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Access arrangements

Deadline for September 2021 exam session: 30 July 2021

What are access arrangements?

Access arrangements (or reasonable adjustments) are changes made to exam conditions.

These may be necessary in circumstances where students are experiencing long or short term conditions or regarded as disabled in terms of the Equality Act 2010. Reasonable adjustments may include:

  • extra time and/or rest breaks;
  • use of a scribe or reader;
  • permission to submit handwritten exam scripts
  • permission to use specialist equipment

How do I apply?

Applications for access arrangements must be provided on the Application Form for Access Arrangements, or the Application form for access arrangements for the UK Practice Module and OPAT exams and submitted to the Assessment team (examsupport@actuaries.org.uk). Applications should be submitted with relevant and up-to-date supporting documentation in English. Where evidence is not in English, a verified translation must be provided.

As there is now an additional 5 minute download time for exams, will I be granted additional extra time?

As 5 minutes have been added to the examination length, students will be granted additional extra time for the total length of the examination, this includes the additional 5 minutes.

How will extra time or rest breaks be calculated?

If you require extra time or rest breaks for your examination, then you and a medical or educational professional must recommend a percentage of time or an amount of time per hour, for example 25% extra time or 10 minutes rest breaks per hour.  

The extra time and/or rest breaks will be applied to the length of the exam.

Extra time and rest breaks will be rounded up to the nearest 5 minutes. For example, 25% extra time for a 3 hours and 20 minutes exam would equate to 50 minutes extra time.

What evidence do I need to provide to support my application?

Students with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia should provide evidence of a full diagnostic assessment carried out by a psychologist with a practising certificate, or a specialist teacher holding an assessment practising certificate.

Students with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyspraxia should provide clinical documentation of diagnosis. This should be completed by a qualified healthcare professional with training and expertise in this area.

Students with Autism should provide a report of your diagnostic assessment.   

If you are applying on other grounds, you need to provide a letter or report from a qualified medical practitioner e.g. GP, psychiatrist. The documentation must be signed and dated. It must include details of the diagnosis given, the symptoms you experience and how these could impact upon your ability to undertake the examinations. Supporting documentation should also include recommendations for adjustments to your exams from both yourself and the medical professional.

Candidates are strongly advised to use the Medical information form for access arrangements in order to help them collect evidence to support their application.

If you do not provide sufficient evidence, we will be unable to consider your application.

I had access arrangements last exam session – do I need to reapply?

Please check the letter issued to you at your last exam sitting, which states your approved arrangements. The letter will say whether your arrangements were agreed for future IFoA assessments or for the exam session only.

What are the deadlines?

Applications should be returned before the exam entry closing date which is stated above. All candidates, UK based and overseas, have the same closing date for entry. Please submit your application by the closing date to ensure we have sufficient time to coordinate the required arrangements.

I have missed the deadline, can I still apply for access arrangements?

We may consider applications for access arrangements received after the deadline. However, if your application is received after the deadline, it may not be possible for an arrangement to be granted for the forthcoming exam session. If this is the case candidates will be advised, and may wish to postpone their exam to the next session in order for the required arrangement(s) to be made available.

I have injured my hand and cannot write – what should I do?

Send an application to the Assessment team as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of your exams and your injury, we may be able to make adjustments which will enable you to sit your exam(s).

If I had a change in circumstances and think my arrangements need review, should I apply for access arrangements?

Yes- Please provide updated evidence which indicates a change in circumstances/diagnosis and explain why you feel your previous arrangements are no longer sufficient.

How will I know my access arrangements have been put in place for my exam?

You will receive confirmation via email that you arrangements have been put in place. You must ensure that you have received this confirmation before sitting your exam. 

I have recently completed all exams for the class of Fellow. What will happen to my access arrangements data?

Under GDPR guidelines, we will only retain data as long as required. Once you have completed the required exams for the class of Fellow, we will no longer retain any supporting documentation that you have previously provided in support of your access arrangements. As such, if you choose to sit another exam with the IFoA and require access arrangements you must provide an application form and supporting documentation.

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Contact Details

Member Services Team

memberservices@actuaries.org.uk

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 1865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.

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