Categories of acceptable and unacceptable Extenuating Circumstances and evidence

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For use with:

Health-related condition


  • Personal injury, medical or mental-health condition, normally occurring for the first time
  • Worsening or acute episode of pre-existing and ongoing medical or mental health condition or physical disability
  • Conditions or medical/physical circumstances arising from pregnancy



  • Death of a person close in your life. For example, close family, partner or housemate



  • Victim of crime, including hate crime
  • Victim of violence, including domestic, sexual, physical or gender violence
  • Victim of discrimination, including in relation to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
  • Experience of a terrorist incident
  • Experience of war or unrest
  • Experience of natural or man-made disaster

Racial trauma


  • Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes

Relationship and living circumstances


  • Family breakdown or breakdown of a close relationship
  • Forced eviction from housing, including for reasons of fire or other damage to residence

Caring responsibilities


  • Unexpected caring responsibilities, including those caused by sudden illness, injury or worsening of an ongoing health-related condition
  • Change in circumstances that lead to additional caring responsibilities

Technical and equipment failure


  • Technical failure of specialist software – or the equipment required to support that software – necessary to complete an assessment. This may include assistive technology
  • Damage to equipment required to carry out an assessment (excluding laptop failure), e.g., musical instrument or lab equipment

Religious observance


  • Where you consider religious observance has had an adverse impact on your assessment

Court attendance


  • Jury service or attendance at court or tribunal as a witness, defendant or plaintiff



  • Theft of work required for assessment