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Assessment Procedure - Adjustments to Assessment (incorporating Special Consideration)

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Section 1 - Background and 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’s academic progress is impacted by the outcomes of assessment.
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Section 2 - 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 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Assessment Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(5) Where any part if 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 timed 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 to accommodate students with a mental health condition, ongoing medical condition or disability (including physical, neurological, intellectual, sensory, acquired brain injury, or specific learning difficulty) that may impact upon their studies, in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and the Disability Standards for Education (2005).

(8) Ongoing modified assessment (special or alternative support) arrangements are established as part of a Learning Access Plan. Students seeking ongoing adjustments to assessment under this mechanism should contact the AccessAbility Hub.

Part C - Adjustments for Short-term Adverse Circumstances


(9) 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.

(10) 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 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. religious convictions;
  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.

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

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

(12) 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 Examinations: for students who are prevented by exceptional circumstances from sitting an examination on the scheduled date.

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

Short Extensions of Time

Requests for Short Extensions

(14) 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 of up to five working days. Applications for Short Extensions must be submitted at least three working days prior to the submission date using the form available on the La Trobe website.

(15) Where a student is impacted by more significant circumstances and requires an extension of more than five days, 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.

(16) 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

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

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

  1. 10 working days after the original submission date without an approved extension;
  2. five working days after any approved extension for that student (including those granted under any Learning Access Plan or Special Consideration application).

Requests for Review

(19) If the request for a Short Extension is denied, the student may request that the decision be reviewed by the Subject Coordinator. 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 working days of the student receiving notification of the decision.

Special Consideration


(20) 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.

(21) Students may submit an application with required evidence in appropriate circumstances prior to the scheduled date of the assessment task, or no later than five working days after the scheduled date, unless exceptional circumstances apply. 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 close family member. 

(22) Applications for Special Consideration will undergo preliminary screening by Student Administration Division to confirm students’ eligibility. Eligible applications are submitted to the relevant Subject Coordinator for a determination.

(23) 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.

Outcomes of Eligible Applications

(24) 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.

(25) Outcomes may take the form of one of the following:

  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 ); or
  8. no outcome as another accommodation has already been made.

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

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

(28) 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.

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

(30) 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.

(31) Honours 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.

(32) 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

(33) If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of their application for Special Consideration, they may seek a review 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 Special Consideration Application Form, within 10 working days of receiving the decision;
  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 Examination Arrangements

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

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

(36) When a student cannot sit a scheduled examination because of special and foreseeable circumstances, they may apply for an Alternative Examination Arrangement (AEA) using the online form. Such circumstances include if, at the scheduled time for the 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. has in place a Learning Access Plan that includes provision for alternative scheduling of examinations;
  7. will be undergoing a foreseeable medical event such as hospitalisation for surgery.

(37) Students who have an examination scheduled on a Saturday or non-University recognised public holidays may also apply for an AEA where they do not have access to their normal child-care arrangements.

(38) Applications for AEAs should normally be lodged a minimum of 10 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period.

Requests for Review

(39) When a student’s request for an AEA is declined due to ineligibility, and they wish to seek a review of this decision, they may appeal via written response to the decline email and must do so within five working days of receiving the decision. Requests for review must demonstrate how the decision was not based on the criteria as laid out in the AEA section of this Procedure.

(40) 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

(41) 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.

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

Supplementary Assessment for Failed Hurdle Tasks

(43) 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.

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

(45) 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).

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

(47) Additional assessment is undertaken no later than the end of the progression period or the teaching period in which the subject is undertaken. The assessment is finalised (results recorded in the Student Information System) no more than five working days following the week in which central special examinations conclude.

(48) 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 

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

(50) 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 subject in the current enrolment under the Academic Integrity Statute 2015.

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

(52) 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.

(53) 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 working 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

(54) A student wishing to seek a review of a decision in relation to a supplementary assessment should apply in writing to the Subject Coordinator, or if they were the original decision maker to the Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching.

Conceded Passes

(55) 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.

(56) 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 less than 60 credit points 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; or
  8. the student has not received a finding of academic misconduct within the current enrolment in the subject under the Academic Integrity Statute 2015.

(57) 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.

(58) 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.

(59) 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.

(60) Students who have received 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.

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Section 5 - Definitions

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

  1. Conceded Pass: a pass, represented by the grade NC, that may be awarded once where a student has less than 60 credit points remaining in their course, the grade for the subject falls between 47 and 50%, and other conditions are met.
  2. civil event: any formally recognised activity where a student’s attendance is required by any tier of government.
  3. cultural event: any formally recognised activity relating to a student’s ethnicity, language and/or customary beliefs.
  4. hurdle requirement: a condition that must be met by a student to be eligible to receive a passing grade in a subject.
  5. 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.
  6. teaching period: the period between the commencement and completion of teaching in a specific subject.
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Section 6 - Associated Documents

(62) Refer to:

  1. Guidelines and templates on the Assessment Policy intranet