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Assessment Procedure - Adjustments (including Special Consideration)

This Procedure is applicable to all subjects that commence on or after Semester 1, 2024.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Academic – Academic Board
Accountable Executive – Policy Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible Manager – Policy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)
Review Date 22 April 2027
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Section 2 - Purpose

(1) The University allows adjustments to assessment arrangements, marks, and grades in the following circumstances:

  1. continuing modified arrangements for students with ongoing conditions that impact on their studies;
  2. adjustments that are requested by a student when their performance in assessment tasks will be or has been impacted by short-term adverse circumstances;
  3. adjustments that are initiated by the University in defined circumstances when a student is identified as academically at risk or where their academic progress is impacted by the outcomes of assessment.
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Section 3 - Scope

(2) Refer to the Assessment Policy.

(3) Provisions for adjustments to marks as an outcome of a student request for a review are outlined in the Assessment Procedure - Validation and Moderation.

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Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key Decisions  Role
Granting of short extensions and application of late penalties  Relevant assessor
Review of extension decision Subject Coordinator
Eligibility for Special Consideration  Academic Services
Review of Special Consideration eligibility decision Deputy Director, Student Administration
Outcome of eligible applications for Special Consideration Subject Coordinator 
Review of Special Consideration Outcome  Course Coordinator or ADLT
Granting of an Alternative Assessment Schedule (AAS) Academic Services
Review of an AAS decision Deputy Director, Student Administration
Eligibility for a Conceded Pass Subject Coordinator 
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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) This procedure forms part of the Assessment Policy suite which governs its application.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(5) Where any part of this Procedure is applied to centrally managed courses and subjects the functions specified are to be performed by an equivalent senior academic staff member.

Part A - Submission of Assessments

(6) Assessment tasks must be submitted by 11.59 pm on the due date (or 12.00am where systems do not allow 11.59pm). Exceptions to this include performative and point-in-time assessments (such as presentations, practical classes, and examinations), where students are required to submit materials during or at the conclusion of an event.

Part B - Ongoing Adjustments

(7) The University provides modified assessment arrangements, known as Reasonable Adjustments, to accommodate students with neurodiversity, an ongoing medical or mental health condition, or a disability that may impact upon their studies, in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Disability Standards for Education (2005).  This support extends to students who are primary carers with an ongoing condition or who are frail and aged.

(8) Ongoing Reasonable Adjustments to assessment conditions are established as part of a Learning Access Plan (LAP). Students seeking ongoing adjustments to assessment conditions under this mechanism should contact AccessAbility and Inclusion.

(9) Where students with a LAP require any of the adjustments outlined in this Procedure, they should apply through the processes outlined in this Procedure but may be permitted more time in which to apply and more flexibility may be granted for the adjustment.

(10) Where specific adjustments are noted in a student’s LAP, the Plan may be used as the evidence for the requested adjustment. Where further evidence is required, this will be stated in the evidence requirements on the relevant webpages and forms.

Part C - Adjustments for Short-Term Adverse Circumstances


(11) Students may apply for a range of adjustments to assessment for events that:

  1. are of short-term impact;
  2. are outside their control;
  3. have had or will have a significant impact on their ability to complete an assessment task.

(12) Situations which may lead to a need to apply for an adjustment may include:

  1. medical, mental health, or compassionate grounds, such as:
    1. giving or having just given birth;
    2. psychological issues;
    3. surgery or hospitalisation;
    4. illness of the student or a close family member;
    5. death or funeral of a close family member;
  2. military service;
  3. the student being selected to participate in a state, national or international sporting, artistic, cultural, academic, religious or civil event;
  4. other cultural or religious commitments;
  5. emergency services duty or jury service;
  6. other unavoidable commitments on the day of an assessment event such as unavoidable and unexpected employment commitments.

(13) Where predictive risk analytics indicate that individual students may be academically at risk academic staff and student advisors may also recommend that students apply for adjustments to assessment at the same time as referring them to appropriate support services.

(14) Adjustments are not considered for circumstances such as:

  1. normal employment commitments;
  2. personal travel or social plans such as weddings.

(15) The options for adjustment to assessment in eligible circumstances include:

  1. Short Extension of Time: for submission of assessable work for circumstances known in advance;
  2. Special Consideration: a range of potential adjustments for acute, significant, and unexpected circumstances;
  3. Alternative Assessment Schedule: for students who are prevented by exceptional circumstances from undertaking an examination or assessment on the scheduled date during the Final Assessment Period.

(16) Applications for adjustments must be accompanied by official verifiable documentation as outlined on the relevant application form.

Short Extensions of Time

(17) Extensions of time to a new date are normally not allowable for performative or point-in-time assessments, such as timed tests, observed practice or live presentations. Where students are prevented from undertaking such an assessment at or within the designated time by circumstances outside their control, they should first discuss their options with their Subject Coordinator. Where a resolution cannot be found students should consider whether a request for Special Consideration may be appropriate.

Requests for Short Extensions

(18) Students may be affected by a range of adverse circumstances during the preparation of an assessment task. Where students know in advance that these circumstances will impact their ability to submit the task by the due date, they may apply to the relevant assessor for an extension as follows:

  1. all students may apply for up to five business days
  2. students with a LAP that includes further extensions as a Reasonable Adjustment may apply for up to 10 business days.

(19) Applications for Short Extensions must be submitted at least three business days prior to the submission date using the form available on the La Trobe website.  Students with a LAP whose condition prevents them from applying in time may apply up to the due date.

(20) Where a student is impacted by more significant circumstances and requires an extension of more than five or ten days, as appropriate, or where a student cannot apply for a Short Extension within the designated timeframe, they should consider whether their circumstances warrant an application for Special Consideration.  All requests for any further extension after the respective limits outlined above have been reached must be applied for via an application for Special Consideration.

(21) The relevant assessor will notify the student as soon as possible whether the Short Extension has been granted. Students awaiting the outcome of an application are advised to submit the work to the assessor as soon as they can, to minimise deduction of marks if the short extension is not granted.

Overdue Submissions

(22) The standard penalty for late submission without or beyond an approved Short Extension will be 5% of the total possible mark per business day.

(23) Work will not be assessed if submission is overdue by more than:

  1. five business days after the original submission date without an approved extension;
  2. five business days after any approved extension for that student (including those granted under any Learning Access Plan or Special Consideration application).

Requests for Review

(24) A student may request that a decision in relation to a Short Extension be reviewed by the Subject Coordinator where they believe this Procedure has not been correctly applied. Where the Subject Coordinator is the relevant teacher, the request for review should be made to the Course Coordinator or, in the case of elective subjects, the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching. Such a request for review must be made within three business days of the student receiving notification of the decision.

Special Consideration

Grounds for Special Consideration

(25) Students may apply for Special Consideration when they experience unforeseen circumstances of a more serious and acute nature that will or have impacted the execution of an assessment task. In such circumstances a student may need an extension of longer than five days to complete an assessment task, or, where the task has already been completed, may request Special Consideration to ensure that the assessment of the task takes account of these circumstances.

(26) Students with a LAP may apply for Special Consideration where they believe their circumstances warrant an adjustment not provided for in their LAP, for example for an exacerbation of the condition for which their LAP was developed, or when they experience unrelated circumstances of an acute nature.

(27) The responsibilities and workload associated with holding the office of president of a Recognised Student Organisation are recognised as grounds for obtaining Special Consideration.


(28) Students may submit an application with required evidence in appropriate circumstances any time prior to the scheduled date of the assessment task, or no later than five business days after the scheduled date, unless exceptional circumstances apply or they have a LAP. Exceptional circumstances must have occurred during the period in which an application would normally be made, be accompanied by evidence, and are limited to:

  1. medical incapacitation or hospitalisation;
  2. an emergency event, such as an accident;
  3. death of a significant other or close family member. 

(29) Applications for Special Consideration will undergo preliminary screening by Student Administration to confirm students’ eligibility. Eligible applications are submitted to the relevant Subject Coordinator for a determination normally within five business days of receipt by Student Administration.

(30) The determination of eligibility for Special Consideration, and the requirements for associated evidence, will take into account cultural context where appropriate, such as recognition of activities associated with Sorry Business for Indigenous students.

Additional Special Consideration for the Same Task

(31) Additional Special Consideration may only be granted for the same assessment task one further time, and only where extraordinary circumstances have made it impossible for the student to complete their assessment task. In these circumstances a student needs to provide:

  1. evidence of total incapacitation or hospitalisation at the time a special assessment task was scheduled, or
  2. an additional Medical Impact Statement verifying there has been no improvement in their condition or the severity of their original circumstances. Any additional Medical Impact Statement must be signed and dated by the student to give permission for the University to contact the health professional for verification of the severity of the circumstances.

(32) Applications for additional Special Consideration for the same task are assessed by the Deputy Director, Student Administration or nominee, in consultation with AccessAbility and Inclusion as required.

Outcomes of Eligible Applications

(33) The Subject Coordinator will consider the following in determining an outcome for an eligible application:

  1. the level of impact of the circumstances on the student’s ability to complete or perform the assessment task;
  2. the degree of concurrence between the timing of the adverse circumstance and the timing of the assessment task;
  3. what the most appropriate outcome is for the individual student given the circumstances; 
  4. what outcomes the University can feasibly and reasonably provide.

(34) Outcomes should normally be provided by the Subject Coordinator or relevant staff member within five business days of receiving the application from Student Administration. The possible outcomes of a successful application are as follows:

  1. extension of an assessment task due date;
  2. removal of a late penalty;
  3. substitute, internal assessment task (organised by the Subject Coordinator);
  4. resubmission of the original assessment task;
  5. exemption whereby the affected assessment component will be waived and other components of assessment in the subject will be re-weighted;
  6. a one-off arrangement in the case of a workplace-based subject and/or a clinical or teaching practicum (i.e., a subject taught in conjunction with a third party);
  7. a special examination (SPE) scheduled within the next special examination period or at another appropriate time (organised by Student Administration )

(35) If the outcome of an application for Special Consideration is to sit a special examination in the next scheduled special examination period after an initial attempt of the examination was made, the results of the first examination will not be taken into consideration.

(36) If the application for Special Consideration for an incomplete examination is declined, the original exam paper will be assessed as usual.

(37) When a Special Consideration outcome is granted, the Subject Coordinator is responsible for applying the appropriate Administrative Code on the student’s record in the Student Information System in accordance with the Assessment Schedule - Grades and Administrative Codes.

(38) No mark or final grade will be released until any required resubmission or substitute assessment has been completed.

(39) The results of any assessment task awarded under this section should normally be finalised no more than three weeks after completion of the assessment task.

(40) Honours and Masters coursework students who are granted an extension of time for submission of their thesis as an outcome of a Special Consideration application must be made aware of the potential delay to the examination of their thesis.

(41) If an application for Special Consideration is rejected, the student will be notified of the reason for the decision and, where appropriate, any other options available in their circumstances. 

Requests for Review

(42) If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of their application for Special Consideration, and they have grounds to believe that this Procedure has not been correctly applied, they may seek a review within five business days of receiving the decision, as follows:

  1. if the decision is in relation to their eligibility for Special Consideration, they may apply for a review by the Deputy Director, Academic Services or nominee, via the Submit a Review Form
  2. if the decision is in relation to the determination of their case by the relevant Subject Coordinator, they may seek a review from the Course Coordinator or Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching.

Alternative Assessment Scheduling

(43) Students are expected to make arrangements to undertake scheduled examinations or assessments at the designated time regardless of their normal commitments, including but not limited to normal work and carer duties, and personal travel or social arrangements.

(44) This section describes processes for students to follow when they have an unavoidable commitment that prevents them from participating in an assessment or examination to be held during the Final Assessment Period held following each teaching period.

(45) Students who require an alternative time or date for any tests or other point-in-time scheduled assessment event to be held during a teaching period should in the first instance discuss options available to them with their Subject Coordinator. If no alternative options are available, they should consider whether their circumstances warrant an application for Special Consideration.

(46) When a student cannot sit a scheduled examination or assessment in the Final Assessment Period because of special and foreseeable circumstances, they may apply for an Alternative Assessment Schedule (AAS) using the online form. Such circumstances include if, at the scheduled time of the assessment or examination, a student:

  1. will be on armed services duty, on a jury or appearing in court, on duty as an emergency services employee or an emergency services volunteer;
  2. will be observing a holy day or religious event;
  3. is scheduled to sit an examination at another institution at the same time on the same date where La Trobe University is not their primary institution;
  4. will be participating in a state, national or international sporting, artistic, cultural, academic or civil event;
  5. is scheduled to sit an official VCAA examination as part of their VCE studies on the same date;
  6. will be participating in a placement as part of their La Trobe course.

(47) Students who have an examination or assessment scheduled on a Saturday in the Final Assessment Period may also apply for an AAS where they do not have access to their normal child-care arrangements.

(48) Applications for AASs should normally be lodged as follows:

  1. students enrolled in term-based subjects should apply no later than five business days prior to the commencement of the Final Assessment Period.
  2. students enrolled in semester-based subjects should apply no later than a minimum of 10 business days prior to the commencement of the Final Assessment Period.

(49) When any student (including a student with a LAP) is unable to attend a scheduled examination or assessment due to an acute medical or unavoidable, unforeseen life event they should apply for Special Consideration.

Students with a Learning Access Plan (LAP)

(50) Students with a LAP may already have Reasonable Adjustments in place for assessment or examinations held during the Final Assessment Period. These students may still apply for an AAS where any of the above clashes apply.

Requests for Review

(51) A student may seek a review of a decision in relation to an application for an AAS where they believe they have grounds that this Procedure has not been correctly applied. The application for review must be submitted via written response to the decline email within three business days of receiving the decision.

(52) Requests for review will be assessed by the Deputy Director, Academic Services or a nominee who is independent of the original decision.

Part D - Adjustments for Academic Progress

(53) This part outlines the adjustments to assessment arrangements and grades that may be made within specific parameters when a student’s academic progress is at risk due to their performance in certain tasks or subjects.

(54) This part does not apply to thesis subjects.

Supplementary Assessment 

Supplementary Assessment for Failed Hurdle Tasks

(55) A student who has obtained a grade of 50% or greater for a subject but has failed a compulsory (hurdle) requirement for that subject may be granted a Supplementary Assessment.

(56) In these circumstances a temporary Administrative Code will be applied pending the outcome of the supplementary assessment.

(57) If it is impractical for the student to undertake an additional assessment task, such as when the failed hurdle is for a workplace-based assessment, the student is given an ungraded fail (F).

(58) Eligible students are given a minimum of one week’s notice of the additional assessment opportunity.

(59) Additional assessment is normally undertaken no later than the end of the progression period or the teaching period in which the subject is undertaken unless the hurdle is a point-in-time task that cannot be held within this timeframe. The majority of tasks are finalised (results recorded in the Student Information System) no more than five business days following the week in which central special examinations conclude.

(60) The final grade for the subject shall not increase as a result of a student passing a second attempt at a hurdle assessment.

Supplementary Assessment for Failed Final Subjects 

(61) Assessments that are predominantly workplace-based and those unable to be replicated via supplementary activities are not eligible for Supplementary Assessment.

(62) In all other cases where a student has failed a subject that is the final subject to complete for the course, an additional assessment to allow the student a second opportunity to pass the subject will be offered, where they:

  1. have completed all the assessment tasks required for the failed subject;
  2. do not qualify for a Conceded Pass in the failed subject; and
  3. have not received a finding of academic misconduct within the current enrolment in this subject under the Academic Integrity Statute 2015.

(63) A temporary Administrative Code will be applied to the subject pending the outcome of the supplementary assessment.

(64) If a student passes the additional assessment awarded under this section, the final grade for the subject will be 50D; if the student fails the further assessment, the original Fail result will stand.

(65) Arrangements for additional assessment will be managed by the student’s School of enrolment. The timing, terms and conditions of the assessment must be communicated clearly to the student at least five business days before the assessment task (if the assessment is an event, such as an examination or test). If the assessment requires an output such as an essay, reasonable time must be allowed for completion of the task.

Requests for Review

(66) A student may seek a review of a decision in relation to a supplementary assessment where they believe they have grounds that this Procedure has not been correctly applied. Students should apply in writing within five business days of the decision to the Subject Coordinator, or if they were the original decision maker, to the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching.

Conceded Passes

(67) This section sets out the circumstances under which the University may make an adjustment to a student’s grade for a subject to a Conceded Pass, and the process for doing so.

(68) A Conceded Pass (NC) may be granted for a single coursework subject of 15 or fewer credit points when the following conditions are met:

  1. the student has 60 credit points or less remaining to complete in their course;
  2. the grade obtained in the subject is at least 47% but less than 50%;
  3. the student has submitted all assessment tasks for the subject;
  4. the subject is not required for professional accreditation; 
  5. the student is not required to demonstrate professional or clinical competence as part of their assessment requirements;
  6. the subject is not a thesis subject;
  7. the student has not failed a hurdle requirement; and
  8. the student has not received a finding of academic misconduct within the current enrolment in the subject under the Academic Integrity Statute 2015.

(69) Where a course is of 60 points duration students may be awarded a Conceded Pass for any eligible subject where all other conditions have been met.

(70) Subject Coordinators will be asked to confirm that all conditions for the award of a Conceded Pass have been met before the grade is applied by Student Administration.

(71) All conceded passes are terminal and may not be used to satisfy course prerequisites (for example for a subsequent honours year) or requirements for professional accreditation.

(72) Students who are granted a Conceded Pass for a subject may not request a review of any other assessment within the subject but may choose to decline the Conceded Pass and re-enrol in the subject.

(73) Where a student has been granted a Conceded Pass for any subject within the last 60 credit points of their course, they become ineligible for any further Conceded Passes.

Part E - Requests for Further Review

(74) Students who are dissatisfied with the review of any decision made under this Procedure may seek a further review from the Office of the University Ombudsman under the terms of the Ombudsman Statute 2009.

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Section 7 - Definitions

(75) For the purposes of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. adjustments: modified arrangements for the completion and/or grading of a piece of assessment in specified circumstances.
  2. business day: a day upon which the University is open for business between Monday and Friday.
  3. Conceded Pass: a pass, represented by the grade NC, that may be awarded once where a student has 60 credit points or less remaining in their course, the grade for the subject falls between 47 and 50%, and other conditions outlined in this Procedure are met.
  4. civil event: any formally recognised activity where a student’s attendance is required by any tier of government.
  5. cultural commitment: any formally recognised activity relating to a student’s ethnicity, language and/or culture.
  6. Final Assessment Period: the designated period, normally following a teaching period and SWOTVAC, where final assessments and/or examinations are held. The schedules for FAPs are published in advance by Student Administration.
  7. hurdle requirement: a condition that must be met by a student to be eligible to receive a passing grade in a subject.
  8. point-in-time assessment task: an assessment task that is only held at a designated time, for example online tests held at a specific time, live presentations, performances etc.
  9. progression period: the period of study at the end of which a student’s academic progress is formally assessed. A progression period may include more than one teaching period. Each subject enrolment will be assigned to a specific progression period according to the last day of the teaching period in which the subject is offered.
  10. religious commitment: any formally recognised activity relating to a student’s religion or customary beliefs.
  11. teaching period: the period between the commencement and completion of teaching in a specific subject.
  12. University holiday: those days listed as University holidays under clause 41 of the Enterprise Agreement 2023.
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Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(76) This Procedure is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(77) Associated information includes:

  1. Elite Athlete Support Policy
  2. Guidelines and templates on the Assessment Policy intranet