Special consideration

You may be eligible for special consideration if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from undertaking or completing an assessment task at the scheduled time.

Special consideration will be granted on the basis of your eligibility and approval. If granted, special consideration will give you an opportunity either:

  • to undertake an assessment task at another time or
  • to take additional time to complete the assessment task.

Special consideration is intended to assist you in dealing with unexpected, short-term setbacks.

Long term difficulties

If longer term conditions or circumstances are affecting your assessment performance, we have a number of specialist services to help you. These include services relating to health and wellbeing and financial assistance and Disability Services who will assist with identifying and implementing appropriate adjustments for students with ongoing medical conditions or disabilities.

We recommend you connect with these services if you are experiencing problems at University. Their support may also reduce your need to apply for special consideration.

If you have ongoing difficulties you may still be eligible for special consideration, if you can demonstrate that your difficulties have suddenly worsened or that an additional issue has arisen.  Note that additional special consideration can only be granted for the same task once and where extraordinary circumstances (such as hospitalisation) prevent you from attempting your first special assessment task or exam.  See additional special consideration below.

Eligibility for special consideration

Requests for special consideration can only be made where the circumstances are unexpected and unavoidable.

Supporting documentation

Supporting documentation (Letters, Statutory Declarations and Medical Certificates) must:

  • be on official letterhead (where applicable), signed and dated
  • indicate whether the situation was unexpected and unavoidable, e.g. out of your control
  • summarise the nature and duration of the condition/circumstances
  • clearly state the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (applications may not be approved without this)
  • where applicable use an appropriate template, e.g. a Statutory Declaration (PDF, 15.2KB).

For medical conditions a Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form (PDF, 227.2KB) is preferred but is not mandatory if you have provided a medical certificate from your treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

Contact a Student Adviser (see below), or make an appointment to see a Deakin University Student Association Advocate, if you need advice about the other types of supporting documentation you can provide.

Allowable grounds with acceptable and unacceptable reasons

Medical condition

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
Based on severity/impact:
  • conditions requiring hospital treatment, e.g. surgery
  • general ailments, e.g. severe asthma attack, flu, broken limb, migraine
  • newly diagnosed or disclosed* mental health issues, e.g. severe anxiety or depression
  • exacerbation of ongoing condition, e.g. cancer.
*newly disclosed means you have not yet disclosed your condition to Deakin (by registering with the Disability Resource Centre) and have therefore not had appropriate adjustments made for your condition via an access plan

Medical certificate

A Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form, or a medical certificate from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (completion of the Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form is preferred but not mandatory).

Consultations must be face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area, or where exceptional circumstances prevent it.

Support service statement

Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Minor ailments where the impact is not considered severe by the treating medical/health professional (or the supplied evidence does not include the severity/impact, is backdated or was not conducted face-to-face):
  • colds
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • hay fever.
Pregnancy (no complications).

Examples of acceptable reasons

Based on severity/impact:

  • conditions requiring hospital treatment, e.g. surgery
  • general ailments, e.g. severe asthma attack, flu, broken limb, migraine
  • newly diagnosed or disclosed* mental health issues, e.g. severe anxiety or depression
  • exacerbation of ongoing condition, e.g. cancer.

*newly disclosed means you have not yet disclosed your condition to Deakin (by registering with the Disability Resource Centre) and have therefore not had appropriate adjustments made for your condition via an access plan

Evidence required

Medical certificate

A Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form, or a medical certificate from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (completion of the Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form is preferred but not mandatory).

Consultations must be face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area, or where exceptional circumstances prevent it.

Support service statement

Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Minor ailments where the impact is not considered severe by the treating medical/health professional (or the supplied evidence does not include the severity/impact, is backdated or was not conducted face-to-face):

  • colds
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • hay fever.

Pregnancy (no complications).

An exacerbation of a condition covered by an access plan

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
Based on severity/impact (students must be registered with the Disability Resource Centre):
  • conditions requiring hospital treatment, e.g. surgery
  • mental health issues, e.g. severe anxiety or depression
  • deterioration of ongoing physical condition, e.g. MS, ALS, cancer, glandular fever, Parkinson’s, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome.

Medical certificate

A Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form, or a medical certificate from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (completion of the Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form is preferred but not mandatory).

Consultations must be face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area, or where exceptional circumstances prevent it.

Support service statement

Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Conditions already covered by an access plan where the exacerbation is not considered severe by the treating medical/health professional (or the supplied evidence does not include the severity/impact, is backdated or was not conducted face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area).

Conditions where you do not have an access plan and are not registered with the Disability Resource Centre.

Examples of acceptable reasons

Based on severity/impact (students must be registered with the Disability Resource Centre):

  • conditions requiring hospital treatment, e.g. surgery
  • mental health issues, e.g. severe anxiety or depression
  • deterioration of ongoing physical condition, e.g. MS, ALS, cancer, glandular fever, Parkinson’s, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome.

Evidence required

Medical certificate

A Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form, or a medical certificate from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (completion of the Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form is preferred but not mandatory).

Consultations must be face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area, or where exceptional circumstances prevent it.

Support service statement

Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Conditions already covered by an access plan where the exacerbation is not considered severe by the treating medical/health professional (or the supplied evidence does not include the severity/impact, is backdated or was not conducted face-to-face except where you are located in a rural or remote area).

Conditions where you do not have an access plan and are not registered with the Disability Resource Centre.

Compassionate reasons

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons

Recent death of a close family member:

  • Parent/Grandparent/Spouse/Partner
  • Uncle/Aunt/Cousin/Grandchild
  • Brother/Sister/Son/Daughter
  • Step relations
  • Guardian.

Family breakdown, e.g. divorce, separation.

Unavoidable personal obligation, e.g. emergency travel.

Death notice

A death notice (or confirmatory letter from an appropriate source) and statutory declaration outlining your relationship with the deceased and the impact the death has had on your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

Statutory declaration

A statutory declaration combined with any other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances, e.g. government agency or support service.

Support service statement

Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre

Family members outside of the listed groups and non-family (including family pets).

Planned personal obligations:
  • weddings
  • family events, e.g. birthdays
  • moving house
  • holidays
  • concerts or similar events.

Examples of acceptable reasons

Recent death of a close family member:

  • Parent/Grandparent/Spouse/Partner
  • Uncle/Aunt/Cousin/Grandchild
  • Brother/Sister/Son/Daughter
  • Step relations
  • Guardian.
  • Family breakdown, e.g. divorce, separation.

    Unavoidable personal obligation, e.g. emergency travel.

    Evidence required

    Death notice

    A death notice (or confirmatory letter from an appropriate source) and statutory declaration outlining your relationship with the deceased and the impact the death has had on your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

    Statutory declaration

    A statutory declaration combined with any other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances, e.g. government agency or support service.

    Support service statement

    Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre

    Normally unacceptable reasons

    Family members outside of the listed groups and non-family (including family pets).

    Planned personal obligations:

    • weddings
    • family events, e.g. birthdays
    • moving house
    • holidays
    • concerts or similar events.

Hardship/trauma

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
  • severe disruption to domestic arrangements, e.g. homelessness, eviction
  • domestic family violence
  • impact of crime, e.g. sexual assault, assault
  • natural disasters, e.g. bushfire, flood
  • major transport failure, e.g. freeway/rail line - closure or severely impacted, vehicle breakdown
  • traumatic experience, e.g. witness to or victim of accident
Statutory declaration combination
A statutory declaration outlining the impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task combined with other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances:
  • statement from government agency or support service
  • police report
  • newspaper article
  • VicRoads notification
  • VLine/Metro Trains notification
  • vehicle breakdown service report, towing receipt
  • medical certificate.
  • Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Natural disasters with no direct impact.

Personal transport issues:
  • running out of fuel
  • misreading the public transport timetable
  • reduced public holiday transport timetable
  • single public transport service cancellation
  • missed required public transport service
  • public transport service was late

Examples of acceptable reasons

  • severe disruption to domestic arrangements, e.g. homelessness, eviction
  • domestic family violence
  • impact of crime, e.g. sexual assault, assault
  • natural disasters, e.g. bushfire, flood
  • major transport failure, e.g. freeway/rail line - closure or severely impacted, vehicle breakdown
  • traumatic experience, e.g. witness to or victim of accident

Evidence required

Statutory declaration combination

A statutory declaration outlining the impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task combined with other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances:

  • statement from government agency or support service
  • police report
  • newspaper article
  • VicRoads notification
  • VLine/Metro Trains notification
  • vehicle breakdown service report, towing receipt
  • medical certificate.
  • Statement from a Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Natural disasters with no direct impact.

Personal transport issues:

  • running out of fuel
  • misreading the public transport timetable
  • reduced public holiday transport timetable
  • single public transport service cancellation
  • missed required public transport service
  • public transport service was late

Unexpected employment or carer demands

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
  • work related training or travel
  • loss or change of employment
  • unexpected, unplanned increase in employment workload/responsibilities
  • carer requirements linked to illness or medical treatment
  • late cancellation of child/aged care arrangements

Support letter

A letter of support from the employer outlining the nature of the employment obligation, including any dates that may impact your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

Medical certificate

A medical certificate or letter from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task was hindered by the illness suffered by the person for which you care.

Statutory declaration combined

A statutory declaration combined with any other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances, e.g. statement from child/aged care facility.

Non-essential training or travel and general work responsibilities.

Planned events:
  • commencement of holiday employment
  • shift work clash
  • conference attendance
  • school/education events

Examples of acceptable reasons

  • work related training or travel
  • loss or change of employment
  • unexpected, unplanned increase in employment workload/responsibilities
  • carer requirements linked to illness or medical treatment
  • late cancellation of child/aged care arrangements

Evidence required

Support letter

A letter of support from the employer outlining the nature of the employment obligation, including any dates that may impact your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

Medical certificate

A medical certificate or letter from the treating medical/health professional that clearly states your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task was hindered by the illness suffered by the person for which you care.

Statutory declaration combined

A statutory declaration combined with any other available supporting documentation dependent on circumstances, e.g. statement from child/aged care facility.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Non-essential training or travel and general work responsibilities.

Planned events:

  • commencement of holiday employment
  • shift work clash
  • conference attendance
  • school/education events

A requirement related to a student’s obligations as an elite athlete

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
For students registered under the Deakin Elite Athlete Program:
  • participating in competition
  • training obligations
  • travel obligations related to above
A letter of support from either the sporting club, sport governing body or Deakin Elite Athlete Program service outlining the impact of the sporting obligation on your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.Unrelated to sporting obligations:
  • holidays
  • personal travel
Events for athletes not registered under the Deakin Elite Athlete Program including:
  • grand finals/finals
  • uni nationals
  • sport competitions/carnivals
  • sporting tournaments
  • selection trials
  • sport club events/trips

Examples of acceptable reasons

For students registered under the Deakin Elite Athlete Program:

  • participating in competition
  • training obligations
  • travel obligations related to above

Evidence required

A letter of support from either the sporting club, sport governing body or Deakin Elite Athlete Program service outlining the impact of the sporting obligation on your ability to attempt or complete the assessment task.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Unrelated to sporting obligations:

  • holidays
  • personal travel

Events for athletes not registered under the Deakin Elite Athlete Program including:

  • grand finals/finals
  • uni nationals
  • sport competitions/carnivals
  • sporting tournaments
  • selection trials
  • sport club events/trips

Military, jury or emergency service obligations

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons
  • military or emergency service training
  • military or emergency service deployment
  • call to service including disaster relief
  • jury summons
  • travel obligations related to above
A letter of support from relevant authority confirming the dates you will be absent from the university and that the absence is unavoidable.
  • non-essential training
  • a jury summons would not normally be accepted where sitting your exam is grounds to be exempted from jury service

Examples of acceptable reasons

  • military or emergency service training
  • military or emergency service deployment
  • call to service including disaster relief
  • jury summons
  • travel obligations related to above

Evidence required

A letter of support from relevant authority confirming the dates you will be absent from the university and that the absence is unavoidable.

Normally unacceptable reasons

  • non-essential training
  • a jury summons would not normally be accepted where sitting your exam is grounds to be exempted from jury service

Obligatory religious or faith-based commitments

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons

For religions/faiths recognised by the Australian government and published on the “Recognised religious denominations” page of the Attorney General’s Department website (www.ag.gov.au):

  • obligatory religious or faith based events
  • obligatory days of worship

A personal letter of support from a cultural or faith leader outlining their relationship with you and explaining how the obligation will prevent you from attempting or completing the assessment task.

Planned events:

  • weddings
  • bar mitzvahs
  • christenings
  • family events
  • festivals
  • holidays

Ramadan

Fasting and prayer during Ramadan – breaking fast can be accommodated and prayer can be commuted for high stakes assessments, e.g. exams, to a later time

Examples of acceptable reasons

For religions/faiths recognised by the Australian government and published on the “Recognised religious denominations” page of the Attorney General’s Department website (www.ag.gov.au):

  • obligatory religious or faith based events
  • obligatory days of worship

Evidence required

A personal letter of support from a cultural or faith leader outlining their relationship with you and explaining how the obligation will prevent you from attempting or completing the assessment task.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Planned events:
  • weddings
  • bar mitzvahs
  • christenings
  • family events
  • festivals
  • holidays
Ramadan

Fasting and prayer during Ramadan – breaking fast can be accommodated and prayer can be commuted for high stakes assessments, e.g. exams, to a later time

Obligatory cultural commitments of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders

Examples of acceptable reasonsEvidence requiredNormally unacceptable reasons

Sorry Business/Sad Business:

  • the loss of an immediate or extended family or community member and/or disruption to kinship system

Other:

  • caring for immediate and extended family or community members
  • caring for country responsibilities, e.g. cultural ceremony, celebratory occasions or healing obligations
  • family support and/or advocacy
  • meetings and events related to cultural responsibilities
  • unexpected or unplanned community service, e.g. involving representation, interpretation, advocacy or facilitation
  • unexpected caring for children or elders
A personal letter of support from a cultural leader outlining their relationship with you and explaining how the obligation will prevent you from attempting or completing the assessment task.Planned obligations:
  • weddings
  • family events, e.g. birthdays
  • personal travel
  • holidays

Examples of acceptable reasons

Sorry Business/Sad Business:

  • the loss of an immediate or extended family or community member and/or disruption to kinship system

Other:

  • caring for immediate and extended family or community members
  • caring for country responsibilities, e.g. cultural ceremony, celebratory occasions or healing obligations
  • family support and/or advocacy
  • meetings and events related to cultural responsibilities
  • unexpected or unplanned community service, e.g. involving representation, interpretation, advocacy or facilitation
  • unexpected caring for children or elders

Evidence required

A personal letter of support from a cultural leader outlining their relationship with you and explaining how the obligation will prevent you from attempting or completing the assessment task.

Normally unacceptable reasons

Planned obligations:

  • weddings
  • family events, e.g. birthdays
  • personal travel
  • holidays

Attempting or completing an exam and applying for special consideration due to illness or medical condition

Evidence must be supplied with your application that clearly shows the severity/impact the illness or medical condition had on your ability to complete the exam. Required evidence includes:

  • An incident report from the exam sitting completed by a Deakin exam supervisor that corroborates your claim (preferable)
  • A Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form, or a medical certificate from your treating medical/health professional that clearly states the severity/impact on your ability to attempt or complete the relevant assessment task (completion of the Deakin medical certificate for special consideration form is preferred but not mandatory)*

*Unless exceptional circumstances prevent it, medical assessment must be done face-to-face on the same day as the exam and cannot be backdated.

Disclosure of Special Consideration Application Information

Under certain circumstances, where information provided indicates a potential risk of harm, a request for support may be passed on by staff to an appropriate Deakin support service, e.g. Counselling and Psychological Support, Safer Communities, Disability Resource Centre) on your behalf.

Any student who is found to have submitted false supporting documentation will be referred to the Faculty Student Misconduct Committee. Making a false statutory declaration is an act of perjury. Perjury is a criminal offence and the penalties can be severe.

Applying for special consideration

Applications must be lodged through StudentConnect no later than three University working days after the date of the examination or the approved submission date for the assessment task. Contact your Faculty/School/Campus office if extraordinary circumstances prevent you from lodging your application online or within the three-day timeframe.

Separate applications and supporting documents are required for each assessment item for which you would like special consideration.

The Special Consideration Student User Guide (PDF, 1.0MB) explains how to create and submit an application including attaching copies of your supporting documentation. If your circumstances are particularly difficult, the staff in your Faculty/School/Campus office can help you with your application.

You are encouraged to include a written submission explaining how the circumstances affected your studies.

When submitting your application remember to upload the completed Deakin Medical Certificate.

Applying for special consideration does not guarantee that it will be granted.

Once you have submitted your application you will receive an email via your Deakin email address stating that it has been received. Where the documentary evidence you supply is inadequate, your Faculty may require you to supply additional information and/or original documents within five working days. Failure to provide the required documentation may results in the withdrawal or rejection of the special consideration application.

After the Unit Chair and the Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC) have considered your application, you will be notified of the outcome via your Deakin email address. This process can take up to three weeks. You will also be able to check the status of your application through StudentConnect.

Possible outcomes of special consideration

There are four possible outcomes of an application for Special Consideration:

  • Special consideration not granted
  • Special consideration granted - a special exam, administered by the Division of Student Administration (outcome 3 - RIE grade). Your exam/s will be scheduled in the next available supplementary/special exam period. View exam timetables.
  • Special consideration granted - a special assessment task, administered by your Faculty, will be provided for you.
  • Special consideration granted - a new submission date is to be arranged for your assessment task

Cancelling or withdrawing an application for special consideration

A student may cancel an application for Special Consideration themselves only if they have not pressed the "Submit application" button on the online form.

Once an application for Special consideration has been submitted via the online form, withdrawal of an application can only occur by contacting the Faculty directly (see Faculty contacts below).

Additional special consideration

Additional special consideration can only be granted for the same task once and where extraordinary circumstances (such as hospitalisation) prevent you from attempting your first special assessment task or exam. Applications must be lodged with the Chair of the Faculty Academic Progress Committee (through your relevant Faculty Course Adviser) normally no later than three working days after the first special task was due to be completed.

Incomplete results must be finalised as soon as possible. Students who are unable to complete their assessment tasks within a reasonable timeframe may be eligible for a fee refund or debt remission if they withdraw from their units after the relevant census date. See Refunds and remissions.

Extensions of time and rescheduling of assessment during the trimester

If circumstances beyond your control will prevent you from attending a test, placement, practicum or similar, or from submitting an assignment by the due date, you should speak to your Unit Chair as soon as you become aware of the problem. Your Unit Chair may allow you to do the task at another time or may give you an extension of up to two weeks.

Assignment extensions are normally only approved when students apply before the due date.

The Unit Chair may ask you to supply supporting documentation about the difficulties you are facing, and evidence of the work you have completed so far.

Note that work that is submitted late without an approved extension will be subject to a marking penalty, or may not be marked at all.

The Unit Chair may advise you to apply for special consideration where:

  • rescheduling is impractical or
  • you have requested more than two weeks' extension
  • you were unable to apply for an extension before the due date
  • you are still able to apply for special consideration if you have been granted an extension.

For further information, check your unit guide.

Further help with special consideration.

If you're having trouble or need further assistance with applying for special consideration contact a Student Adviser.

Deakin Safer Community can support you if your special consideration application is related to sexual assault or a traumatic experience.

Page custodian: Division of Student Administration
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