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Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University acknowledges the right of students to seek consideration for the impact of allowable adverse circumstances that may affect their performance in assessment item(s), including formal examinations, their ability to attend compulsory classes, or a scheduled placement.

(2) This policy must be read in conjunction with the Course Management and Assessment Manual, the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure, the Supporting Students with Disability Policy the Student Professional Experience Policy and the Academic Appeals Policy.

(3) In the event of any inconsistency between this policy and its supporting procedure and any University Rule, the Rule made by the Council prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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Section 2 - Policy Scope

(4) This policy applies to all coursework students of the University, all modes of study, locations and types of assessment items, with the exception of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program or the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine, who should refer to the Joint Medical Program Manual.

(5) Students whose ongoing circumstances which may adversely affect their performance should seek advice from their Course Coordinator, Program Convenor and support services such as the AccessAbility, the University Health Service or the Pathways and Academic Learning Support Centre. Students who experience ongoing chronic issues should seek a Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP).

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Section 3 - Policy Intent

(6) This Policy is intended to support students who have experienced adverse circumstances, which were unforeseen and which may affect their academic performance in assessment item(s).

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Section 4 - Policy Provisions/Principles

Lodgement of Applications

(7) Students may submit an application for adverse circumstances affecting assessment items via the online Adverse Circumstances system. The University reserves the right to determine if an adverse circumstances application should be considered and any subsequent actions to be taken.


(8) Each application will be assessed on its merits and a previous application will not prejudice a subsequent application.

(9) The University may audit the number of applications made by a student and the courses affected. Students who submit a concerning number of applications may be referred to AccessAbility or the Counselling Service for assistance.

(10) The University reserves the right to determine the deadline for submission of an Adverse Circumstances application

Storage of Information

(11) All information provided as part of the adverse circumstances policy or its procedure will be kept in confidence in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 No 133 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 No 71.


(12) The possible outcomes of an application for adverse circumstances affecting an assessment item are:

  1. an extension of time to submit is granted;
  2. permission to undertake an examination during the Rescheduled Examination Period;
  3. provision of an alternative assessment; 
  4. rejection of application; or
  5. reschedule of a placement (including Work Integrated Learning Session (WIL)).

Demonstration of Adverse Circumstances

(13) Students who submit an application for adverse circumstances affecting assessment items must be able to demonstrate that one or more of the adverse circumstances listed below may adversely impact their academic performance within the current term or the examination period:

  1. health grounds;
  2. compassionate grounds;
  3. hardship;
  4. trauma;
  5. cultural days or Sorry Business; or
  6. unavoidable commitments.

Approval of Adverse Circumstances Applications

(14) Course Co-ordinators or designated University staff are responsible for approval of applications in accordance with the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure.

Supporting Documentation

(15) All documentation provided must be in English or accompanied by an English translation provided by an agency accepted by the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW and ACT) Pty Ltd (UAC).

(16) Allowable documents are detailed in the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure.

(17) Students who submit an application for adverse circumstances are responsible for:

  1. ensuring the authenticity of any supporting documentation that they provide to the University; and
  2. the retention of any supporting documentation for a period of six months after completion of the relevant term. This documentation must be produced by a student when requested to do so by the University.

(18) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students may be exempt from providing supporting documentation, on cultural or compassionate grounds. In such circumstances, a nominee of the Head of Wollotuka Institute is authorised to verify the authenticity of the application.

(19) The University may take steps to verify the authenticity of any documentation provided with an application. This may include seeking further information from persons named in an application or in supporting documentation.

(20) Supply of false information, false or falsified documentation by a student to the University will result in the rejection of the adverse circumstances application and/or the cancellation of the adverse circumstances approval authorisation. This may result in disciplinary action under the Student Conduct Rule.


(21) Students may appeal the outcome of the adverse circumstances application within three working days of the outcome being determined.

(22) The appeal should be made in accordance with the Academic Appeals Policy and the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure (Clause 66-68).

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Section 5 - Relaxing Provision

(23) To provide for exceptional circumstances arising in any particular case, the President of Academic Senate may relax any provisions of this policy.

(24) Where students have been impacted by a government (state or Federal) declared natural disaster or other national or international crisis, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President may waive the requirement for the submission of adverse circumstances applications and associated documentation and may direct Student Central, Schools, Colleges or other areas of the University to put in place arrangements to support impacted students.