Regulator seeks views on developing accessible assessments

22 November 2021

Ofqual has invited comments on draft guidance for awarding organisations on producing accessible assessments, including exams.

Full details of this consultation, which closes on 24 January 2022 and applies in England only, can be found here.

The new guidance, intended to help awarding organisations design and develop accessible assessments and comply with Ofqual’s General Conditions of Recognition, will cover:

  • how to avoid unnecessary burden on Learners when measuring the assessment construct

  • how to use accessible language, within an accessible layout

  • how to use source material, context, images and colour in an assessment

  • how to design and develop assessments in a way that facilitates Reasonable Adjustments

  • practices that may help awarding organisations make their assessments as accessible as possible.

Ofqual explained: “When we refer to ‘accessibility’, we mean making assessments user-friendly to students of all ages taking regulated qualifications, including those who share particular protected characteristics.”

The regulator refers to students as Learners (in upper case) throughout the consultation document to indicate that it is a defined term within its rules.

The proposed new guidance, if adopted, will form separate guidance within Section D of the General Conditions of Recognition. It will complement or replace guidance on relevant specified conditions and these will not be affected so the obligations on awarding organisations will be unchanged.