Evidence to support your claim

Given the increased pressure on the NHS and the fact that access to many medical services is limited, the University has removed the requirement for you to provide supporting evidence for any mitigating circumstances that are medical in nature until the end of the 2021/22 academic year. This includes both physical and mental health conditions relating to individual students – you will not be required to provide evidence to support claims for mitigating circumstances on this basis. This will also be the case if you are claiming mitigating circumstances resulting from serious illness of a close family member.

Where you have mitigating circumstances that are not health related, you should still provide evidence to support your claim and this will be considered as part of your submission. We recognise that it may not be possible to provide evidence for all forms of mitigating circumstances during this time, and so your School will be able to consider claims without evidence where you can demonstrate that it was not possible to provide it.

Where you do need to provide evidence, you are responsible for obtaining this to support your mitigating circumstances claim. Unfortunately, the University is unable to seek evidence on your behalf. The evidence you submit needs to:

  • Explain what the circumstance is.
  • Provide the timeframe for the circumstances (including any relevant dates).
  • Any additional information relevant to supporting your claim and the impact on your assessments/performance.

All evidence needs to be written in English and produced by an appropriate third party. If it’s originally in another language, it’s your responsibility to ensure a translation is supplied.

When evidence is not required

We understand that it can be difficult to provide evidence in certain circumstances. As mentioned above, the University has removed the requirement for you to provide supporting evidence for any mitigating circumstances that are medical in nature.

Evidence is also not required for claims relating to:

  • Family bereavement.
  • Being the victim of sexual assault.
  • Harassment based on a student’s disability, faith, gender identity, race, and/ or sexual orientation.
  • Covid-19 symptoms/positive test.
  • Flare up of a declared and previously evidenced long-term condition where any reasonable adjustments or learning support already in place are no longer sufficient to enable successful submission/completion of the assessment on time.
  • Unexpected disruption to technology for a time-bound assessment that could not be avoided through advance planning.

Examples of acceptable evidence

Examples that would typically be accepted (although not exhaustive and other examples will be considered on a case by case basis):

  • Serious illness or accident resulting in hospitalisation or urgent medical attention/treatment relating to a student
    • Medical certificate/hospital report/report from qualified medical practitioner. These should be produced whilst the symptoms were still apparent to the medical practitioner.
    • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.
  • Serious illness (as described above) of a member of the student’s immediate family (e.g. mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandparent, spouse, guardian)
    • A medical report from a qualified medical practitioner, letter from medical professional.
    • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.
  • Serious infectious disease that could put others at risk
    • Medical certificate/hospital report/report from qualified medical practitioner. These should be signed whilst the symptoms were still apparent to the medical practitioner.
    • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.

*Covid-19 symptoms/positive test will not need evidence during the current pandemic phase (19/20 and 20/21)

  • Sudden deterioration in a chronic medical condition or disability
    • An individual flare up of a declared long-term condition does not need to be re-evidenced if previously disclosed and evidence provided at that point. Evidence of a long-term condition and possible flare ups only needs to be provided once to the University.
    • New or undeclared conditions will require a medical report from an appropriate qualified medical practitioner or a supporting statement from Student Support Services.
  • Severe adverse personal/family difficulties
    • Report from Student Support Services, or other qualified professional.
  • Childbirth, or pregnancy complications
    • Medical certificate/hospital report/report from qualified medical practitioner.
    • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.
  • Diagnosed psychological illness
    • Report from a psychiatrist, psychologist, medical practitioner or Student Support Services.
  • Legal proceedings requiring attendance at court as a witness or jury service
    • Documentary evidence from the court or a solicitor.
  • Being the victim of a crime
    • Crime report and number, or evidence from alternative reporting routes as appropriate. Letter from medical professional/counsellor.
    • In circumstances where no evidence is available, claims should still be submitted and considered without a request for evidence. For example, evidence is not required for sexual assault.
    • Supporting statement from Student Support Services.
  • Significant and immediate change in working conditions (distance learning and part-time students only)
    • Where possible evidence from employer detailing the change in working conditions and timescale of advance notice given to employee (student). Call up papers for military deployment.

Evidence that will not be accepted

Examples that will not normally be accepted (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Evidence not clearly linked to you or your close family member in question.
  • Hospital or other medical appointment letters that don't provide details of the condition.
  • Self-certification of illness from either you or close relatives, without supporting medical documentation.
  • Medical evidence from alternative/homeopathic practitioners.
  • Anecdotal evidence without supporting documentary confirmation.
  • Photographs or media extracts relating to events which are not accompanied by clear evidence of their relevance to you.
  • Statements of support from other students or family unless accompanied by other documentation outlined in the list of acceptable evidence.
  • Any evidence that is not clearly contemporaneous with the learning and teaching activities or assessment in question.

Deterioration of a declared long-term condition

Where required, reasonable adjustments should be made for long-term health conditions. Having a long-term health condition in itself is not a mitigating circumstance. However, if you experience a deterioration or flare-up in a pre-existing condition that will have an impact on the completion of an assessment (above and beyond any reasonable adjustments), then you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim. Where your condition has already been declared, and the University made aware of the nature and details of your condition, you will not need to provide additional evidence for individual instances of flare-ups or deteriorations.

Short term minor illness

If your programme uses multiple regular small-scale assessments that provide a mark and grade, you may self-certify a limited number of times if you have a short term minor illness (less than five calendar days). You should check with your school if this applies. Repeated cases of self-certification could result in a request for evidence, and no future self-certification would be permitted.

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