Special consideration

Special consideration

Macquarie recognises that students may experience events or conditions that adversely affect their academic performance.

Some changes have been made in response to the challenges students may be facing due to COVID-19 and these updates are detailed below.

For the university's response to COVID-19 and questions around your study options, please navigate to our dedicated Coronavirus FAQs page.

If you experience serious and unavoidable difficulties at exam time or when assessment tasks are due, you can consider applying for Special Consideration.

COVID-19 Impacted Students

Essential factors for Special Consideration

Following are the essential factors to apply for Special Consideration if you have been impacted by COVID-19.

You need to show that your circumstances meet the following serious and unavoidable criteria:

  1. Could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and were beyond the student's control; and
  2. Caused substantial disruption to the student’s capacity for undertaking assessment for the unit(s); and
  3. Occurred during an event critical study period
  4. Prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date (eg. final examination, in class test/quiz, in class presentation).
  5. Impacted student ability to participate in class

Your supporting evidence must include the following:

  1. Identify the circumstances - provide a detailed description of the self-quarantine measures you have been required to take.
  2. Include dates and/or the length of the circumstances
  3. Your supporting evidence must include dates and/or length of the circumstances. If you are requesting another form of special consideration because you have or will miss an assessment on a particular date, please attach a statement identifying the circumstances, providing a detailed description of the self or forced quarantine measure you have been required to take.

Note: Our streamlined processes for special consideration recognise that students may have difficulty obtaining documentation to support their application.

If you cannot submit a Professional Authority Form (PAF) then a clear statement of the disruption and your circumstances is sufficient. This is also accepted in lieu of statutory declarations as we know it may not be possible to have those signed by approved witnesses.

See the table below for details on the supporting documentation required during COVID-19.

If special consideration is granted due to COVID-19 impact, what happens next?

If your Special Consideration application is accepted, your Unit Convenor will deem what is most suitable for you and you may be offered:

  • an additional assessment to assess your performance
  • a supplementary examination
  • an extension to a deadline for an assessment (up to two weeks)
  • an aggregated/average mark
  • an alternative mode of assessment delivery (eg. online exam, online invigilation, live streaming etc.)

What do I do next?

If you need to apply for Special Consideration due to COVID-19, go to Next Steps below and follow the instructions in "How to Apply for Special Consideration".

Supporting Documentation Requirements

The circumstances listed below are not a comprehensive list, they are for reference/example only. If your circumstances fall outside the listed serious and unavoidable circumstances, your Faculty/Unit Convenor will discuss an appropriate solution for your situation.

Unexpected, serious and unavoidable circumstances 
(Short Term/ one-off circumstances)

Appropriate Supporting Documentation

Short term illness related to COVID-19

This may include:

  • Time taken off for testing related to COVID-19
  • Short term illness of oneself, of a family member or an occupant of the shared household
  • Adverse impact on mental health due to impact of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until a date determined by the Academic Senate, evidence required is at the discretion of the Unit Convenor, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Statutory Declaration
  • Statement of fact
  • Medical Certificate
  • Professional Authority Form

Hardship related to COVID-19

This may include:

  • Changes to domestic arrangements due to the impact of COVID-19 (if you need to move or relocate with little notice)
  • Bereavement related to the death of a significant person due to COVID-19
  • Unexpected carer activities related to COVID-19 changes (eg. having to unexpectedly care for children/others due to COVID-19 related illnesses or restrictions)
  • Unexpected financial difficulties and having to work additional hours or look for work due to COVID-19 impact (eg. you have been rostered less hours and are required to work elsewhere to make up the difference)
  • Technical issues related to Information Technology (unreliable internet connection, computer failure, firewall complications)

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until a date determined by the Academic Senate, evidence required is at the discretion of the Faculty Student Centre or Unit Convenor, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Statutory Declaration
  • Statement of fact
  • Medical Certificate
  • Professional Authority Form

Death of a relative, close friend, or occupant of a shared household related to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until a date determined by the Academic Senate, evidence required is at the discretion of the Unit Convenor, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Statutory Declaration outlining relationship
  • Statement of fact outlining relationship
  • Death notice/Certificate
  • Professional Authority Form

Unavoidable commitments related to COVID-19

This may include:

Having to attend job interviews

  • Meeting with Centrelink and government bodies for the purpose of obtaining unemployment benefits
  • Carer responsibilities (eg. childcare being unavailable, schools being shut and having to educate from home, usual carers being unwell and unable to commit to usual times)
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Unexpected changes to work schedules
  • Unavoidable medical appointments related to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until a date determined by the Academic Senate, evidence required is at the discretion of the Unit Convenor, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Wedding invitations accompanied by a Statutory Declaration OR  statement of fact
  • Letter from religious leader/Elder
  • Letter from employer – stating why the student cannot be released from these unexpected work commitments
  • Letter from doctor/medical certificate
  • Statement outlining the carer commitments (eg length of time needed to care, how long this arrangement is expected to be in place for)
  • Statement of details of the Funeral

Exacerbation of ongoing illness related to COVID-19

This may include:

  • Reinfection/medical relapse (where you feel better one day but the next day you are unwell again)
  • Longer than expected recovery time
  • Hospitalization due to COVID-19 complications
  • Adverse impact on mental health due to impact of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic and until a date determined by the Academic Senate, evidence required is at the discretion of the Unit Convenor, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Statutory Declaration
  • Statement of fact
  • Medical Certificate
  • Professional Authority Form

Important Note: The Special Consideration policy requirements for submitting within the specified time period of 15 days will continue to be upheld for all lodgments relating to COVID-19 impact.

Non COVID-19 Impacted Students

Five essential factors of Special Consideration

You need to show that your circumstances meet all of the following serious and unavoidable criteria. Macquarie classifies circumstances as serious and unavoidable if they:

  1. could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  2. were beyond the student's control; and
  3. caused substantial disruption to the student’s capacity for undertaking assessment for the unit(s); and
  4. occurred during an event critical study period and were at least three (3) consecutive days duration or a total of 5 days within the teaching period and/or
  5. prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date (eg. final examination, in class test/quiz, in class presentation).

Your supporting evidence must include all of the following:

  1. identify the circumstances
  2. include dates and/or the length of the circumstances
  3. explain the severity and impact of the circumstances
  4. clearly describe how the circumstances have adversely affected your capacity for effective study to which an assessment relates
  5. include the date(s) on which you were seen by the professional providing the evidence

Next Steps

How to apply for Special Consideration

Special Consideration applications must be made:

  • within fifteen (15) working days for standard teaching periods (Session 1 and 2)  **
  • within five (5) working days for non-standard teaching periods (eg. term, block)  **

of the assessment task due date using the application form in AskMQ. Lodging an application for Special Consideration does not guarantee that you will be granted an additional/alternative assessment. You should continue to work on your assessments and complete them as soon as possible.

** For definition and details on standard/non-standard teaching periods and time frames, please refer to the Policy/Procedure.

Click 'Special Consideration' on the SUBMIT menu on the left then fill in the required fields and attach your supporting evidence.

Supporting evidence can include:

  • original supporting documentation,  or
  • a medical certificate, or
  • a completed Professional Authority Form (PAF)
  • appropriate documentary evidence for non-medical circumstances

The evidence must:

  • identify the circumstances
  • include dates and/or the length of the circumstances
  • explain the severity and impact of the circumstances
  • clearly describe how the circumstances have adversely affected your capacity for effective study to which an assessment relates
  • include the date(s) on which you were seen by the professional providing the evidence

Applications for Special Consideration may be refused if:

  • not submitted in the manner and timeframe required
  • you have not complied with all other mandatory requirements for successful completion of the unit
  • they are not supported by appropriate documentary evidence

Serious Circumstances

Supporting Evidence

Short-term illness

Medical Certificate

or

Professional Authority Form

Hardship or Trauma

Statutory Declaration

or

Medical Certificate

or

Professional Authority Form – stating how the student was affected

or

Official letter from relevant source/authority

Death of a relative/close friend

Statutory Declaration – stating the relationship to the student

or

Medical Certificate

or

Professional Authority Form - stating how the student was affected

or

Death Notice/Certificate

Unavoidable commitments

Wedding invitations accompanied by Statutory Declaration

or

Letter from religious leader/Elder

or

Letter from employer – stating why the student cannot be released from the unexpected work commitments

or

Letter from doctor/medical certificate

or

Letter confirming student’s attendance to Jury Duty/court date

Exacerbation of ongoing illness

Medical Certificate

or

Professional Authority Form – supporting exacerbation

Elite athlete or performer commitments

Official letter from the Macquarie Elite Athlete Program supporting increased training commitments/ competition

Army Reservists/SES commitments and Volunteer Firefighters

An official training notice from organiser explaining why attendance is required

or

Statutory Declaration

Special Consideration application outcome

The University will aim to let you know the outcome of your application via your student email address within 5 working days of receipt of the application and all necessary supporting evidence.

If special consideration is granted, what happens next?

If your Special Consideration application is accepted, you may be offered:

  • an additional assessment to assess your performance
  • a supplementary examination
  • an extension to a deadline for an assessment
  • an aggregated/average mark

In certain circumstances, the outcome of a Special Consideration application may be to recommend the student apply to Withdraw without Academic Penalty.  The student must determine whether to apply to Withdraw without Academic Penalty, or accept the outcome where no alternate assessment can be provided.

If you have any questions or require assistance, contact your Faculty Student Administration Centre.

Ongoing/Long term circumstances

You may already be registered with Student Wellbeing due to ongoing/long term circumstances such as

  • Chronic illness/disability
  • Carer status

If you have ongoing or long term circumstances and you are not registered with Student Wellbeing you should contact them to seek support:

Location: Ground Floor, Australian Hearing Hub, 16 University Avenue

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday  8.30am - 5.30pm (excluding public holidays)

Telephone: +61 (2) 9850 7497

Email: wellbeing@mq.edu.au

Exams and in-class tests

Macquarie operates under a ‘Fit to Sit’ model, where, in sitting an examination or in-class test, you are declaring you are fit to do so. However, you may be taken ill during the assessment (in the case of an examination or test) or may not have been fit to make reasonable judgement on your fitness at the time. In these cases, you must advise the examination supervisor who will record the case on the Examination Room Report Form in order for you to be able to apply for Special Consideration.

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