Candidate Regulations – Special consideration policy, complaints

Candidate Regulations

Candidate Regulations index

After the examination

Special consideration is action taken after an examination to allow candidates who may have been disadvantaged by temporary illness, injury, indisposition or adverse circumstances at the time of the examination to have their performance reviewed in the light of the circumstances in question.

A candidate may apply for special consideration if:

  • performance in an external assessment is affected by circumstances beyond the control of the candidate, eg personal illness, temporary injury or bereavement.
  • alternative assessment arrangements agreed in advance proved inappropriate or inadequate
  • disruption to the examination (undue noise levels in or near the examination room, fire alarm, music etc)

How is special consideration applied?

If an application for special consideration is approved then the assessors will be informed at the time of marking the assessment. Examination results will be moderated to ensure that markers are assessing consistently at the right level. A chief moderator will also consider candidate results on a case by case basis and adjust them accordingly. Any special consideration applied will not remove the difficulty faced at the time of the assessment and can only be an adjustment to ensure the integrity of the assessment is not compromised.

What is the procedure for requesting special consideration?

A candidate or examination centre must complete the special consideration application form. The form can be downloaded from or requested from CIOL Qualifications. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible after the event and no later than 21 days after the examination in question. Requests for special consideration will not be considered after the issue of results. The appeals and re-marks procedures will then apply.

What evidence do I need to send?

The candidate needs to supply documented evidence to support their application. This may include medical evidence or a statement from the examination officer/invigilator or any other appropriate information. Applications from examination centres should be signed and dated by a member of staff formally delegated by the examination officer. The signatory must declare the information given is accurate.

How long will the application take to be processed?

CIOL Qualifications will acknowledge receipt of a special consideration application form within one working week. The process will be completed within the timescale given for issue of results.

Aegrotat (deeming a unit to have been passed when not taken as a result of illness)

CIOL Qualifications does not offer an aegrotat as candidates have to meet the full assessment requirements. In case of a query relating to this policy, candidates should contact the Head of Qualifications, in writing.



CIOL Qualifications as a recognised awarding organisation must comply with the requirements of the complaints process established by Ofqual.

CIOL Qualifications uses the following definition of a 'complaint':

A complaint is a concern about a service, or lack of service provided by CIOL Qualifications. Candidates sitting at an IoLET Centre should follow and complete the complaints policy of the Centre.

Types of complaints

We cannot deal with the following types of complaints:

  • Anonymous complaints
  • Group complaints
  • Complaints made more than six months from the event concerning the complaint
  • Complaints about the content of our policies, unless maladministration or misconduct is alleged
  • Complaints considered to be aggressive or abusive
  • Complaints that fall under the CIOL Qualifications Appeals policy

How to complain

A complaint can be made in the following ways:

  • By writing directly to:

CIOL Qualifications 
7th Floor
167 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2EA

Complaints must include:

  • A description of the problem (including when it happened)
  • Candidate name and number
  • Language, level, title and, if appropriate, the unit /pathway of the examination
  • Examination Centre

Ways we might investigate:

  • Tape sampling
  • Investigating internal procedures
  • Questioning the oral examining team
  • Moderation

Examination related complaints must be made within 21 days of the examination.

Complaints will normally be acknowledged within one week of receipt and substantively responded to within the timescale for the issue of results. If a response will take longer than this, we will keep you informed of progress, the reasons for any delay and when we expect to reply in full. Once our final response is made, that is the end of our internal complaints procedure.

Complainant behaviour

We will treat every complaint seriously and fairly. We understand that some matters may cause frustration but CIOL Qualifications will not tolerate abusive correspondence or persistent and repeated contact with us without any new evidence or information to bring to the investigation.