Rules and procedures for Tertiary Education Organisations assessing against externally assessed achievement standards (EXPIRED)

6.1.3 Special Assessment Conditions

  1. Special assessment conditions are approved by NZQA to give eligible candidates, with a permanent or long-term
    1. medical, or
    2. physical, or
    3. specific learning disability
    that directly impacts on their ability to be fairly assessed, access to assessment for national qualifications. These conditions allow eligible candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in assessment, without providing unfair advantage over other candidates.
  2. Evidence of need must be established by a current report from an independent, registered professional recommending special assessment conditions to address the candidate’s specified needs. The report should be completed in time for the start of the first year of assessment for national qualifications, and remains valid for four years. Where TEOs do not have evidence from an independent, registered professional, but have appropriate and comprehensive alternative documented evidence, from the candidate’s time at the TEO this should be submitted to NZQA with the application for approval. 
  3. Applications must be made in a 2-stage process. TEOs must:
    1. make application to NZQA for special assessment conditions for candidates to meet published timelines
    2. check external examination entries and confirm conditions for specific external standards before final entries for externally assessed standards are due at NZQA. TEOs are responsible for managing approved conditions.
  4. Late notification of an application for special assessment conditions may be accepted for any candidate with newly-identified medical or physical conditions or candidates new to the TEO.
  5. NZQA reserves the right to amend and/or decline applications or determine if a late application can be made.
  6. Approval of special assessment conditions in one year does not necessarily mean that approval will be given in subsequent years.
  7. TEOs and NZQA can offer appropriate special assessment conditions from the list below:
    1. Standard conditions
      • Reader assistance
      • Writer assistance
      • Reader/writer assistance
      • Separate accommodation
      • Computer use
      • Extra time* (not available when the time allowed for external standards entered is 150 minutes or less)
      • Enlarged papers (to A3 only)
      • Braille papers
    2. Exceptional conditions
      • Special papers
      • Rest breaks (with or without extra time*)
      • Home Supervision
      • Signer
    3. Special conditions are not approved where:
      • the integrity of the assessment may be compromised
      • they compromise the assessment objectives of the standard in question
      • where the special assessment condition will provide unfair advantage over other candidates.
    4. Conditions must reflect the candidate’s normal way of working, for which there is documented evidence of need, unless such conditions would affect the integrity of the assessment
  8. Special assessment conditions will not be granted for candidates identified only with “low intellectual ability” and no other specific learning disability, or medical or physical condition.
  9. Through their TEO’s Chief Executive’s Examination Liaison, candidates may appeal to NZQA any NZQA decision not to provide special assessment conditions.
  10. All applications must be made by the TEO by published dates and endorsed by the Chief Executive’s Examination Liaison.
  11. A TEO may not continue to provide special assessment conditions for candidates whose applications have been declined, unless that decision is under appeal.
  12. TEOs must ensure that examination assistants, including those providing reader, writer or signing assistance for candidates:
    1. receive appropriate training before they begin working with candidates
    2. provide support for candidates without compromising the validity of the assessment.
  13. A TEO or candidate may appeal the decision made about special assessment conditions by writing to the Manager, School Quality Assurance and Liaison within 15 business days of the date of the notification of the decision.
  14. If not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal the TEO or candidate may write to the Chief Executive within 15 business days of the date of the notification of the decision. The Chief Executive will make a judgement and that decision will be final.
  15. Each year a selection of TEOs will have their special assessment policies and procedures audited by NZQA.
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