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Access arrangements guidance for exams

If you feel your exam performance may be hindered due to a health condition, disability, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD), we may be able to put access arrangements in place to support you during your exam(s).

If you would like arrangements to be in place for a specific exam, your access arrangements application needs to be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • ICAEW CFAB and ACA Certificate Level exams - 30 days before the exam date. Please do not book your exam until your arrangements have been confirmed to you.
  • ACA Professional and Advanced Level exams – no later than the closing date of the respective exam session.
  • Level 4 Accounting Technician Apprenticeship Role Simulation exam - no later than the closing date of the respective exam session.

Please note that all access arrangements applications and enquiries must now be submitted online at my.icaew.com/examsonline. Email and postal applications will no longer be accepted.

Before you submit your access arrangements application, please read the below guidance. There are two guidance documents to read. The first one is only for SpLDs such as dyslexia. The second relates to arrangements for medical conditions, pregnancy, breastfeeding and prayer time during exams. 

Although the process is the same regardless of the reason you are applying, the evidence required to support an application for access arrangements for a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) differs from other applications. Please note that you may need to refer to both guides if you are applying for more than one reason. 

If you are applying for access arrangements due to a medical condition, we recommend that you use the below medical statement. 

If the condition you are suffering from is considered a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, we will do everything we reasonably can to support you, as long as you can provide suitable evidence. This may involve adjustments such as awarding you extra time, rest breaks, a reader or a scribe, or changes to the exam format such as coloured overlays. If you have been awarded a scribe or reader, please review the below guidance.

If you are suffering from a short-term condition and therefore not covered by the Equality Act, we will provide support in accordance with the ACA assessment regulations. This support is subject to the receipt of sufficient notice and suitable medical evidence; please read the access arrangements guidance note for clarification. We cannot always guarantee that a request for an access arrangement for a short-term condition will be granted but we will consider the details of your situation fully before confirming a decision.

Once we have received your application for access arrangements we will review it and notify you of our decision. Standard response times are 10 working days from receipt of appropriate evidence, but this may take longer during our peak times.

Access arrangements - stop the clock rest breaks awarded

If you have been awarded stop the clock rest breaks following an access arrangements application for an exam, please read the following guidance document and view the webinar before your exam. The guidance explains how to locate the stop the clock function, how the time is displayed and how to resume your exam.

Access arrangements - not awarded

If access arrangements cannot be awarded you should consider carefully whether to defer your exam until the following exam session. You should not rely on receiving special consideration for your condition when your exam result is being determined. See the cancelling an exam application page. 

There are also provisions available for Certificate Level exam centres.

If you have any access arrangements questions that are not addressed in the guidance, please submit your enquiry at my.icaew.com/examsonline.