OIA publishes new guidance on requests for additional consideration

The OIA has published a new section of the Good Practice Framework: Requests for additional consideration.

View the Good Practice Framework: Requests for additional consideration
Examination desks in a hall

We have now published this new section of the Good Practice Framework on Requests for additional consideration.

The section sets out some good practice guidance on requests for additional consideration (often called the “mitigating”, “extenuating” or “special circumstances” procedures, or “factors affecting performance”).

Around a quarter of complaints to us in recent years have related to how the higher education provider handled the student’s request for additional consideration when ill health or personal circumstances had affected their performance in exams or assessments. The guidance is drawn from our broad experience of handling these complaints, and builds on discussions we facilitated in 2019 about approaches to requests for additional consideration. Since then many providers have shown flexibility and adapted their approach to requests for additional consideration during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially around what evidence is required to support a student’s request.

We are very grateful to the Steering Group and to all who contributed to the development of this section. We hope you find it useful.

The guidance will inform the way that we consider complaints relating to requests for additional consideration from the 2021/22 academic year.


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. The Requests for additional consideration section is the sixth section of the Good Practice Framework, which provides operational guidance to support higher education providers in England and Wales. The Framework sets out overriding principles including accessibility, fairness and timeliness. The other sections are: Handling student complaints and academic appeals, Supporting disabled students, Delivering learning opportunities with others, Disciplinary procedures, and Fitness to practise. Further information can be found on our website.
  3. The Good Practice Framework is one element of the OIA’s good practice work. We also provide guidance through a range of webinars, podcasts, workshops and visits