Critical incident 21/09/21
Ballarat and Berwick campuses are closed until Thursday 23 September. Click here for more information.

Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Higher Education Special Consideration Procedure

Policy Code: SS1967

Purpose

The purpose of this Procedure is to provide students with an appropriate path to address disadvantage arising that results in impairment of studies. 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 2018
  • 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
Discretionary Assessment Extension An assessment extension of up to 5 University working days for one assessment and granted at the discretion of the lecturer or course coordinator upon request by the student.
HE Special Consideration – Deferred Examination An examination held in the timetabled deferred examination period. An examination can be deferred a maximum of two times per course. Students will not be able to apply for grade consideration for deferred examinations.
HE Special Consideration - General

A supplementary assessment, or 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.

Students will not be able to apply for grade consideration in addition to special consideration.

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 (up to five working days) 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 General (Action 6-10)

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Applying for Discretionary Assessment Extension  Student
  1. Review the Special Consideration webpage and download the discretionary extension application form to review the information required to request an extension.
B. Submit completed Discretionary Assessment Extension Application form and supporting documentation (if applicable) or ‘request extension’ via email  Student
  1. Either submit the completed discretionary extension application form to course coordinator / lecturer via email from the student email address and with the subject field correctly flagged as ‘request for extension’ 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. Or alternatively provide the same information as identified in the application form in the body of an email from the student email address to the course coordinator / lecturer with the subject field flagged as ‘request for extension’
  2. Student may submit any documentation that may support their discretionary assessment extension request (includes, but not limited to medical certificate, assessment drafts or evidence of progress, evidence of group-work difficulties) if applicable.
  3. NOTE: Federation University has special support procedures in place for supporting matters relating to family violence. Students who are experiencing family violence are encouraged to contact student counselling services.

4. Assessing a Request for a Discretionary Assessment Extension

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Assess the request Lecturer/Course Coordinator/Partner Academic Coordinator
  1. Lecturer / Course Coordinator / Partner Academic Coordinator to assess the request and make a decision at their own discretion based on the details of the request. The Lecturer / Course Coordinator / Partner Academic Coordinator may request drafts of the assignment to assist in their decision making and/or assist in being able to support the student further.

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

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notify the Student Lecturer/Course Coordinator/Partner Academic Coordinator
  1. Lecturer / Course Coordinator / Partner Academic Coordinator to notify the student in writing, by email, of the outcome of their request within one University working day of receipt including the revised submission date.

6. Applying for Special Consideration - General & Deferred Examination

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Accessing the Application for Special Consideration & Associated forms  Student
  1. Access the forms from the University’s Special Consideration webpage
    • Higher Education Special Consideration – General online form
    • Higher Education Special Consideration – Deferred Exam online 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
    • 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. Submit the form via the online forms process
  7. Provide documentation 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 not enter 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. A request for a deferred examination can be made for a maximum of two times for each course. Students may be required to provide additional detail to support any request for a second deferred examination. A third request for the same course will not be considered.  
  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
    • 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. Provide documentation to support their Special Consideration- Deferred Examination application.
  9. Submit the Special Consideration- Deferred Examination application via the online form with supporting documentation, no later than three University working days after the date of the exam.
  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 via the online form with 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: Student’s exam will be assessed as per normal.
      • Partner Provider students: Submit their  application and supporting documentation via the online form process in My Student Centre. Please note: Student studying at the China and Hong Kong locations will be required to submit the hard copy form to the Partner Administration Office.

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:
    • Reports from counsellors or psychologists or health care professional certification forms
    • 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
    • Traumatic experience (eg involvement in or witnessing a serious accident, a serious crime committed against the student, witness to a serious crime, witness to and/or experiencing family violence) evidence.
    • Family violence documentation can include but is not limited to support agencies such as Berry Street, WRISC, CAFS counsellor. Students are encouraged to contact Federation University’s counselling services for support and to provide documentation on the student’s behalf to avoid disclosing specifics around sensitive matters when applying for special consideration.
  2. Collect supporting documentation and attach to the Special Consideration (General or Deferred Examination) application.
E. Lodging a complete application

Student

Student HQ Staff/CUP/Disability Liaison Unit

  1. Lodge the application via the online process 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:
    • Online: Submit the application and supporting documentation via the online form process in My Student Centre.
    • On-Campus: Where students are unable to submit their application via the online process due to access/technical issues, students can submit the hard copy application form in person or email to Student HQ/Partner provider on their campus.
    • Partner Provider students: Submit their  application and supporting documentation via the online form process in My Student Centre. Please note: Students studying at the China and Hong Kong locations will be required to submit the hard copy form to the Partner Administration Office.
  3. Applications submitted via the online process will receive confirmation of submission via email with a link to their application via MySC.
  4. Applications Submitted via hardcopy; Student HQ/Partner provider staff will 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.
  5. Student HQ staff scan and email the Special Consideration application and supporting documentation to the relevant Program Coordinator – ensuring all pages have been scanned accurately.
  6. Email a copy of the 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/CUP
  1. If the application is lodged with incomplete supporting documentation, students will be contacted to provide additional supporting information before their application can be assessed.
  2. Inform the student that they have five working days to submit supporting documentation  via the online form process otherwise the application will be withdrawn.
  3. If the student returns all required documentation at the later date (within the five University working days timeframe) confirm on the form, that supporting documents have been submitted.
  4. Email all forms to the relevant Program Coordinator for assessment.
  5. Where student submitted hard copy form; 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 Program Coordinator or delegate
  1. A complete application will be received from the School Administration staff via the online form process or email where hard copy forms submitted.
  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 minimise 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. Select either:
    • ‘Approved’ and outline the approved special consideration
    • ‘Not approved’ and outline the reasons for the decision.
  5. Finalise outcome via the online form process or where hard copy form received 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. Information regarding outcome should include timeframes and reasons and should also be provided on fdlGrades.

8. Notifying the Applicant

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying the Applicant Program Coordinator 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 five (5) University working days.
B. Recording the outcome Student HQ/CUP Provide a note in fdlGrades outlining the outcome for the special consideration request which includes the name of the person who undertook the assessment

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)

Program Coordinator 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 and a file note on fdlGrades, including details of the outcome.
  2. Program Coordinator to contact all lecturers including relevant partner provider staff for partner provider students 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 to finalise the adjustments to their assessment in accordance with their application (if applicable). Contact should be within two working days from return to studies.

10. Appealing the Outcome

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
 A. Lodging an appeal

 Student

 Student Advocacy

 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. Students may seek information on the appeals process, lodging an appeal and preparing for a hearing but cannot request staff to lobby on their behalf or provide advice or direction. Students may seek information from:

Student Advocacy

Phone: 03 5327 6105

Email: studentadviser@federation.edu.au

URL: https://federation.

edu.au/current-students
/assistance-support-
and-services/student-
support-services/student
-advisory-service/appeals
/appeals-to-appeal-committee

Executive Officer, University Appeals Committee

Phone: 03 5327 9253

Email: university.appeals@federation.edu.au

URL: https://federation.

edu.au/about-us/
governance/academic-board
/standing-committees/
appeals-committee

Supporting Documents

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