What are access arrangements and how do I apply?

We recognise that although some candidates cope with the learning demands of a course and demonstrate attainment in the skills being assessed they still face unnecessary barriers when it comes to the standard assessment.

Such barriers may result from:

  • a permanent or long-term disability or learning difficulty
  • a temporary disability, illness or indisposition
  • the immediate circumstances of the assessment

Access arrangements are pre-exam arrangements made on behalf of a candidate with particular needs. For example, the use of a scribe, modified papers or extra time.

Our full regulations and guidance on access arrangements can be found in the Cambridge Handbook

What are Centre-delegated Access Arrangements?

These are arrangements that schools can put in place for candidates without our prior permission. Cambridge schools must retain the evidence supporting any centre-delegated arrangements.

The arrangements available to schools to delegate include: 

  • Extra time up to 25% (not permitted in syllabuses where time is the focus of the exam)
  • Word processors
  • Supervised rest breaks
  • Separate invigilation
  • Transcript
  • Prompter
  • Read Aloud (not a reader)
  • Coloured paper/coloured overlays
  • Visual aids e.g. magnifying glasses
  • Colour naming
  • Simple translation dictionaries
  • Live speakers (for use with a transcript of the listening paper for the hearing impaired) 

How do I inform you of arrangements I have delegated?

All centre-delegated arrangements permitted must be recorded and submitted on Preparation - Form 4.

Which access arrangements must I apply for? 

All non-delegated access arrangements must have our prior permission before you can implement them for a candidate. These arrangements include: 

  • Readers
  • Scribes
  • Practical Assistants
  • Extra time over 25%
  • Voice-activated software
  • Alternative accommodation
  • Coursework extensions
  • Cards used by prompters
  • Exemptions from speaking and listening 

How do I apply for Non-delegated Access Arrangements?

All non-delegated access arrangements should be applied for using Preparation - Form 1.

You must send supporting medical or psychological evidence in English with all applications. Please provide a translation if necessary, together with the original documents.  

How do I apply for modified papers?

Modified papers should be requested using a Preparation - Form 3All of the modifications we offer are listed on the form itself.

How will I be notified of the outcome regarding a request for Access Arrangements?

We will send an outcome letter once your application has been reviewed.


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