Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess 2014 (EXPIRED)

5.5 Special Assessment Conditions

  1. The following are special assessment conditions that NZQA may approve entitlement to:

    Standard conditions
    Reader assistance
    Computer use OR Writer assistance
    Separate accommodation
    Rest breaks (with or without extra time)
    Extra time (only available during external examinations when the candidate is entered for all 3 achievement standards within an examination session)
    Enlarged papers (to A3 only)
    Special papers including braille translations
    Signed English support
    Exceptional conditions
    Home Supervision
    Signing Supervisor for pre-examination instructions and emergency management

    Qualifying for special assessment conditions

  2. The following disabilities qualify for applications to NZQA for entitlement to special assessment conditions:
    1. permanent or long-term sensory impairment:
    2. permanent or long-term physical disability:
    3. permanent or long-term medical disability:
    4. permanent or long-term specific learning disability:
    5. permanent or long-term combinations of such disabilities.
  3. Candidates who may apply to their school for an entitlement to special assessment conditions are those with a qualifying disability of the kind described in Rule 5.5.b where:
    1. the disability directly impacts on the candidate’s fair access to assessment for national qualifications; and
    2. the special conditions applied for reflect the candidate’s normal way of working.
  4. Where a school receives an application under c., and it considers the entitlement should be granted, the school must make application to NZQA.

    Evidence Requirements

  5. Subject to Rule 5.5 f, prior to making an application to NZQA for entitlement to special assessment conditions on behalf of the candidate:
    1. the school must have a report from an independent, registered professional that recommends special assessment conditions to address the candidate’s specified assessment needs;
    2. the report should be no more than four years old for a specific learning disability (SLD) (for sensory, physical and medical conditions the report should date from the most recent specialist visit);
    3. the report should be completed in time for the start of the first year of assessment for qualifications;
    4. the assessment must be based on the residual functional impact of the candidate’s disability; and
    5. the school must hold up-to-date documented evidence of the response to intervention from the provision of the special assessment condition.
  6. Where a school applies to NZQA for entitlement to special assessment conditions on behalf of a candidate but does not have a report of the kind referred to in Rule 5.5 e the school must obtain appropriate and comprehensive alternative documented evidence for use of Special Assessment Conditions from the candidate’s time at secondary school.

    Application process

  7. Applications from schools for entitlement to special assessment conditions for a candidate must include evidential data from the report or other evidence referred to in Rules 5.5 e and 5.5 f and be endorsed by the Principal’s Nominee.
  8. The special assessment conditions being applied for must allow entitled candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in assessment, without providing unfair advantage over other candidates.
  9. Applications must be made in the following 2-stage process:
    1. apply to NZQA for entitlement to special assessment conditions for candidates in time to meet published timelines; then
    2. check external examination entries and confirm conditions for specific external standards before final entries for externally assessed standards are due at NZQA for all candidates with an entitlement to special assessment conditions.
  10. Late notification of an application for special assessment conditions may be accepted by NZQA for any candidate with newly-identified sensory, medical or physical conditions, or candidates new to the school.
  11. NZQA may approve, amend or decline applications and may determine if a late application may be made.
  12. Where NZQA approves entitlement to special assessment conditions for a candidate, the entitlement is valid for one or three years and candidates may use all or some of these entitlements for each internal assessment they undertake, as appropriate.


  13. Special assessment conditions will not be approved by NZQA where:
    1. the integrity of the assessment may be compromised; or
    2. the assessment conditions compromise the assessment objectives of the standard in question; or
    3. the assessment conditions provide unfair advantage over other candidates; or
    4. the candidate is an ESOL (English as a Second Language) funded student, where they do not have qualifying sensory, physical or medical conditions.

    Responsibilities of schools

  14. Where a candidate has been granted entitlement to special assessment conditions the candidate’s school:
    1. is responsible for managing the conditions for candidates with an entitlement;  and
    2. must ensure that assessment assistants and/or examination assistants, including those providing reader, writer or signing assistance for candidates:
      1. receive appropriate training before they begin working with candidates; and
      2. provide support for candidates but in doing so ensuring that a situation listed in Rule 5.5.m does not result.


  15. By application in writing to the Manager, School Quality Assurance and Liaison, made within 15 school days of the date of the notification of the decision about an applicant’s entitlements, the Principal’s Nominee may lodge an appeal (which must include sufficient information and reasoning as to the basis for the appeal) in relation to:
    1. an NZQA decision to decline an application; or
    2. the conditions approved.
  16. If not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal under paragraph (o), the Principal’s Nominee may not lodge another appeal for that applicant under paragraph (o) but may seek a review of the appeal decision (which must include sufficient information and reasoning as to the basis for the review) by applying in writing to NZQA’s Chief Executive within 15 school days of the date of the appeal decision.
  17. Where a candidate has, immediately before the application been using one or more special assessment conditions of a similar kind to that applied for in the application to NZQA, and the decision of the outcome of an appeal under paragraph (o) or a review under paragraph (p) has not yet been made, a school may continue that use for that candidate pending the Manager’s appeal decision and/or the Chief Executive’s review decision.
  18. Unless reviewed under paragraph (p), the decision of the Manager under paragraph (o) takes effect 15 school days after it was made.
  19. The Chief Executive’s decision on the review application under paragraph (p) takes effect on the day after the day the decision is made.
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