Agriculture, Environment & Animal Care

Vocational Qualifications

Catering, Hospitality & Leisure

Vocational Qualifications

Childcare & Education

Access to HE
Apprenticeships
Pre-Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

Construction, Engineering & Manufacturing

Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

Creative, Design & Digital

Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

Education & Training

Professional Development

Hair & Beauty

Vocational Qualifications

Health, Science & Social Care

Access to HE
Apprenticeships
Pre-Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

Life Skills & Progression

Personal & Social Development

Personal and Professional Development

Personal & Social Development
Professional Development
Vocational Qualifications

Public & Protective Services

Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

Safeguarding & Wellbeing

Supporting SEND

Personal & Social Development
Professional Development

Transport & Logistics

Access to HE
Vocational Qualifications

The Gateway Qualifications Centre Handbook is split into 4 categories. These categories include:

Introduction to Working with Gateway Qualifications
Quality & Compliance
Internal & External Assessment Practice
Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations

This Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments & Special Considerations section includes links to forms and policies, and examples of learners’ needs that may be eligible for reasonable adjustments.

The below sections expand to reveal full details and useful links that offer insight into how to best work with us.

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Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations

Gateway Qualifications understands its requirement as an awarding body to make reasonable adjustments where a learner, 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.

Assessment should be a fair test of learners’ knowledge and what they are able to do, however for some learners the usual format of assessment may not be suitable. Gateway Qualifications ensures that its qualifications and assessments do not bar learners from taking their qualifications.

We recognise that reasonable adjustments and/or special consideration may be required at the time of assessment where learners:

  • Have a permanent disability or specific learning needs.
  • Have a temporary disability, medical condition or learning needs.
  • Are indisposed at the time of the assessment.

The provision for reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements is made to ensure that learners receive recognition of their achievement so long as the equity, validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured. Such arrangements are not concessions to make assessment easier for learners, nor advantages to give learners a head start.

There are two ways in which access to fair assessment can be maintained:

  • Through reasonable adjustments.
  • Through special consideration.

Gateway Qualifications’ approach to reasonable adjustments and special consideration is set out in the Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy.

Principles of Making Reasonable Adjustments

These principles should be followed when making decisions about a learner’s need for adjustments to an assessment and should:

  • Not invalidate the assessment requirements of the qualification.
  • Not give the learners an unfair advantage.
  • Reflect the learner’s normal way of working.
  • Be based on the individual need of the learner.

Gateway Qualifications and recognised centres have a responsibility to ensure that the process of assessment is robust and fair and allows the learner to show what they know and can do without compromising the assessment process.

When considering whether an adjustment to assessment is appropriate, Gateway Qualifications and recognised centres need to consider the following (where appropriate):

  1. The reasonable adjustment must not compromise the competency standard.
  2. The reasonable adjustment must not give the learner an unfair advantage. While the process for examinations and assessments might be modified, the learner must demonstrate the skills and competence required by the assessment to maintain the quality, validity and reliability of the assessment.
  3. The reasonable adjustment must be based on individual requirements. Decisions about the reasonable adjustment/s required by each learner must be taken after careful consideration of the assessment needs of each individual. Different learners with the same impairment may have very different reasonable adjustment requirements. Similarly, centres should not assume that the reasonable adjustment required by a learner for a particular assessment will be required for all assessments. Some learners may need a single adjustment; others may require a combination of several adjustments.
  4. The reasonable adjustment must reflect the learner’s normal way of working. The learner should have experience of and practice in the use of the adjustment. For example, if the reasonable adjustment is for additional time for an examination, the learners must have had this reasonable adjustment in place for other examinations such as practice tests while the learner has been studying for the qualification at the centre.
  5.  The reasonable adjustment must be accompanied by suitable evidence, where appropriate. Centres will want to satisfy themselves that a learner’s request for a reasonable adjustment is legitimate. On some occasions, this will involve obtaining evidence that is sufficient, valid and reliable.
  6. The reasonable adjustment must meet the requirements of the specification. There are some restrictions to the provision of reasonable adjustments for externally set exams. Further details are provided within the Qualification Specifications.

Process for Requesting Reasonable Adjustments and/or Special Considerations

There are two routes through which a learner may be granted adjustments to assessment:

  1. Assessments which are taken under examination conditions

Where the assessment method for a qualification is more rigidly determined, such as for assessment taken under specified conditions, i.e. an examination, there may be a greater need for adjustments to standard assessment arrangements in order to enable access for any exams externally marked by Gateway Qualifications. Centres must apply to Gateway Qualifications by completing the appropriate Gateway Qualifications’ Reasonable Adjustments Form available on the website.

For externally marked exams, centres must keep clear records of any Risk Assessments in place and supporting evidence is to be reviewed at EQA visits.

All reasonable adjustments made by the centre must be recorded on the Gateway Qualifications’ Reasonable Adjustments Form and should be made available to Gateway Qualifications upon request, usually by the External Quality Assurer during their visit.

The application must be submitted for approval no less than 10 working days prior to the assessment

2. Assessments which are not taken under examination conditions as part of Qualifications that are Externally Quality Assured

For qualifications where assessments are not taken under examination conditions, generally internally marked and that require learners to compile a portfolio of evidence, centres do not need to apply to Gateway Qualifications for approval of reasonable adjustments. The centre has greater flexibility to be responsive to individual learner’s needs and choose an assessment activity and method that will allow the learner to demonstrate attainment.

The assessment requirements for many vocational qualifications fall into this category.

To facilitate access where there is evidence of need, the centre may permit a learner to present their evidence through a different medium or format, oral questioning or witness statements may replace written responses as long as this reflects the learner’s normal way of working.

All reasonable adjustments made by the centre must be recorded on the Gateway Qualifications’ Reasonable Adjustments Form and should be made available to Gateway Qualifications upon request, usually by the External Quality Assurer during their visit.

The outcome produced by the learner must at all times:

  • Meet the requirements of the specifications regardless of the process or method used.
  • Be assessable.
  • Be able to be moderated or verified.

If a centre is making a request on behalf of its learners it should complete a Reasonable Adjustment Form for the learner and details of the specific qualification they are undertaking and in doing so supply relevant supporting information. For example:

  • Learner’s name and Gateway Qualifications’ centre registration number.
  • Nature of, and rationale for, the request.
  • Supporting information/evidence (e.g. medical evidence or a statement from the invigilator or any other appropriate information).

Centres have a duty to seek advice from Gateway Qualifications in any case where there is any doubt if an adjustment is needed or how it should be applied.

All adjustments to assessment/s must be authorised by the centre’s named Quality Assurance nominee or a member of staff with delegated authority where a centre is permitted to make reasonable adjustments, i.e. for internally marked assessments.

It is recommended that centres nominate members of staff to take responsibility for demonstrating the implementation and recording of adjustments to assessments for monitoring by Gateway Qualifications or the regulatory authorities.

Centres should keep records of adjustments they have permitted and those they have requested from Gateway Qualifications. These records should be kept for 3 years following the assessment to which they apply in order that Gateway Qualifications can monitor the effectiveness of the reasonable adjustments that have been made.

Supporting Evidence

Any application for a reasonable adjustment must be supported by evidence detailed in the Reasonable Adjustment form.

In order to ensure that an adjustment to an assessment will only provide the learner with the necessary assistance without giving them an unfair advantage over others, the centre must be clear about the extent to which the learner is affected by the disability or difficulty.

Where the centre can verify evidence of the disability or difficulty and where the implications are clear, such as for a learner with physical difficulties, profound hearing impairment or who are registered as blind or partially sighted, the centre does not need to provide further evidence

Where the implications of the difficulty are not obvious, such as for learning difficulties, or mental health difficulties, the centre will have to provide additional evidence of the effect of the impairment on the learner’s performance in the assessment. Please refer to Appendix 2: Centre Guide to Identifying Learner’s Needs Timescales which outlines possible supporting evidence.

Where the assessment is due to be taken under examination conditions or the adjustment is a request that may be a modification to an assessment paper (where this is provided by Gateway Qualifications), then this should be submitted to Gateway Qualifications no later than 10 working days before the assessment is due to take place. When making the request centres need to refer to the permissions detailed within the qualification specific guidance.

Requests for special consideration should be submitted as soon as possible after the assessment and not later than 5 working days after the assessment. Please refer to the Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy for circumstances where requests for special consideration may be accepted after the results of the assessment have been released.

Health and Safety Considerations

There are no circumstances when the health and safety of a learner should be compromised in the name of an assessment. In a practical activity, if there is a concern that the effects of a person’s disability or difficulty may have health and safety implications for themselves and for others, a suitably qualified person in the centre should carry out a risk assessment related to the learner’s particular circumstances.

The risk assessment should identify the risks associated with the particular activity but should also take account of any reasonable adjustments put in place for the learner which may remove or reduce the risk. The risk assessment may reveal that it is not possible for the learner to fulfil all the requirements of the assessment. In this case, it may be appropriate to substitute another task. The centre should contact Gateway Qualifications to discuss individual cases where further clarification is necessary.

Assumptions should not be made about a disability posing a health and safety risk but the health and safety of all learners and others must always be of paramount importance.

Identifying Learners who are Eligible for Reasonable Adjustments

Learners will only be eligible for reasonable adjustments if their disability or difficulty places them at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation, in comparison to a person who is not disabled or affected.

It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that all applications for reasonable adjustments are based on the individual need of the learner and that the evidence in support of the application is sufficient, reliable and valid.

Any adjustment to assessment will be based on what the learner needs to access the assessment. Please refer to Appendix 1: Examples of learner needs that may be eligible for adjustments to assessments and to Appendix 2: Centre Guide to Identifying Learner’s Needs.

Range of Reasonable Adjustments

Appendix 3: Guidance on Access Arrangements.

The list of reasonable adjustments in Appendix 3 is organised under the following headings:

  • Changes to assessment conditions.
  • Use of mechanical and electronic aids.
  • Modifications to the presentation of assessment materials.
  • Alternative ways of presenting responses.
  • Use of access facilitators.

The list is not exhaustive, centres have a duty to seek advice from Gateway Qualifications in any case where they do not have the necessary expertise to judge whether a reasonable adjustment is needed, and how it should be applied.

Centre Guide to Identifying Learners’ Needs for Reasonable Adjustments
Identifying Learners’ Needs

Any adjustment to assessment should be based on the individual learner’s needs to access the assessment.

The centre has a responsibility to ensure it has effective internal procedures for identifying learners’ needs and that these procedures comply with the requirements of disability and equal opportunity legislation.

A centre may choose to use the following guide:

Identify those Learners who are having Difficulties or are Likely to have Difficulties Accessing Assessments

A learner should be encouraged to make any access-related assessment needs known to the centre at the earliest opportunity, and preferably before they are registered or entered for a qualification. To assist with the early identification of learners with access-related assessment needs, the centre should ensure that all staff who recruit, advise or guide potential learners have had training to make them aware of access-related issues. Once the learner’s need has been identified, it should be documented for audit purposes.

Identify whether Reasonable Adjustments May be Needed

Relevant centre staff should decide, in conjunction with the learner, whether they are able to meet the requirements of the assessment or whether adjustments will be required. It is important that the learner is involved in this discussion as they know best what the effect of their particular disability or difficulty is on how they do things. Where the implications of a particular difficulty are unclear, the centre should make use of specialist advice in order to determine how the difficulty will affect the learner’s performance in the assessment. The centre should avoid making assumptions, on the basis of previous experience, about whether adjustments may be necessary. Judgements should be made on the basis of individual need. If an adjustment is needed, it should be documented for audit purposes.

Identify the Appropriate Adjustment

When identifying which adjustment/s the learner will need in the assessment, centre staff should take into consideration the learner’s normal way of working, history of provision during teaching and during informal assessments and the assessment requirements of the qualification. Certain simple adjustments may be all that is required, e.g. adjusting seat height or providing an armrest, etc. The same learner may not require the same adjustment for all types of assessment. Once the adjustment has been identified, it should be documented for audit purposes.

Identifying and Obtaining Supporting Evidence

Any application for an adjustment to assessment must be supported by evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable using the Reasonable Adjustments Form from the Gateway Qualifications website.

In order to ensure that any adjustment to assessment will only provide the learner with the necessary assistance without giving them an unfair advantage over others, the centre must be clear about the extent to which the learner is affected by the disability or difficulty.

Where the centre can verify evidence of the disability or difficulty and where the implications are clear, such as for a learner with physical difficulties, profound hearing impairment or who are registered as blind or partially sighted, the centre does not need to provide further evidence of these physical difficulties.

Where the implications of the difficulty are not obvious, such as for learning difficulties, or mental health difficulties, the centre will have to provide additional evidence of the effect of the impairment on the learner’s performance in the assessment. The centre should decide which of these will best assist understanding of the learner’s situation. Any of the following types of evidence would be acceptable:

  • Evidence of assessment of the learner’s needs.

This should be in relation to the particular assessment, made within the centre by the relevant member of staff with competence and responsibility in this area; staff include learning support staff, teaching staff, trainers, assessors and other specialist staff.

If necessary, external experts may be called upon to assess the learner. This evidence should include an indication of how the centre plans to meet the learner’s needs and should show that the learner can cope with the level and content of the assessment. The evidence should be documented for audit purposes. Information from previous centres attended by the learner may also be included.

  • History of provision within the centre.

This should include information about the support received by the learner during the learning programme and during formative assessments. Evidence of the way in which the learner’s needs are being met during the learning programme should be documented for audit purposes.

  • Written evidence produced by independent, authoritative, specialists.

This could take the form of medical, psychological or professional reports or assessments. These reports should state the name, title and professional credentials of the person who carried out the assessments and wrote the report. The report should set out the nature of the difficulty and extent to which the learner is affected by the difficulty, including the effects of any medication that the learner may be taking. In cases where it might be expected that there could be changes in the way the learner is affected by the difficulty, there will have to be recent and relevant evidence of assessments and consultations carried out by an independent expert.

A learner with a Statement of Special Educational Needs does not automatically qualify for reasonable adjustments. The demands of the qualification should be taken into account. The reasons for the statement may have only a limited effect on achievement in the assessment.

Examples of learner needs that may be eligible for reasonable adjustments

The list below is not exhaustive and it should be noted that some learner needs will fall within more than one of the categories listed.

Communication and Interaction Needs

A learner with communication and interaction difficulties may have problems with reading or writing, the effects of which could be reduced through the use of a reader, word processor, scribe, British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreter, screen reading software or voice-activated software. They may also benefit from extra time during assessments that are time-constrained to allow them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

Cognition and Learning Needs

A learner with learning difficulties and difficulties with comprehension may benefit from extra time in time-constrained examinations. They may also need assistance with reading and writing where this is permissible.

Sensory and Physical Needs

A learner may need to have assessment material modified for hearing impairment and visual impairment. They may also need to use a BSL/English interpreter, practical assistant, reader and scribe. In addition, they may benefit from the use of assistive technology and extra time to complete assessments.

Behavioural, Emotional and Social needs

The learner may benefit from supervised rest breaks and separate accommodation, either within the centre or at an alternative venue. A learner with attention difficulties may need the use of a prompter.

Learners for whom English is an Additional Language

A learner may benefit from extra time during assessments that are time-constrained or who are using a bilingual dictionary.

The learner’s need of the dictionary does not in itself justify allowing the learner extra time unless the learner has to refer to the dictionary so often that the assessment time is used for this purpose instead of answering the questions.

Guidance on Access Arrangements
Changes to Assessment Conditions

Extra time

  • Where assessment activities are time-constrained a learner may be allowed extra time during an assessment if they have a condition which affects the speed of processing.
  • The amount of extra time allowed should accurately reflect the extent to which the completion of the assessment will be affected by the learner’s difficulty. ‘Unlimited’ extra time will not be allowed. It is the centre’s responsibility to specify the amount of extra time the learner will need, using as a guide the extra time required during formative assessments in the centre.
  • Extra time will not be allowed for computer-based assessments testing the time in which a skill is performed, such as keyboarding speed tests. Extra time may, however, be available for those computer-based assessments where the manipulation of software, and not processing speed, is the primary aim of the assessment.
  • Extra time for onscreen assessments may have to be customised for each learner. In these cases, the centre is advised to contact Gateway Qualifications to apply for a time extension to be set up.
  • Before the centre allows extra time for the learner, the centre should be satisfied that the learner can cope with the content of the qualification and that the learner is medically fit to undertake the extended assessment.
  • Extra time will not be allowed in practical activities where the timing is a crucial part of the assessment or in group activities where the learner’s performance will be assessed in conjunction with others.

Summary:

  • Extra time should not be allowed where its use will invalidate the assessment criteria.
  • Extra time should not give the learner an unfair advantage over others.

Supervised Rest Breaks

  • Where assessment activities are time-constrained, a learner may, if there is demonstrated need, be allowed supervised rest breaks during an assessment.
  • Supervised rest breaks may be taken either in or outside the assessment room. The duration of the breaks will not be deducted from the assessment time. The centre should be aware that, during the supervised rest breaks, the learner is still under assessment conditions and that the usual regulations governing conduct of assessments will apply during this time.
  • Rest breaks are not applicable where speed or time is a component of what is being assessed, although, if there is a natural break in the assessment, i.e. between tasks, supervised rest breaks can be allowed.
  • For on-screen assessments, the centre needs to check with Gateway Qualifications whether the time for rest breaks must be built into the extra time requested for the assessment. This is necessary because the test runs continuously on the system. The system must also be supervised during the break to ensure that no one else can interfere with the learner’s test during the break.

Summary:

  • Centres must ensure that both the learner and their work is supervised during the break.
  • The duration of the break should not be deducted from the assessment time.
  • Rest breaks should not be allowed where their use would invalidate the assessment criteria.

Change in the Organisation of the Assessment Room

  • Minor changes to the organisation of the assessment room may benefit some learners with autistic spectrum disorder, with visual or hearing impairment or physical difficulties.
  • Visually impaired learners may benefit from sitting near a window so that they have good lighting.
  • Deaf learners may benefit from sitting near the front of the room and in good lighting.
  • Some learners may benefit from using chairs with armrests or adjustable heights.
  • Autistic learners may benefit from having visual/noise stimuli, such as a ticking clock, removed from the room.

Summary:

  • The centre should consider the needs of the individual learner and, where possible, arrange the assessment room to suit the learner.

Separate Accommodation within the Centre

  • It may be necessary to accommodate the learner separately if they are using readers, scribes, BSL/English interpreters, or word processing equipment which may disturb other learners.

Summary:

  • Centres should ensure that, where learners are accommodated separately for assessments taken under examination conditions, usual examination conditions apply, and separate invigilation is arranged.

Taking the Assessment at an Alternative Venue

  • In certain circumstances, the learner may be permitted to take an assessment at an alternative venue, for example at home or in hospital. Gateway Qualifications advice must be sought on this.
  • The centre should ensure that the learner is medically fit to take the assessment.

Summary:

  • For assessments in alternative venues, taken under examination conditions, standard examination conditions should be in place at the alternative venue and the standard procedures for security of assessment material and dispatch of the learner’s work should be followed.

Use of Mechanical, Electronic and Technological Aids

  • Use of coloured overlays, low-vision aids, tinted spectacles and OCR scanners.
  • The centre should ensure that the learner has had sufficient practice in the use of these aids and that any electronic aids are in good working order.
  • For assessments taken under examination conditions, the learner should be accommodated separately with separate invigilation if the use of any of these aids will disturb other learners. In these cases, the invigilator should be fully informed of the learner’s support.
  •  A centre should contact Gateway Qualifications if they are unclear about whether any new technology will unfairly advantage the learner or invalidate the assessment requirements.

Summary:

  •  The learner should be familiar with how the aid works.
  • The use of aids should not give the learner an unfair advantage over other learners or invalidate the assessment criteria.

Use of Assistive Technology, for example, Speech/Screen Reading Software and Voice-activated Software

  • Some learners may benefit from the use of software that reads the assessment material to them and records their spoken responses.
  • Speech software should not be allowed for qualifications where reading is the competence being assessed. Elsewhere, and especially in vocational areas, such software may be used to allow learners to have access to assessments that are appropriate for them and enable them to show their proficiency.
  • The centre should ensure that the use of assistive technology will not invalidate the assessment requirements or give the learner an unfair advantage. Due to the rapid development of such technology, centres should seek advice from Gateway Qualifications if the implications of using certain kinds of assistive technology are unclear.
  • It should be noted that the use of such software may introduce a hidden assessment agenda, in that the learner has to master the use of the software in addition to mastering the assessment criteria. Some learners may need extra time if they use such software.

Summary:

  • The learner should be familiar with how assistive technology works.
  • The assistive technology should not give the learner an unfair advantage over other learners or invalidate the assessment criteria.

Use of Bilingual Dictionaries or Bilingual Translation Dictionaries (manual or electronic)

  • The use of bilingual dictionaries and bilingual translation dictionaries (including BSL/English dictionaries/glossaries) can be allowed in all vocational assessments unless its use is expressly forbidden by the assessment requirements.
  • An additional allowance of extra time may be permitted for timed assessments if the centre is satisfied that the learner can cope with the subject content, but the learner’s knowledge and comprehension of English impairs their ability to complete the assessment within the normal time allocated.
  • The centre should check the dictionaries used by the learner to make sure they do not contain notes which would give the learner an unfair advantage. Where permission is given to use electronic dictionaries, the centre must check that the equipment does not contain additional functionality that will give the learner an unfair advantage. If such functionality is present, it must be disabled, or the equipment disallowed.

Summary:

  • The use of a bilingual dictionary should not give the learner an unfair advantage over other learners or invalidate the assessment criteria.
Modifications to the Presentation of the Assessment Material

Assessment material in enlarged format

  • For paper-based assessments enlargements for paper-based assessments may be used. Examples of these include:

– Unmodified enlarged papers where the standard paper is photocopied from A4 to A3, thus enlarging the whole paper and retaining the original layout and visual presentation.

– Modified enlarged paper where the paper is modified by simplifying the layout and, where necessary, reducing the content while still meeting the same objectives as those tested in the original paper.

  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide externally set assessment material in an enlarged format, the centre must apply no later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to make the enlargements to externally set assessment material, it should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the entire document is enlarged. The learner may be penalised for any errors in their work which occur as a result of incomplete enlargement of the material.
  • Centres should note that assessment material containing scale diagrams cannot be enlarged.
  • It is the centre’s responsibility to provide centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference material in a suitable format for the learner.

On-screen Assessments

· If the default font and text size used for an on-screen assessment is not suitable for the learner, screen magnification software programmes may provide an option to magnify the text to a suitable size. Advanced screen software programmes used by Gateway Qualifications provide options to change screen colours and fonts.

Summary:

  • Where appropriate, the centre should meet Gateway Qualifications’ deadlines for requesting enlarged assessment material, normally not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • In cases where the centre is permitted by Gateway Qualifications to enlarge assessment material, the centre should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the entire document is enlarged.
  • Learners should become familiar with the ways the screen may be adapted in onscreen exams by using the practice tests.

Assessment Material in Braille

  • Assessment material may be provided in Braille for a blind or visually impaired learner.
  • The material will be modified to remove any visual content prior to brailling.
  • Diagrams in the assessment material can be produced as tactile diagrams.
  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide externally set assessment material in Braille, the centre must apply not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment. If Braille assessment material has been ordered, but is no longer required, the centre should inform Gateway Qualifications immediately as any costs incurred in producing such material may be passed to the centre.
  • Permission may be given to the centre to Braille externally set assessment materials. Gateway Qualifications will advise when this can be permitted.
  • Where the centre is permitted to Braille externally set assessment material, it should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the entire document is Braille. The learner may be penalised for any errors in their work which occur as a result of errors in the Braille material.
  • Braille is not always an appropriate adjustment for the learner, not all blind people are fluent in Braille.
  • It is the centre’s responsibility to arrange for the brailling of centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference materials.

Summary:

  • Where appropriate, the centre should meet Gateway Qualifications’ deadlines of not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment for requesting braille assessment material.
  • In cases where the centre is permitted by Gateway Qualifications to braille assessment material, the centre should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the entire document is Braille.

Language Modified Assessment Material

  • The carrier language in assessment material may be modified for a deaf learner whose first language is either English or British Sign Language (BSL). In either case, the learner’s English may be limited, and modified assessment material may be necessary. BSL is a language in its own right and has its own grammar, syntax and vocabulary and written assessment material will have to be modified for most deaf learners for whom BSL is their first language.
  • Technical language may not be modified. The modified version of the assessment material should contain the same questions as the standard version and the same answers will be expected from the learner.
  • In listening tests, a transcript of the test may be provided, which can be read to the learner by a live speaker. This will enable the learner to lip-read the text.
  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide language modified externally set assessment material, the centre will have to apply not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to modify externally set assessment material, they should take responsibility for the security of the material and for the accuracy of the modification. The learner may be penalised for any errors in their work which occur as a result of inaccurate modification of the material.
  • It is the centre’s responsibility to arrange for the modification of centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference materials.

Summary:

  • Where appropriate, the centre should meet Gateway Qualifications’ deadlines for requesting language modified assessment material, normally not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • In cases where the centre is permitted by Gateway Qualifications to modify assessment material, the centre should take responsibility for the security of the material and for the accuracy of the modification.

Assessment Material in BSL (British Sign Language)

  • Where the centre cannot provide a BSL/English interpreter for the assessment, and if language modified assessment material does not provide sufficient assistance, a BSL version of assessment material may be provided on DVD instead of (or in addition to) the assessment material in written English. This facility may not be permitted for assessments where reading or listening is the competence being assessed.
  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide externally set assessment material in BSL, the centre will have to apply not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to translate externally set assessment material into BSL, they should take responsibility for the security of the material and for the accuracy of the translation. The learner may be penalised for any errors in their work which occur as a result of errors in the material.
  • It is the centre’s responsibility to arrange for the translation of centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference materials into BSL.
  • Centres should note that translation of centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference materials into BSL will not be suitable for all assessments and that they need to contact Gateway Qualifications for further advice if they are unclear whether this adjustment is appropriate.
  • Centres should read the guidance for BSL/English interpreters in conjunction with this section.

Summary:

  • The centre should meet Gateway Qualifications’ deadlines for requesting assessment material in BSL, normally not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment
  • In cases where the centre is permitted to translate the assessment material into BSL, it should take responsibility for the security of the material and for the accuracy of the translation.
  • The centre should provide sufficient playback equipment that is in full working order.

Assessment Material on Coloured Paper

  • It is the centre’s responsibility to provide centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference material on coloured paper, if required.

Summary:

  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide externally set assessment material on coloured paper, the centre will have to apply by the deadlines set by Gateway Qualifications normally no later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to photocopy externally set assessment material onto coloured paper, it should take responsibility for the security of the assessment material and for ensuring that the entire document is copied.
  • The learner may be penalised for any errors in his / her script which occur as a result of incomplete copying of the document.

On-screen Assessments

  • Learners may normally be able to select a screen background in a colour that is suited to their needs. It is advised that learners explore the selection available using the practice test before they take an assessment.

Summary:

  • Where appropriate, the centre should meet Gateway Qualifications’ deadlines for requesting externally set assessment material on coloured paper, normally not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to modify the assessment material, it should take responsibility for the security of the assessment material and for the accuracy of the modification.

Assessment Material in Audio Format

  • Where there is evidence of need, assessment material may be provided in audio format. This facility is not available if reading is the competence being assessed or if the assessment material has visual content that is crucial to the understanding of the questions, such as illustrations, tables, diagrams or sketches.
  • Where Gateway Qualifications is able to provide externally set assessment material in audio format, the centre will have to apply not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to produce an audio version of externally set assessment material, they should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the recording is accurate. The learner may be penalised for any errors in their work which occur as a result of errors in the recording.
  • It is the centre’s responsibility to provide centre-devised assessment material/resource or reference material in a suitable format for the learner.

Summary:

  • Where appropriate, the centre should meet Gateway Qualifications deadlines for requesting assessment material in audio format, not later than ten weeks before the date of the assessment.
  • Where the centre is permitted to produce an audio version of the assessment material, they should take responsibility for the security of the material and for ensuring that the entire document is copied.
  • The centre should ensure that sufficient playback equipment is provided in full working order.
Alternative Ways of Presenting Learner Responses

A learner should be provided with the means to present their responses by the method most appropriate and familiar to them, as long as the use of methods will not invalidate the requirements of the assessment. The use of ICT is generally perceived to have a positive impact on helping learners to access the assessment.

The guidance given below relates to the use of ICT in written assessments. ICT can normally be used for centre-devised and portfolio work unless the use of ICT is expressly prohibited by the qualification specification.

Use of ICT to Present Responses

  • The use of ICT in this context should be taken to include word processors, personal computers (PCs) and other microprocessor-controlled devices producing output in text or other forms such as graphics and diagrams.
  • For many learners with additional support needs, computers provide an effective means of independent communication. Consideration should be given to whether the learner can meet the assessment criteria using a computer.
  • A computer should only be used if it is appropriate to the learner’s needs and if the learner is confident in its use, can use it effectively and if it reflects their normal way of working. The learner should be consulted before a decision is taken whether the use of ICT is an appropriate adjustment.
  • When a computer is used, other than as a basic word processor, the centre needs to consider the effect and appropriateness of facilities like spellcheckers, electronic dictionaries, thesauri, calculators, predictive software, etc that are available.
  • The use of the computer should not create a misleading impression of the learner’s attainment or confer an unfair advantage over other learners.
  • The centre should ensure that workstations are adapted for the needs of the learner and that enabling technologies (for example screen reading software, coloured background, adapted keyboard, large tracker ball mouse, sticky keys) are available.
  • Where it is apparent that assessment objectives cannot be met fully if a computer is used, the centre should suggest alternative arrangements.

Summary:

  • The computer is used solely by the learner and not by someone acting on the learner’s behalf unless the learner has permission to use a scribe.
  • The computer is working correctly at the time of an assessment. It is the centre’s responsibility to arrange the ICT provision for the learner.
  • The learner has access only to those facilities (e.g. spell/grammar checker, voice-activated software, speech reading software) which have been agreed in advance with Gateway Qualifications.
  • The learner is not able to gain access to existing files or documents. Where a system operates from CD, the learner must be supplied with a formatted disk containing only the software required for the assessment.
  • The computer should be free-standing and not be connected to the internet unless this is required in the assessment and if it is connected to the Internet then access to the Internet is strictly monitored by a supervisor.
  • The learner is accommodated separately if the use of a computer is likely to distract other learners. In this case, separate invigilation should be arranged.
  • The learner is present when their work is printed. It is normal practice for a printed version of the learner’s work to be submitted and authenticated for assessment and not the disk.
  • Where a question/answer booklet is provided, the learner might need to answer some questions in the booklet and type other answers. Answers should be clearly labelled and the printout must be attached to the question paper/answer booklet.
  • The learner should be familiar with and able to use the computer and its software.
  • The learner’s work is saved frequently and, if possible, using an autosave facility.

Spoken Responses Using Electronic Recording Devices, for example CD ROMs, Memory Sticks, Audio Cassettes

  • Where there is evidence of need, the learner may be permitted to record their responses electronically.
  • Spoken responses will only be available for assessments where there is no requirement for the learner to produce visual material.
  • Where the learner’s responses are recorded electronically, the centre should provide an authenticated transcript on paper of the learner’s responses.
  • It will be the centre’s responsibility to ensure that the transcript is an accurate reflection of the learner’s responses and to keep this and the original recording as a record of the assessment.

Summary:

  • The centre should check whether permission should be sought from Gateway Qualifications to record the learner’s responses electronically.
  • Recording the learner’s responses electronically should not be allowed where it will invalidate the assessment requirements.
  • The centre should ensure that the appropriate recording equipment is provided in full working order.
  • The learner using recording equipment should be accommodated separately, with separate invigilation, where its use will not disturb other learners.

Responses in BSL

  • Where there is evidence of need, the learner may be allowed to sign their responses to questions.
  • Signing of responses should not be permitted if the ability to write or speak English, Welsh or Irish (Gaeilge) is being assessed.
  • A learner can sign full responses in BSL. Where the learner is required to show knowledge of an expression/name in their response, this must be finger spelt.
  • The centre will provide a paper translation of the responses for validation purposes
  • The centre should ensure that the person doing the translation is appropriately qualified.
  • Where the centre provides a transcript of the learner’s response, the centre should ensure that the transcript is authenticated and an accurate reflection of the learner’s responses. The centre should keep this as a record of the assessment.

Summary:

  • The centre should check whether permission should be sought from Gateway Qualifications to sign the learner’s responses.

Responses in Braille

  • Where there is evidence of need, a learner may be permitted to present their responses in Braille.
  • In these cases, an authenticated paper transcript of the learner’s responses should be provided by the centre.
  • It will be the centre’s responsibility to ensure that the transcript is an accurate reflection of the learner’s responses and to keep the transcript for their records.

Summary:

  • The centre should select a transcriber with the required level of skill in Braille and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
Use of Access Facilitators

Reader

  • · A reader is a person who, when requested, will read to the learner all or part of the assessment material and the learner’s written responses.
  • · Where there is evidence of need a reader may be allowed in all assessments where reading is not being assessed.
  • · The centre should, in consultation with the learner, decide whether the use of a reader will be an effective arrangement. The learner may be more comfortable with:

– The use of speech/screen reading software which reads out the material without decoding or interpreting it

– Accessing the assessment material in electronic format, in Braille or through sign language.

  • The centre is responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the provision of a reader.
  • The reader should not normally be the learner’s own tutor or assessor, except in circumstances where it is necessary to do so. In such cases, Gateway Qualifications should be specifically consulted. On no account may a relative, friend or peer of the learner be used as a reader.
  • The centre should select the reader on the basis of their ability to work effectively with the learner. The reader should be able to read accurately and at a reasonable rate and should have sufficient knowledge of the subject to read technical terms accurately.
  • A learner should, wherever possible, have had previous practice in working with the reader and should have used this arrangement during any training programme leading up to the assessment.
  • The centre should ensure that the learner and reader are clear about the limitations of the reader’s role.
  • A separate invigilator must be present when a reader is used to ensure that the guidance regarding readers is followed.
  • The centre should give the reader clear instructions regarding what they are required to do and what they may and may not do during the assessment. These instructions should also be given to the invigilator.
  • For a learner requiring a reader and a scribe, the same person may act as both as long as permission has been given for both arrangements.
  • The learner using a reader should be accommodated separately so as not to disturb other learners.
  • Where a learner is not eligible for the use of a reader, it may be helpful for the learner to read the questions aloud. In these circumstances, the learner must be accommodated in a separate room so that other learners are not disturbed. Separate invigilation should be arranged in these cases. The invigilator may not correct the reading of the learner.
  • The reader is responsible to, and should be approved by, the Head of Centre or the centre staff member with delegated responsibility.

The reader:

  • Should read-only as requested by the learner. The learner may choose to read some parts of the assessment themselves.
  • Should read accurately. If the reader is working with a deaf or hearing-impaired learner, the reader should articulate clearly.
  • Should only read the exact wording (instructions and questions), and not give meanings of words, rephrase or interpret anything.
  • Should repeat instructions and questions on the paper only when specifically requested to do so by the learner.
  • May consult a dictionary, where this is allowed, at the learner’s request and read out entries.
  • Should read, as often as requested, the answers already recorded, but may not act as proof-reader.
  • Should not advise the learner regarding which questions to do, when to move on to the next question, or the order in which the questions should be answered. May enable a visually impaired learner to identify which piece of visual material relates to which question but should neither give factual help to the learner nor offer any suggestion.
  • Is permitted to help a visually impaired learner using diagrams, graphs and tables to obtain the information that the print/amended print copy would give to a sighted learner.
  • Should, if requested, give a visually impaired learner the spelling of a word which appears on the paper, but otherwise, spellings must not be given.
  • Should refer any problems during the assessment to the invigilator.

Summary:

  • The centre should check that the use of a reader is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.
  • The centre should select a reader and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a reader is used.
  • A reader should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.

Scribe (sometimes called amanuensis)

  • A scribe is a person who, in an assessment, writes down or word processes a learner’s dictated responses. Where there is evidence of need, a scribe may be allowed in all assessments where writing or keyboarding is not the competence being assessed. The most common need for a scribe is where a learner has injured their arm and is unable to write.
  • The centre should, in consultation with the learner, decide whether the use of a scribe is an appropriate adjustment. As the effective use of a scribe requires high-level communication skills from the learner, the centre is advised to consider whether the learner would be more comfortable with the use of a computer, especially where the learner is likely to use a word processor rather than a scribe in the workplace.
  • For a learner requiring a scribe and a reader, the same person may act as both, provided permission has been given for both.
  • The use of a scribe should not affect the assessment requirements for the qualification being assessed. In some cases, the writing of answers by the learner may be the skill being assessed. Voice recognition technology (assistive technology) may be used in the writing component of qualification where its use reflects the learner’s normal way of writing.
  • · The centre should select a scribe on the basis of their ability to work effectively with the learner. A scribe should be able to produce an accurate record of the learner’s responses, write legibly and/or word process at a reasonable speed, and have sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to record technical terms correctly.
  • The centre is responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the provision of a scribe.
  • A scribe is not permitted in an assessment requiring word processing or ICT.
  • A scribe should not normally be the learner’s own tutor or assessor, except when it is necessary to do so. In such cases, Gateway Qualifications should be specifically consulted. On no account may a relative, friend or peer of the learner be used as a scribe.
  • A learner should, wherever possible, have had previous practice in working with the scribe and used this arrangement during their learning programme.
  • The centre should ensure that the learner and scribe are clear about the limitations of the scribe’s role.
  • The centre should give the scribe clear instructions regarding what he/she is required to do and what he/she is not allowed to do during the assessment. These instructions should also be given to the invigilator.
  • The learner using a scribe should be accommodated separately so as not to disturb other learners.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a scribe is used to ensure that the guidance regarding scribes is followed.
  • The scribe is responsible to, and should be approved by, the Head of Centre or the centre staff member with delegated responsibility.
  • During the assessment a scribe:

– Should check with the learner for which parts of the assessment they wish to have their responses scribed. The learner may choose to write some responses themselves.

– Should neither give factual help to the learner nor offer any suggestions.

– Should not advise the learner regarding which questions to do, when to move on to the next question or the order in which the questions should be answered.

– Should write down answers exactly as they are dictated. Where spelling accuracy and punctuation is being tested, the scribe must follow explicit instructions from the learner. The scribe may not take responsibility for spelling technical words.

– Should write a correction on a typescript or Braille sheet if requested to do so by the learner.

– Should not assist the learner to produce any diagrammatical or graphical material. If assistance with this is needed, approval should be obtained from Gateway Qualifications in advance of the assessment. Exceptions to this are Entry Level qualifications where the scribe is allowed to draw or add to diagrams in accordance with the learner’s instructions.

– Learners must respond in English, Irish or Welsh as appropriate, so as to meet the assessment of written communication in English, Irish or Welsh.

– May, at the learner’s request, read back what has been written but no comment must be made about any part of the learner’s response.

– Should immediately refer any problems in communication during the examination to the invigilator.

Summary:

  • The centre should check that the use of scribe is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.
  • The centre should select a scribe and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a scribe is used.
  • A scribe should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.

British Sign Language (BSL)

  • Although British Sign Language (BSL) is now recognised as an official language of the UK, it is not a statutory language, unlike English, Welsh and Irish (Gaeilge).
  • Where BSL is the primary means of communication for a deaf learner, these learners may have the support of a BSL/English interpreter to sign the questions (or part- questions) where they are undertaking written assessments.
  • For assessments where reading or speaking and listening are the competencies being assessed, BSL or any other sign language may only be used for the assessment material rubric and instructions.
  • The centre should ensure that the BSL interpreter has an appropriate qualification in the sign language and a good working knowledge of the content of the assessment.
  • A learner should, wherever possible, have had previous experience of working with a BSL/English interpreter and should have used this arrangement during the learning programme leading up to the assessment.
  •  The centre should ensure that the learner and the person providing the interpretation is clear about the limitations of the latter’s role in the assessment situation.
  • The centre should ensure that the person providing the interpretation has access to the assessment material in advance of the assessment, to prepare for the signing. This arrangement should be agreed with Gateway Qualifications.
  • The interpretation should not give the learner an unfair advantage and care must be taken not to indicate the meaning of technical words, where the learner’s understanding of these words is inherent in the purpose of the question. The interpretation should not explain or clarify. In some instances, it may be more appropriate to finger-spell a word.
  • Any words or phrases interpreted for the learner because a standard sign is not available or appropriate should be underlined on the assessment material, which, if separate from the answer book, should be attached to the learner’s answer book. Amended versions of questions should be shown on the assessment material.
  • The learner using a BSL/English interpreter should be accommodated separately so as not to disturb other learners.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a BSL/English interpreter is used to ensure that guidance regarding BSL/English interpreters is followed.

The BSL interpreter:

  • Should have access to the assessment material in advance of the examination to prepare for the signing. Gateway Qualifications will advise how long before the assessment the BSL/English interpreter can have access to the assessment material.
  • Should not interpret technical language or give additional explanations.
  • May, at the learner’s request, sign any labels or text connected with reference material such as maps, diagrams or graphs. The learner should, however, study the reference material independently.

Summary:

  • The centre should check that the use of BSL interpreter is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.
  • The centre should select a BSL/ interpreter and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a BSL interpreter is used.
  • A BSL interpreter should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.
  • The BSL interpreter should have an appropriate qualification in the sign language so as not to disadvantage the learner.

Prompter

  • A learner with severe attention problems may benefit from the use of a prompter in timed assessment situations to draw their attention back to the assessment task.
  • The centre should, in consultation with the learner, decide whether the use of a prompter is an appropriate arrangement.
  • The centre is responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the provision of a prompter.
  • Where the problem is one of concentration, consideration should be given to allowing supervised rest breaks rather than a prompter.
  • A prompter should not normally be the learner’s own tutor or assessor, except when it may be necessary to do so. In such cases, Gateway Qualifications should be specifically consulted. On no account may a relative, friend or peer of the learner be used as a prompter.
  • Prompters should be sufficiently familiar with the learner to recognise when his / her attention is no longer on the assessment task and that he or she is not, for example, looking away from the paper whilst thinking. Under no circumstances may the prompter draw the attention of the learner to part of the question paper or the learner’s answer paper.
  • The prompter should sit near enough to be able to observe the learner and draw his / her attention back to the task. This should, however, be organised as unobtrusively as possible. The learner’s attention may be drawn back to the task using a light tap on the learner’s arm or shoulder or, alternatively, on the desk (though not in a way that may be taken to indicate any part of the examination question paper). Verbal prompting should not normally be used. The method used by the prompter to bring back the learner’s attention should be agreed before the assessment between the learner and the prompter and should be acceptable to the centre. It should be noted that some learners with emotional and behavioural sensitivity/vulnerability and/or mental health conditions may not be comfortable with a ‘light tap’ prompt. A form of verbal prompting should be considered and agreed for these learners.
  • In the case of an epileptic learner where the problem is one of temporary absence, the normal procedure to help that learner will be allowed.
  •  The centre should ensure that the learner and prompter are clear about the limitations of the prompter’s role.
  • The centre should give the prompter clear instructions regarding what they are required to do and what they may and may not do during the assessment. These instructions should also be given to the invigilator.
  • The centre should ensure that the learner and the prompter have had experience of working together.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a prompter is used to ensure that the guidance regarding prompters is followed. The invigilator should be fully informed of the strategies used to regain the learner’s attention.
  • The prompter is responsible to, and should be approved by, the Head of Centre or the centre staff member with delegated responsibility.

During an assessment a prompter:

  • Should draw the learner’s attention back to the task in hand.
  • Should use the method of prompting agreed with the learner.
  • Should not give factual help to the learner or offer any suggestions.
  • Should not advise the learner regarding which questions to do, when to move on to the next question or the order in which the questions should be done. For Entry Level qualifications it may be appropriate for the prompter to direct the learner to where they were last.
  • Should be prepared for periods of inactivity during the assessment but should remain vigilant.
  • Should immediately refer any problems during the assessment to the invigilator.

Summary:

  • The centre should check that the use of a prompter is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.
  • The centre should select a prompter and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a prompter is used.
  • A prompter should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.

Practical Assistant

  • A practical assistant is a person who, during an assessment, carries out practical tasks at the instruction of the learner. Examples of the kinds of tasks with which the practical assistant may assist are, turning the pages of the question paper or, guiding a learner using a Braille paper to the correct page they need.
  • The centre should, in consultation with the learner, decide whether the use of a practical assistant is an appropriate arrangement. A practical assistant will not normally be allowed in those qualifications where the practical skill is the focus of the assessment.
  • The centre is responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the provision of a practical assistant.
  • The practical assistant should be familiar with the requirements of the assessment but should not normally be the learner’s own teacher/tutor/assessor except when it is necessary to do so. In such cases, Gateway Qualifications should be specifically consulted. On no account may a relative, friend or peer of the learner be used as a practical assistant.
  • A practical assistant should be a person who is able to ensure the safety of the learner and carry out their instructions accurately.
  • The centre should prepare clear written instructions for the practical assistant on the assistance they are able to give the learner. A copy of these instructions should also be given to the invigilator and learner. The centre should note that the practical assistant may not perform tasks for which the learner will receive credit.
  •  The use of a practical assistant should not modify the specification requirements. For example, where the manipulation of apparatus or making accurate visual observations may be the skill being assessed, the use of a practical assistant will not be permitted.
  • A learner using a practical assistant may need to be accommodated separately from other learners. In these cases, a separate invigilator should be present to ensure that the guidance regarding practical assistants is followed. During practical assessments, the assessor should be present in addition to the practical assistant.
  •  During a practical assessment, a practical assistant:

– Should follow the instructions prepared by the centre on the level and kind of assistance that can be given to the learner.

– Should ensure the safety of the learner and those around them.

– Should not give factual help to the learner or offer any suggestions.

– Should not advise the learner which questions to do, when to move on to the next question or the order in which the questions should be done.

– Should carry out instructions exactly as they are given unless to do so would cause a hazard. If the practical assistant does not understand the learner’s instructions, he/she may ask for clarification but must not lead the learner in any way or attempt to interpret the learner’s wishes; if incorrect or inadequate instructions are given by the learner this must be reflected in the outcome of the assessment.

– Should not expect to assist the learner throughout the entire assessment (there may be parts of the assessment which the learner can do without help and thus gain credit for demonstrating the required skills).

– Should immediately refer any problems during an assessment to the invigilator/supervisor.

Summary:

  • The centre should check that the use of a practical assistant is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.
  • The centre should select a practical assistant and fully brief them on their responsibilities.
  • A separate invigilator should be present when a practical assistant is used.
  • A practical assistant should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.

Other languages and use of translators

  • Gateway Qualifications primarily offer its qualifications and units in the language of English. Nonetheless, Gateway Qualifications will undertake to support the delivery of our qualifications in other languages, most notably Welsh, Irish (Gaeilge) and British Sign Language where appropriate and upon request and evidence of sufficient demand. For example, a learner may be assessed in any other language where it is one of the primary objectives of the qualification:

– for the Learner to gain knowledge of, skills in, and understanding of that language, or

– to support a role in the workplace, providing that proficiency in English, Irish or Welsh is not required for the role supported by the qualification.

  • In implementing any arrangements to support other UK-based languages, Gateway Qualifications may engage with the relevant regulatory body to seek further advice and guidance on the most appropriate arrangements to put in place to ensure comparability of assessments, moderation and awarding.
  • Assessments in other languages will only be allowed where proficiency in English, Welsh or Irish is not required in the workplace for individuals to be deemed capable of carrying out the role (associated with the qualification). At all times requests from centres/learners for reasonable adjustments in relation to the use of other languages must be approved by Gateway Qualifications in advance so as to ensure that final assessments would be comparable to that offered in English (Welsh and/or Irish).

Summary:

  • Gateway Qualifications may permit the user of a translator if there is a strong rationale and it is clear that the lack of English, Welsh or Irish would not prevent a learner carrying out the role that the unit/qualification relates.
  • Gateway Qualifications will not permit the use of an interpreter.
  • If the centre were to employ the translator themselves Gateway Qualifications reserves the right to quality assure the assessments and the centre must be able to produce evidence of the translator’s credentials.
  • Gateway Qualifications also reserve the right to employ its own translator to carry out an assessment and/or support our quality assurance of the centre’s arrangements.
  • Should a translator be used at the centre then Gateway Qualifications’ field staff (i.e. External Quality Assurer or member of the registration and awards team) will include learners that have had the support of a translator within their monitoring sample.

Transcriber

  • · This arrangement may be used by a learner in the following circumstances:

– Where the learner’s handwriting is illegible, but he or she is unable to use a computer or dictate responses – it may not be allowed where writing by hand is the competence being assessed.

– Where the learner’s responses are produced in Braille or in BSL.

  • The transcriber will produce a transcript to assist the examiner/assessor in the assessment of a learner’s work. The examiner/assessor will assess the learner’s work and will only refer to the transcript if it is impossible to decipher any part of the learner’s response(s). (For responses produced in Braille or BSL the examiner/assessor may refer solely to the transcript.)
  • The centre should, in consultation with the learner, decide whether the use of a transcript will be an effective arrangement.
  • The centre should give the transcriber clear instructions regarding what he/she is required to do after the assessment.
  •  The transcript should be produced by a member of the centre’s staff who is familiar with the learner’s handwriting, is fully competent in Braille (where the transcription is for learner’s responses produced in Braille), or who has the required skills in BSL (where the transcription is for learner’s responses produced in BSL).
  • The transcript(s) should be securely attached to the back of the learner’s work and be included with the other work from the centre for dispatch to the assessor in the normal way. The production of the transcript should not delay the dispatch of scripts to the assessor/marker.
  • The centre should not inform the assessor/marker of the reason why a transcript was necessary.

The transcriber:

  • Should produce the transcript in a separate copy of the question paper/answer booklet or on lined or unlined white paper as appropriate.
  • May handwrite or word process the transcript. If handwritten, dark blue or black ink should be used. Pencil must never be used.
  • Should, for examinations, produce the transcript immediately after the examination under secure conditions.
  • Should not involve the learner in the production of the transcript.
  • Should normally transcribe complete answers. In cases where only occasional words need to be transcribed, these may be written on a photocopy of the learner’s script. On no account should the learner’s original script be marked or annotated in any way.
  • Should normally be a word-for-word transcription, i.e. an exact copy of what the learner has written. The transcriber may not insert or omit words or alter their order. In English, any errors, including those of spelling, punctuation and grammar, must be transcribed as given by the learner and must not be corrected. In other qualifications, the transcriber may correct the spelling of non-technical words.
  • Should indicate any corrections to spelling on the verbatim transcript using a different colour ink, but not red, green or purple ink. Pencil must not be used for this purpose.
  • Should not transcribe diagrammatical material. Assessment of such material will be based on the learner’s own work.

Summary:

· The centre should check that the use of a transcriber is the most appropriate arrangement to enable the learner to undertake the assessment.

· The centre should select a transcriber and fully brief them on their responsibilities.

· A transcriber should not be allowed where such use would invalidate the assessment requirements.

Making Special Considerations

A special consideration is a post-assessment adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or other indisposition at the time of the assessment, which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a candidate’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate their normal level of attainment in an assessment.

Gateway Qualifications reviews the circumstances and evidence surrounding each request for special consideration to ensure that the decision made maintains the equity, validity and reliability of the assessment for the learner and does not give the learner an unfair advantage.

A learner who is fully prepared and present for a scheduled assessment may be eligible for special consideration if:

· Performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the learner e.g. recent personal illness, accident, bereavement, serious disturbance during the assessment.

· Alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate.

· Part of an assessment has been missed due to circumstances beyond the control of the learner.

· There is a sufficient difference between the part of the assessment to which special consideration is applied and other parts of the qualification that have been achieved to infer that the learner could have performed more successfully in the assessment.

A learner will not be eligible for special consideration if:

· No evidence is supplied by the centre that the learner has been affected at the time of the assessment by a particular condition.

· Any part of the assessment is missed due to personal arrangements including holidays or unauthorised absence.

· Preparation for an assessment is affected by difficulties during the course, e.g. disturbances through building work, lack of proper facilities, changes in or shortages of staff, or industrial disputes.

Applying for special consideration The Special Consideration form can be found on the Forms and Guidance page of Gateway Qualifications’ website.

Making Special Considerations

A special consideration is a post-assessment adjustment to a candidate’s mark or grade to reflect temporary illness, temporary injury or other indisposition at the time of the assessment, which has had, or is reasonably likely to have had, a material effect on a candidate’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate their normal level of attainment in an assessment.
Gateway Qualifications reviews the circumstances and evidence surrounding each request for special consideration to ensure that the decision made maintains the equity, validity and reliability of the assessment for the learner and does not give the learner an unfair advantage.
A learner who is fully prepared and present for a scheduled assessment may be eligible for special consideration if:
• Performance in an assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the learner e.g. recent personal illness, accident, bereavement, serious disturbance during the assessment.
• Alternative assessment arrangements which were agreed in advance of the assessment proved inappropriate or inadequate.
• Part of an assessment has been missed due to circumstances beyond the control of the learner.
• There is a sufficient difference between the part of the assessment to which special consideration is applied and other parts of the qualification that have been achieved to infer that the learner could have performed more successfully in the assessment.

A learner will not be eligible for special consideration if:
• No evidence is supplied by the centre that the learner has been affected at the time of the assessment by a particular condition.
• Any part of the assessment is missed due to personal arrangements including holidays or unauthorised absence.
• Preparation for an assessment is affected by difficulties during the course, e.g. disturbances through building work, lack of proper facilities, changes in or shortages of staff, or industrial disputes.

Applying for special consideration

The Special Consideration Form can be found on the Forms and Guidance page of Gateway Qualifications’ website.