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Access Arrangements

Access arrangements are agreed before an exam or assessment. They allow learners with specific needs, such as additional learning needs (ALN), disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment and show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment.  The intention behind an access arrangement is to meet the needs of an individual candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment.  AA are the principle way in which awarding bodies comply with the duty under The Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments.’

Reasonable Adjustment

The Equality Act 2010 requires an awarding body to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate, who is disabled within the meaning of The Equality Act 2010, would be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled.  The awarding body is required to take reasonable steps to overcome that disadvantage.

Specialist Assessor

Pembrokeshire College has a Specialist Assessor who will review evidence and/or assess a learner who requires may require AA.  Eligibility is determined through gathering evidence of additional learning needs (ALN), medical conditions, background information and feedback from tutors/educators. AA must reflect the learner’s normal way of working.

If a learner requires psychometric testing to evidence cognitive processing difficulties, this must be completed face to face.

Examples of exam access arrangements include:

Extra Time

– additional time is added onto the exam.

A Reader

– a responsible adult who reads the instruction of the question paper and the questions to the candidate.  This may involve reading the whole paper to the candidate or the candidate may request only some words to be read.

Computer Reader

– computer software which accurately reads out text.

Reader Pen

– a device which scans text from a paper document and reads the text aloud.

Read Aloud

– the learner is permitted to read the exam paper and answer booklet aloud to support their comprehension.


– a responsible adult who writes or types a learner’s dictated answers to the questions.

Speech Recognition Technology

– computer software which types words dictated by the learner.


– a responsible adult permitted to help keep a learner on task during an exam where there is a substantial and long-term adverse impairment resulting in persistent distractibility or significant difficulty in concentrating.

Rest Breaks

– the timing of the exam is paused and restarted when the learner is ready to continue. During the rest break the learner will not have access to the question paper or answer booklet. There is no time limit to a rest break, nor a limit on the amount of rest breaks a learner can use during the assessment.

Small Room

– a small room setting with several other learners who also have assessments. This arrangement is reserved for learners who require a smaller setting when completing assessments.

Separate Room

– this arrangement is reserved for learners in exceptional circumstances. Evidence of medical condition/s or additional learning needs is required.


– for learners who have difficulties with writing legibility, a physical disability, planning and organisation problems when writing by hand, or a medical condition. It is not college policy to provide a laptop for a learner solely on the basis they prefer to type or that they can work faster on a keyboard because they use a laptop at home.

Coloured Paper/Overlay

– exam papers and answer booklets can be provided on coloured paper along with the use of a coloured overlay for learners who have visual processing difficulties.

Enlarged Papers

– exam papers and answer booklets can be enlarged for learners who have a visual impairment.

This list is by no means exhaustive but demonstrates the range available.

To discuss AA and reasonable adjustments, please contact the LearnOnline Team.

Please contact the LearnOnline team for more details

Phone: 01437 753 490