The purpose of this policy is to set out clear guidance regarding special consideration and reasonable adjustments relating to Final Integrated Competence Assessment (FICA) to ensure that all candidates are treated fairly and equally and in full compliance with appropriate legislation and best practice. The guidance is applicable to all Centre Managers, assessors and candidates involved in the process.
The SJIB will ensure that no candidate is treated less favourably because of conditions or requirements that are not related to the assessment. Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure equal access for candidates who are disabled or have other special needs.
Access arrangements must be agreed in advance of an assessment. These arrangements allow candidates with special needs or disabilities to access the assessment and demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the demands of the assessment.
The intention behind an access arrangement is to meet the particular needs of an individual candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment. Access arrangements are the principal way in which Assessment Centres comply with the duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments.
The Equality Act 2010 requires reasonable adjustments to be made where a candidate who is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 would be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled. Reasonable steps must be made to overcome that disadvantage.
A reasonable adjustment may be unique to that candidate and may not be included in the list of available access arrangements.
Whether an adjustment will be considered reasonable will depend on a number of factors which will include, but are not limited to:
- the needs of the disabled candidate
- the effectiveness of the adjustment
- the cost of the adjustment
- the likely impact of the adjustment upon the candidate and other candidates.
An adjustment will not be approved if it:
- involves unreasonable costs to SJIB or the Assessment Centres
- involves unreasonable timeframes
- affects the security and integrity of the assessment
- alters competence standards or assessment objectives.
The following adaptations are examples of arrangements that could help facilitate access or provide additional support as long as they do not impact on any competence standards being tested:
- Adaptation of the physical environment for access purposes
- Assessment material in an enlarged format
- British Sign Language (BSL)
- Additional time
- Written Paper F.
Guidance on Reasonable Adjustments
It is the responsibility of the employer and the candidate to make SECTT aware of the need for adjustments at the time of the FICA booking. In the first instance, the need for adjustments should be notified to SECTT’s Training and Development Manager who will discuss requirements with the employer and the candidate. The candidate should supply medical or assessment evidence relating to the nature of the disability or impairment, in advance of undertaking the FICA to support their request.
The SECTT Training and Development Manager will notify the SJIB in advance and secure the written agreement of any proposed special consideration or reasonable adjustment arrangements. Any adjustment must be based on firm evidence of a barrier to the assessment. After due consideration, the SJIB will provide written feedback to the SECTT Training and Development Manager. The SJIB will then communicate the outcome and discuss the adjustments directly with the Assessment Centre Manager.
Any required adjustment to the Assessment to meet the terms of this policy can only be authorised by the Secretary of the SJIB. Should adjustments to the assessment be made without permission from the SJIB, action may be taken that could ultimately lead to the removal of the centre’s licence and/or removal of licensed assessor status on a temporary or permanent basis.
The needs and circumstances of each candidate are different. The Secretary of the SJIB will consider any request for a reasonable adjustment on a case by case basis. Independent evidence will be required. The Secretary of the SJIB has the right to request additional evidence should this be needed.
Reasonable adjustments must not, however, affect the reliability or validity of assessment outcomes nor must they give the candidate an unfair assessment advantage over other candidates undertaking the same assessments.
It is important to note that not all of the adjustments (as above) will be reasonable, permissible or practical in particular situations. The candidate may not need, nor be allowed, the same adjustment for all sections of the assessment.
Candidates should be fully involved in any decisions about adjustments/adaptations. This will ensure that individual needs can be met, whilst still bearing in mind the specified assessment criteria.
Adjustments must not put in jeopardy the health and wellbeing of the candidate or any other person. If an action is observed where a candidate may cause an injury to themselves or others, or damage equipment, then the assessor must advise the candidate accordingly. If necessary, the assessment should be suspended if the candidate continues to work in an unsafe manner.
If any candidate believes they have not been treated fairly they should complain in writing to the Secretary of the SJIB.
This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis in accordance with legislative developments and the need for good practice.
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