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Blue Ocean Academy – CIPS Policies

  1. Reasonable Adjustments Policy

Blue Ocean Management Training & Consultancies recognises that some candidates require alternative arrangements for their examinations and training. This may be the result of a disability, medical condition or for religious reasons. The majority of the document focuses on reasonable adjustments for candidates who have disabilities, but it also covers candidates who may require adjustments based on religious grounds or candidates whose first language is not English. It is recognised that our overseas partners may have other legal obligations in their particular country to ensure that there is no discrimination so it is expected that they will follow the applicable legislative and regulatory requirements in terms of disability. Examinations should be a fair test of an individual’s knowledge and what they are able to do. If someone has a disability or learning difficulty, the usual format of the examinations may not be suitable. Adjustments may need to be made for them. They allow an individual to show their ability and knowledge without being disadvantaged by the assessment format itself. This document provides information on who may be entitled to extra time and how to request it.
 

  1. Reasonable Adjustments Policy Statement

We seek to provide equal access to examinations for all candidates, ensuring that there are no unnecessary barriers and that any reasonable adjustments for candidates preserve the validity, reliability and integrity of the qualification. We will endeavour to accommodate the needs of candidates with a particular examination requirement, according to individual circumstances, ensuring such candidates are not disadvantaged in relation to other candidates and that certificates accurately reflect candidate attainment. We will give every consideration to requested extra time, ensuring that there are no unnecessary barriers to the examination and candidate attainment. However, all requests will be considered on the information received. Requests for extra time which do not meet the Reasonable Adjustments Policy will be declined.

  1. Who is entitled to Reasonable Adjustments?

The following individuals will be considered for reasonable adjustments:

  • a permanent physical impairment, e.g. cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis

behavioral, emotional, social needs, e.g. chronic depression, autism

  • a sensory impairment, e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment
  • specific cognitive difficulties, e.g. dyslexia, memory loss
  • motor difficulties, e.g. hand / eye co-ordination, difficulty moving hands / arms

 

  1. What Reasonable Adjustments are considered acceptable?

 
Applications for reasonable adjustments will be individually considered and decisions may vary according to the exact nature of your everyday needs and usual method of working. The reasonable adjustments offered by Blue Ocean Management Training & Consultancies may include:

  • Allocation of extra time
  • Bilingual paper dictionary whose purpose is translation between the examination language and another national language (not allowed for on-line examinations)
  • Large Print
  • Alternative fonts – you can request a font of your choice to suit your particular needs
  • Coloured Paper / you can request blue, green yellow or pink to suit your particular needs
  • Support of a personal assistant
  • Rest / Time Breaks
  • Support of a Sign Language interpreter
  • Support of a scribe / amanuensis
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Support of a reader
  • Use of appropriate examination locations
  • Re-sits, in the case of temporary illness / injury

 

  1. How much extra time is allowed?

Extra time will be permitted, as appropriate to you, in line with this document ensuring you are not disadvantaged in relation to other candidates. The standard time extension for our examinations is 25% if you have a disability or are not able to take the exam in your official or native language. You cannot request any more than 25% extra time due to your language. Up to 100% extra time can be provided due to a disability dependent on your particular needs if this is requested by an appropriate professional. All requests for extra time will be considered based on the information supplied; however; in consideration of the amount of extra time requested we must ensure that:

  • The credibility of the qualification is maintained
  • The validity, reliability and integrity of the examination is preserved
  • You are not given, or do not appear to be given an unfair advantage.

 

  1. What assistance may I be entitled to?

6.1 Support of a Personal Assistant
You can request the support of a personal assistant if you need someone to help with personal care / assistance during the examination. This help will be designed to maintain the effectiveness of the examination. Personal assistants cannot give factual help or offer any suggestions or advice which could be seen as giving you an unfair advantage.
6.2 Rest Breaks
You can request a rest breaks if you suffer from fatigue, physical or mental disabilities or for religious obligations. The rest break will be part of your extra time request and you can take it any time during the examination. Women who are pregnant are also allowed to use the toilet although no extra time is awarded for pregnant women. It is important that you do not discuss the examination with any third party during any break period.
6.3 Support of a Sign Language Interpreter
You can request a sign language interpreter if you are hard of hearing to undertake the role of conversing with others on your behalf. The interpreter can say a phrase or particular word as well as re-phrasing using sign language or by writing it down for you. They must not give factual help, offer any suggestions or advice which could be seen as giving you an unfair advantage. We would normally expect the candidate to source the interpreter although if this is not possible, Blue Ocean will make reasonable efforts to locate a suitable person.
6.4 Support of a scribe / amanuensis
You can request a scribe if you have limitations with writing down the answers such as a physical or visual impairment or a specific learning difficulty. The scribe’s role will be someone who will write down your dictated answers to the questions. They must write down the answers exactly as they are dictated. They must not give factual help nor offer any suggestions or advice which could be seen as giving you an unfair advantage.
6.5 Use of laptop and adaptive technology (also known as assistive or access technology)
You can request to use adaptive, assistive or access technology which enables you to access computer systems if you have particular needs. Where possible, we would expect you to use your own laptop and software. You will only be able to have access to the relevant programme or programmes and all equipment will be checked by the invigilator prior to the start of the examination. If you cannot use your own equipment Blue Ocean will make reasonable efforts to source the same or similar equipment. If Blue Ocean is unable to source suitable equipment, then we will advise you accordingly and you will be responsible for either sourcing suitable equipment or using what can be made available to us by Blue Ocean.
The list below is indicative of the most common assistive technologies available, but should be used as a guideline only.
Hardware

  • Alternative keyboards and mice including: Braille labelled keyboards or home-row key indicators; Joysticks / trackerballs / mouse keys on the keyboard; Mouth Stick
  • Braille Display
  • Switches (alternative input to keyboard and mouse, used by candidates with physical disabilities)
  • Large monitors
  • Headphones and volume adjustment for use with voice output/input software packages
  • Software
  • Operating System Accessibility features such as sticky keys, filter keys, mouse speed adjustments
  • Screen magnification software e.g. Dragon Software
  • Screen reading software (supporting both users with visual impairment and dyslexic users) e.g. browsealoud.com, JAWS software or NVDA
  • Input devices – eye/head operated pointing devices or on-screen keyboards

 
6.6 Support of a Reader
You can request a reader if you have a visual impairment or specific learning difficulties which would benefit from the support of a reader. They will be able to read all or any part of the examination or your answers to you. They can only read the exact wording and must not give meanings of words, rephrase or interpret anything. They should only repeat instructions and questions on the paper when specifically requested to do so by you. They cannot advise you which questions to do, when to move on to the next question, or the order in which the questions should be answered.
6.7 Use of alternative examination locations
You can request the use of alternative premises to take the examination if this benefits you due to a physical disability.
6.8 Alternative format of examination papers
You can request changes to the font and/or font colour within reason for paper based examinations. We can offer also offer different coloured paper; blue, green, yellow or pink for dyslexic candidates. Please note that these options are not available for candidates taking on-line examinations.
6.9 Temporary Illness / Injury
Although a temporary illness or injury or indisposition would not be covered, we may still be able to accommodate candidates affected in such a way. You need to complete the Reasonable Adjustments Form and provide supporting evidence of the circumstances and we will try to accommodate your request.
6.10 Pregnancy
You are entitled to go to the toilet if you are pregnant but you are not entitled to extra time unless there are other medical conditions that would allow you to request extra time.
6.11 Candidates taking an examination not in your official or native language
If the examination is taken in a language that is not your native / official language, then you are entitled to use your own paper dictionary (whose purpose is translation between the examination language and another national language) during the examination. If you are sitting an on-line examination, then you must complete and return the Extra Time Request form at least 3 working days before the examination. This is because we have to communicate with a third party to allow you the extra time. Extra time will not be allowed on the day if you have not requested this with Blue Ocean prior to the examination date and within the 3 working days.
6.12 Stammer / Stutter (Oral Examinations Only)
You can request extra time for an oral examination if you have a stammer or stutter (not for a written examination). We will also try to allocate you the final interview slot of the day so that there are fewer time restrictions on you and the interviewers. Please let us know as early as possible so that the best time slot can be allocated to you. In exceptional circumstances, we may consider written responses to the interviewer questions.
6.13 Religious Obligations
You can request a break or different time to start the examination if you need to do so for religious reasons. We will require a written request for this and the contact details for the appropriate religious authority (e.g. imam, minister, rabbi or priest).
6.14 Other Reasonable Adjustments
The reasonable adjustment arrangements listed here are not intended to be comprehensive. Other reasonable adjustments will be considered in line with our Reasonable Adjustments Policy.
 

  1. How do I apply for extra time because of my language?

8.1 Candidates taking Examination
You should advise your centre that you require extra time and they will apply on your behalf. This request must be received by BlueOcean as least 3 working days before your examination date. Blue Ocean cannot accept requests on the day of the examination.
8.2 Candidates taking a Public Examination
You should advise Blue Ocean at least 3 working days before the examination day that you require extra time. Blue Ocean cannot accept requests on the day of the examination. You should complete the Extra Time Request form and return it to Blue Ocean at least 3 working days before your examination date.
8.3 Candidates taking an on-line examination
You should complete the Extra Time Request form and return it to Blue Ocean at least 3 working days before your examination date.

  1. What Documentary Evidence is required?
Disability Apply before the exam Documentary Evidence
Visually Impaired Candidate 50% Extra Time as well as assistive technology / scribe Appropriate professional providing a written, dated and signed statement OR Certificate of Registration as blind or partially sighted
Hearing Impaired Candidate 25% Extra Time as well as an Interpreter Appropriate professional providing a written, dated and signed statement
Dyslexic Candidate 25% Extra Time as well as changes to the exam paper – such as background colour and font size Appropriate professional providing a written, dated and signed statement OR Report from a Learning Support professional or educational psychologist
Other Medical Conditions Up to 25% Extra Time as well as assistive technology / scribe Appropriate professional providing a written, dated and signed statement