Student Wellbeing Services
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Lancaster University has its own Assessment Centre which is part of Student Wellbeing Services. The purpose of an assessment is to identify study aids and strategies required to provide equal access to the curriculum, within the context of a chosen course of study.
Lancaster University Assessment Centre is a member of the National Network of Assessment Centres (NNAC) and is audited and accredited by DSA-QAG. (Learn more about DSA-QAG at http://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/). This ensures that there is comparability between the quality of assessments carried out by different Centres.
Who will pay for my assessment?
Most assessments are funded through the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) scheme . If you wish to be assessed for DSA funding, you should contact your Higher Education funding body (usually Student Finance England or your LA but may be another body - NHS, SAAS, EPSRC, etc). They can give permission for you to be assessed and can confirm that they will cover the cost of the assessment.
You will need to provide the funding body with up-to-date evidence of your disability, such as an Educational Psychologist's report or a letter from your doctor or consultant.
Once you receive written approval, you can contact us to make an appointment.
Booking an appointment
When you are ready to book an assessment, contact us by phone, email or come and see us in The Base, A-Floor, University House.
We generally aim to offer you an appointment within 15 working days, although it may be longer during busy periods of the year. If we cannot give you an early appointment, we will direct you to another Centre which may be able to see you sooner.
NB: There is currently a 7-10 days wait for assessments slots (March 2013).
We will ask you for a copy of the letter from your funding body confirming that they will fund the assessment and a copy of the medical evidence that supported your application for DSA. We will also ask you to complete a pre-assessment information form and return it to us before the assessment. Do contact us if you would like some help completing this form.
Coming for an assessment
In your appointment letter, we will indicate the time and place of the assessment. Most assessments take place at Lancaster University directions . For those that are arranged elsewhere, details will be provided in the appointment letter.
Existing Lancaster University students will be directed to go straight to the Assessment Centre in the Library. For non-Lancaster students or pre-entry students, we will direct them to come to University House where they will be met and taken to the Assessment Centre.
What happens at an assessment - do I have to take another test?
An assessment is carried out by an Assessor working within the guidelines provided by DSA-QAG
No tests are involved in the assessment. The Assessor records information about your educational history, how your disability affects your studies and any current support arrangements you may have.
Your Assessor will explore different support options with you and together you will come to a conclusion about the study aids and strategies most appropriate to your needs. These will form the basis of the recommendations in our report.
What support can be recommended?
Depending upon your individual support needs, recommendations might include:
. a note-taker or scribe
. computer equipment and software
. a recording device
. the services of a BSL interpreter
. additional photocopying costs
. special exam arrangements
. a book allowance
. assistance from someone to push a wheelchair or carry books
. assistance with library work
. one-to-one tuition for dyslexia
. a learning Mentor
What happens after the assessment?
At the assessment the Assessor will have discussed with you whether you wish to see a draft of the report before it is sent to your funding body. This would be to give you the opportunity to check that the report accurately describes your needs and reflects the expected outcome of your assessment. It also provides you with an opportunity to comment on the report and request any changes. Seeing a draft will add a little time to the process and you must weigh this against the opportunity to request amendments before the report is issued.
After the assessment, the Assessor will write the report. We aim to produce the report within ten working days of the assessment taking place, but it may sometimes take longer. Please keep in touch with us if you have any concerns. If you have already started your course, explain to the Disability Officer at your university that you have had a Study Needs Assessment, as there may be some temporary support available.
If you have requested to see a draft of your report, we will send it to you and await your comments before sending it to your funding body. If we do not hear from you within fourteen days we will finalise the report and issue it to the funding body.
Your funding body will consider our report and make their award accordingly. They will then write to you outlining what funding has been awarded and how you should proceed to acquire any equipment etc.
Unless you indicate otherwise we will also send a copy of the report to the Disability Officer at your university.
If you have any difficulties at any stage of the process, we are happy to assist you, so please get in touch.
If you are not happy with our service
Sometimes things do go wrong. If you are unhappy with the service you receive from the Centre, in the first instance please tell us. If we can't resolve it satisfactorily you should consult our Complaints procedure for details of how to escalate your complaint.
For Assessment Centre contact details and directions please click here