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Information for health professionals

This information is for health professionals who have been asked to complete a medical report to support one of the following types of application for a senior student undertaking summative assessment:

  • application for QCAA-approved access arrangements and reasonable adjustments (AARA)
  • illness and misadventure application for external assessment.

Medical reports are used in conjunction with school evidence to inform the QCAA’s decisions about AARA for summative assessment. When a student’s performance in external assessment is affected by temporary illness or a deterioration/complication in a chronic condition, the medical report is used to substantiate diagnosis and effects at the time of scheduled assessment.

Application for QCAA-approved AARA

The QCAA recognises that some students have disability, impairment and/or medical conditions, or experience other circumstances that may be a barrier to their performance in assessment. AARA are designed to assist these students.

Decisions about AARA are made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student and/or their parents/carers.

Schools submit applications to the QCAA for AARA requiring QCAA approval in summative internal and external assessment in Units 3 and 4. These units are generally completed when a student is in Year 12. The following table shows QCAA-approved AARA for summative assessment.

Internal assessment — examinations External assessment (Term 4) — examinations
  • Extra time
  • Rest breaks
  • Alternative format papers*
  • Assistive technology*
  • Computer*

*QCAA approval is required for the common internal assessment (CIA) in Essential English and Essential Mathematics only.

  • Extra time
  • Rest breaks
  • Alternative format papers
  • Assistance
  • Assistive technology
  • Computer
  • Reader
  • Scribe
  • Variation to venue

Note: Other AARA are approved at the school level when the principal or their delegate is reasonably satisfied, based on evidence, that the AARA are required. The QCAA does not specify evidence requirements for school-based AARA decisions.

See AARA: Information for parents/carers for more information.

Illness and misadventure application for external assessment

External assessments are delivered annually in Term 4 according to the external assessment timetable determined by the QCAA. All schools administer them at the same time on the same day.

External assessment cannot be rescheduled for students who are impacted by temporary illness, a deterioration/complication in a chronic medical condition or other circumstances that are outside of their control (misadventure).

Where a student is unable to attend an external assessment due to illness or misadventure, or attempts external assessment and believes their performance was impacted by illness or misadventure, their school submits an illness and misadventure application to the QCAA. The QCAA has procedures in place for students to receive fair subject results when an illness and misadventure application is approved.

Note: Students should attend external assessment if they are well enough to do so and there is no risk to others. Health professionals may report that a student with a medical condition is/was disadvantaged in assessment performance as opposed to being unable to participate in assessment. Alternatively, a late application for AARA can be considered prior to assessment, if AARA can address the functional impacts of the condition to enable the student to participate on the same basis as other students, e.g. rest breaks for a student who is unable to sit for extended periods of time.

Note: AARA including extensions and comparable assessments are approved at the school level when students are impacted by illness and misadventure when internal assessment is scheduled,

See the following resource for information about illness and misadventure processes for internal and external assessment

Medical report requirements

Applications for QCAA-approved AARA require a medical report as supporting documentation unless the student has Education Adjustment Program (EAP) verification approved with no review of EAP criterion 1 required.

Illness and misadventure applications require strong supporting evidence. Medical information provided must be more detailed than a certificate stating that the student has a medical condition and is unfit for duty.

Medical reports may be completed by a registered general practitioner (GP), medical specialist, psychologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, optometrist, certified practising speech pathologist or speech pathologist who is eligible for membership of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) as a certified practising member. The practitioner must not be related to the student or employed by the school.

Details of diagnosis should be provided by the practitioner who is best placed professionally to make the diagnosis. If an update is provided after diagnosis of disability and/or medical condition, it may be provided by any of the health professionals listed above, as relevant to the student’s condition and circumstances.

The QCAA provides a medical report template with separate sections to complete for AARA and illness and misadventure, but its use is optional. Reports must include the date the report was completed and the practitioner’s details and signature and provide the following information.

QCAA-approved AARA Illness and misadventure — external assessment
  • diagnosis of disability and/or medical condition
  • dates of diagnosis and occurrence/onset
  • information about how the disability and/or medical   condition affects the student, particularly in timed assessment
  • professional recommendations for AARA
  • diagnosis of temporary medical condition or   deterioration/complication in a chronic condition
  • dates of diagnosis and occurrence/onset
  • the duration of effect
  • whether the student is/was considered disadvantaged in   assessment performance or unable to participate
  • information about the likely impacts on the student’s   ability to undertake scheduled external assessment.

More information

If you would like more information, please visit the QCAA website and search for ‘AARA ’. Alternatively, phone 1300 381 575 or email the AARA Unit at

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