Exam Access Arrangements


We want the best for all our apprentices on the training programmes we offer as well as progression in your careers and develop professionally in your role. While you are on one of our programmes, we want to ensure that you always receive the support you need to achieve your apprenticeship and further qualifications.

All of the training programmes we offer include theoretical and practical assessments. So if you have formally documented SEND needs, we need to ensure that we apply for and are approved for special conditions to take these exams and assessments. This may involve extra time to read, the use of a personal reader to read the questions and many other options. This is important because otherwise it can make the difference between passing and failing.

Let's start at the beginning...


It is important that you understand what an Exam Access Arrangement (EAA) is. This is a set of support features that can be used during your exams to provide you with additional support during your exams. These include a reader, a scribe, extra time (25% or 50%) to name but a few. If you have received it in previous assessments or exams in a previous educational setting, you are entitled to it in all future assessments or exams.

Sometimes this process is not straightforward as it requires our Welfare Coordinator and Quality Manager to complete a number of documents and objectives to decide if you are entitled to these support features. This process can sometimes take up to 4 weeks and involves you completing an assessment to describe your support needs. We need to make sure that you provide us with all the information when you apply for an apprenticeship if you have received these support functions during your school education. If you do not declare your personal needs at the start of your apprenticeship, you may be denied the right support you are entitled to.

So if you have ever claimed exam access arrangements or if you would like to check whether you are entitled to them, please email support@calexuk.com  or speak to your trainer or coach.

Access arrangements are adjustments for apprentices prior to assessment based on evidence of need and normal working practises. Access arrangements fall into two categories:

– some arrangements are organised by the centres

– others require prior approval from the awarding body

An overview

Access arrangements allow apprentices with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to take the exam without altering the requirements of the exam. For example, readers, scribes. In this way, providers comply with the Equality Act 2010 duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.

The Equality Act 2010 requires providers to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled person would be put at a substantial disadvantage in the conduct of an examination.

A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be individual and may not be included in the list of available access arrangements.

How reasonable the adjustment is will depend on a number of factors, including the needs of the disabled trainee. An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves unreasonable costs or timescales or compromises the safety or integrity of the assessment.

Institutions are not obliged to make adjustments to the examination objectives being tested in an examination.

A special consideration is a subsequent adjustment to a candidate’s grade to take account of a temporary injury, illness or other indisposition at the time of the examination/assessment.

Reasonable adjustments allow apprentices with disabilities to have equal opportunities to other trainees who do not have additional needs or learning difficulties.

However, the access regulations must also correspond to the apprentice’s normal way of working. For example, an apprentice cannot expect to be given extra time on an exam if they always complete their work within the time allowed.

Some examples of access arrangements could be

– Additional time

– A reader

– A scribe

Learners who have already used access arrangements at school, college or university should notify the programme manager, development coach or trainer as soon as possible. Preferably this should be stated during the application process. This will not jeopardise participation in the programme, but it will help us to plan the training schedule as carefully as possible.

We understand that sometimes things are not as clear as you would wish and that trainees may find that they appear to have developed some learning issues which may affect their performance under exam conditions. If this is the case, apprentices and employers need to speak to the Welfare Coordinator, trainer or coach as soon as possible so that we can assess what support is required.

Once a referral has been received, the welfare coordinator will contact each learner to explain the process and what they need to do next to implement the access arrangements.

If you have any further questions about exam access arrangements or other additional learning support, please contact the support team at: support@calexuk.com

Calex training teams always strive to provide the best opportunities for apprentices to flourish and develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours. We may need to work beyond the elements listed above and are always looking for new ways to improve delivery. Specific support outside of these elements may be sourced locally to further support development.

Any SEND needs can be discussed by sending a message to our Welfare and Support Coordinator: support@calexuk.com