Accessibility statement

Changes to self-certification processes for some students

Posted on 20 February 2023

In recent months YUSU has been running a campaign relating to the University’s Exceptional Circumstances procedures - specifically they have sought the reinstatement of unlimited self-certification for all students which was temporarily available during the Pandemic.

Self-certification is the means by which a student may either defer or have a short extension to an assessment without the need for evidence. The procedure is available to students to use on a maximum of up to 3 assessments a year, to help with short-term, acute illnesses or short-term unforeseen circumstances prior to submission of an open assessment or commencement of an examination.

There are substantial reasons why the University reverted back to unlimited self-certification from 2022-23 onwards, relating to fairness to students, student welfare concerns, and the overall running of assessment processes to ensure that students can progress and graduate. 

The University has however, heard examples from YUSU where this policy is impacting on vulnerable students and in some cases disadvantaged them. We have therefore agreed with YUSU that we will put in place a streamlined ECA evidencing process for these students. This change will impact around 4000 vulnerable students. 

Over the course of this week, these students will be contacted directly by email from the University, advising them of the new support available to them.

What else is changing?

In addition to the streamlined evidencing process for vulnerable students, there are also two other changes that all students should be aware of:

  • Students can now use an Exceptional Circumstances claim to gain a 4-day extension for an assessment with the same deadline as another assessment they self-certify for.
  • In some circumstances, students can use an Exceptional Circumstances claim and have it accepted 'subject to evidence'

More information can be found on the Exceptional Circumstances web pages.

Reminder of help for students struggling with assessments

If you are struggling with assessments and deadlines there are a number of ways the University can help, including;

  • Helping you to establish an effective study routine
  • Offering a limited number of self-certification uses
  • Offering Exceptional Circumstances claims for longer term issues
  • Offering Student support plans (SSPs) as a more flexible system of support to students with a long-term disability, medical condition or specific learning difficulty which is impacting on study

If you are struggling you should contact your department, who will do their best to support you and discuss the best avenue of support with you.