lodge the application no later than three University working days after the approved submission of the assessment task.
  2. The recommended method for lodging the application and supporting documentation is in the following ways:
    • On-Campus: Submit the application form and supporting documentation, in person, to Student HQ on their campus
    • Online: Submit the application and supporting documentation via email to the Student HQ special consideration email address.
    • Partner Provider students: Submit the application and supporting documentation to their Partner Administration Office.
  3. Student HQ staff confirm receipt of documents by signing and dating the application form and confirm whether

    supporting documentation has been lodged at the same time as the application.

  4. Student HQ staff scan and email the Special Consideration application and supporting documentation to the Dean or delegate the responsibility for assessing the application – ensuring all pages have been scanned accurately.
  5. Provide the signed original application form and supporting documentation to the student to retain for their records.
       
F. Lodging an incomplete application – lodging supporting documentation at a later date.  Student HQ staff
  1. If the application is lodged without supporting documentation, confirm receipt of HE Special Consideration application form by signing and dating the form, and confirm by noting on the form that supporting documentation was not lodged at the same time as the application.
  2. Scan the Special Consideration application form – ensuring all pages have been scanned accurately.
  3. Provide the signed original application form back to the student to retain for their records.
  4. Inform the student that they have five working days to submit supporting documentation along with the receipted original HE Special Consideration application form; otherwise the application will be withdrawn.
  5. If the student returns at the later date (within the 5 working days timeframe) and lodges the receipted original Special Consideration application form along with supporting documents, confirm, on the form, that supporting documents have been submitted.
  6. Scan and email all forms to the Dean or delegate and return all forms and supporting documentation to the student to retain for their records.

7. Assessing the Application

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.      Reviewing and assessing the application  Dean or delegate
  1. A complete application will be received from the School Administration staff via email.
  2. Consider the following key factors:
    • The type of condition/ circumstances
    • The impact of the condition/ circumstances on their ability to undertake their course/program.
    • The duration of time that their ability to undertake course/program is impacted
    • The specific request made by the student
    • The strategies that the student has identified that they will implement in combination with the Special Consideration application to minimize the condition/circumstance in the future (if applicable).
    • The recommendations made by the Health Care Professional (if applicable).
    • The authenticity of the Health Care Professional credentials.
  3. Make a professional assessment regarding the outcome of the Special Consideration Application based on all evidence presented.
  4. Tick either:
    • ‘Approved’ and outline the approved special consideration
    • ‘Not approved’ and outline the reasons for the decision.
  5. Sign and date the application form
  6. Input details of the Special Consideration into the student’s record on the university database, including details of the outcome.

8. Notifying the Applicant

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying the Applicant Dean or Delegate Provide notification using the email template, to the applicant of the outcome of the Special Consideration application, including any alternative arrangements, or reasons for a not-approved outcome, made via their Federation University student email. Student must be informed within ten (10) University working days.

9. Notifying the School

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Contact all academics identified in the application to inform them of an approved application for Special Consideration (General or Deferred Examination)

 Dean or Delegate

 Student

  1. Input the details of the Special Consideration application (both General and Deferred Examination forms) into the student’s record on the University database, including details of the outcome.
  2. Contact all lecturers and/or examinations unit identified in the applications to inform them of an approved application for Special Consideration.
  3. Student to contact the relevant academic staff within 2 working days of the outcome notification date to finalise the adjustments to their assessment in accordance with their application (if applicable).

10. Appealing the Outcome

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
 A. Lodging an appeal

 Student

 Student Advisory Service

 Appeals Committee

  1. Students may lodge an appeal against a Special Consideration outcome within 10 University working days of the adverse decision. Appeals must be submitted, in writing, to the Appeals Committee.
  2. Students must ensure they include all relevant documentation to support their appeal.
  3. The Student Advisory service can assist students to compile their documentation when submitting an appeal.

Supporting Documents

  • Assessment Policy
  • Assessment Procedure
  • Disability Learning Access Plan Procedure
  • Disability Learning Access Plan (LAP)
  • Examinations Procedure
  • HE Special Consideration - Deferred Examination Application Form
  • HE Special Consideration - General Application Form
  • Health Care Professional Certification Form
Forms

Responsibility

  • Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure
  • Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Academic Board
  • Manager, Health and Wellbeing is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Chair, Academic Board

Promulgation

The Higher Education Special Consideration Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the 'Recently Approved Documents' page on the 'Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University' website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy.
  • Learning and Teaching Committee
  • School meetings
  • Academic Induction Program
  • Student Health & Wellbeing meetings
  • Student Senate meeting

Implementation

The Higher Education Special Consideration Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the 'Recently Approved Documents' page on the 'Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University' website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  • Moodle module

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Application for Special Consideration and supporting documentation.

For electronic records, the University’s approved records management or student management system.

Where hard copy, records should be stored on the student file.

Dean

Destroy 7 years following completion, withdrawal or deferment of program.

Decision documentation and notification of outcome

For electronic records, the University’s approved records management or student management system.

Where hard copy, records should be stored on the student file.

Dean Destroy 7 years following completion, withdrawal or deferment of program.
Appeal Application and supporting documentation Appeals Committee filing system Appeals Committee Executive Officer Retain as per relevant Appeals Committee disposal class