Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess 2016 (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 time bound internal assessments and 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
    Special Examination centre
    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 paragraph b of this Rule 5.5. where:
    1. the disability directly impacts on the Candidate’s access to fair 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 paragraph c of this Rule 5.5., and it considers the entitlement should be granted, the School must make application to NZQA.

    Evidence Requirements

  5. In  making an application to NZQA for entitlement to special assessment conditions on behalf of the Candidate the School must supply either:
    1. appropriate documented evidence from School-based testing for use of Special Assessment Conditions from the Candidate’s time at secondary school; or
    2. a report from an independent registered professional that recommends special assessment conditions to address the Candidate’s specified assessment needs and:
      1. the report should be no more than four years old for a specific learning disability (SLD), or for sensory, physical and medical conditions the report should date from the most recent specialist visit;
      2. the report should be completed in time for the start of the first year of assessment for qualifications; and
      3. the assessment must be based on the residual functional impact of the Candidate’s disability.

    Application process

  6. 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 paragraph e of this Rule 5.5 and be endorsed by the Principal’s Nominee.
  7. 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.
  8. Applications must be made in the following two-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 attach 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.
  9. 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.
  10. NZQA may:
    1. request further information:
    2. decide to approve, amend or decline an application, with that decision taking effect immediately:
    3. determine if a late application may be made.
  11. Where NZQA approves entitlement to special assessment conditions for a Candidate, the entitlement will be specified as valid for one year (with subsequent year renewal, including amended renewal, available) or three years and a Candidate may use all or some of these entitlements for each internal or external assessment they undertake, as appropriate.


  12. 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

  13. 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 paragraph l  of Rule 5.5. does not result; and
    3. must hold up-to-date documented evidence of the response to intervention from the provision of the special assessment condition.


  14. The Principal’s Nominee may, within 15 School days of the date of the notification of the decision on a Candidate’s entitlements to special assessment conditions, lodge an appeal against the decision (which must include sufficient cogent information and reasoning as to the basis for the appeal) by application online within the High Security section of NZQA’s website (to the Manager, School Quality Assurance and Liaison).The Manager shall make a decision on that appeal, in relation to:
    1. an NZQA decision to decline an application; or
    2. the conditions approved.
  15. If not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal under paragraph n of this Rule 5.5, the Principal’s Nominee may not lodge another appeal for that applicant under paragraph n of this Rule 5.5 but may seek a review of the appeal decision (which must include sufficient cogent information and reasoning as to the basis for the review) by applying online to NZQA’s Chief Executive within 15 School days of the date of the appeal decision.
  16. 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 n of this Rule 5.5 or a review under paragraph o of this Rule 5.5 has not 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.
  17. The decision of the Manager under paragraph n of this Rule 5.5 takes effect immediately. However if a review of the decision is sought under paragraph o of this Rule 5.5 the decision is suspended pending the outcome of the review.
  18. The Chief Executive’s decision on the review application under paragraph o of this Rule 5.5 takes effect on the day after the day the decision is made.
Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us