Access arrangements

Access arrangements

The majority of test centres are fully accessible. If you need wheelchair access, please check with the skills test helpline before booking a test at your preferred centre.

Action On Hearing Loss offers a text relay service to assist you in contacting the candidate helpdesk. If you are unable to access this service, please contact the special arrangements advisers at the skills test helpline by email.

If you have a documented medical condition or disability that may affect your performance in the skills tests, you may be entitled to reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. All evidence submitted will be checked to ensure that you meet the requirements for the reasonable adjustment you request.

Examples of the most common access arrangements we provide are below. If you require further advice and guidance, please contact the learndirect helpline. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive, and adjustments will be considered if you suffer from any physical or mental impairment which may affect your performance in the tests. Every request for an adjustment will be considered on its own merits. Evidence will be required to support the request. A list of potential evidence sources are listed below.

Whilst some access arrangements can be requested via the on-line booking system, others require you to book by submitting an access arrangements request form. The table below sets out how to book. For all of the available arrangements, evidence of the disability/impairment and the effect it has on accessing written text or onscreen information will be required to receive the access arrangement.

While booking a test online you will be asked ‘Do you require any assistance with this assessment?’ Select ‘Yes’ and then choose from the options provided. If none of the options meets your needs, select ‘I have other needs that are not covered above’ to download the access arrangements request form.

Available special arrangements
Special arrangement Eligibility How to book (on-line or via the help line)
25% extra time. Candidates may be entitled to 25% extra time if you have a disability or sensory impairment that means it takes longer to access written text or onscreen information. 25% extra time may also be available for candidates with English as an additional language. Online booking system.
50% extra time. In rare cases where a candidate has a severe disability or sensory impairment and 25% additional time allowance is not sufficient, 50% additional time may be granted. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Non-audio test version (hearing impaired version of test). Spellings and mental arithmetic delivered on screen rather than through headphones. You may be entitled to a non-audio version of the test if you have a disability or sensory impairment that makes it difficult for you to access or process spoken questions. Online booking system.
Paper test (A4 and A3). Administered in a closed test session. You may be entitled to a paper test if you have a disability or sensory impairment that makes it difficult for you to access onscreen information.

The A4 and A3 versions are available for candidates who usually need to access tests or exams in an enlarged format.
Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Separate room. You may be entitled to take your test in a separate room if you have evidenced concentration or anxiety problems when in a busy environment or if you routinely use large or noisy equipment which you will need with you during the test. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Height adjustable desk. Height adjustable desks may be requested during the online booking process for candidates with physical disabilities, including candidates who use a wheelchair. Online booking system.
Reader. You may request that someone is provided to act as a reader for either on-screen or paper versions of the test if that is how you usually access tests and exams. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Scribe. You may be entitled to a scribe for the paper based version of the test if you have an impairment which means that you would find it difficult to write. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Rest breaks Rest breaks may be available for candidates who have evidenced concentration issues, or who may become physically or mentally tired or who have a medical condition requiring breaks to manage it. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Other equipment. You usually use your own equipment (for example, a coloured overlay to assist with dyslexia) you may be able to bring that with you. Please check any such request with the helpline before booking. This is to ensure that equipment is compatible with the test system and to ensure that the test centre receives sufficient notice of any requirements. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.
Alternative assessment. Alternative assessment arrangements may be made in exceptional circumstances, when all other possible access arrangements have been considered but are not appropriate. The alternative assessment application form must be completed and supporting evidence provided. Each alternative assessment is considered on a case by case basis. The form includes instructions on how to complete it and what evidence you must provide. Complete Access Arrangements form via the Online booking system.

Required forms of evidence

One relevant form of evidence is required which clearly indicates the medical condition or need of the individual and the special arrangement required for the candidate to access the skills test.

Evidence must be shown at the centre on the day of the test to prove eligibility for the extra time. Failure to provide such evidence will result in the test being cancelled.

Examples of acceptable forms of evidence include:

• special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) report
• educational psychologist report
• GP letter
• optician report
• medical specialist letter or report
• other evidence from a qualified medical practitioner
• evidence of previous access arrangements for public examinations from a recognised awarding body
• education, health and care plan
• special educational needs assessment
• higher education (HE) assessment.

If you require further advice and guidance prior to submission of evidence please contact the skills test helpline.