Assessments and Examinations Special Arrangements

1. Assessments and Examinations Special Arrangements Policy

1.1 Policy number: CO-E-002.0

1.2 Category: Education

1.3 Approval date: July 2020

1.4 Revision due date: July 2023

1.5 Unit responsible: Education Services

2. Policy declaration

Candidates affected by circumstances beyond their control may request special arrangements in the delivery of an RACGP Assessment or Examination in which they are enrolled.

This policy is approved by the RACGP Board and authorised by the CEO.

3. Background

3.1 Background

3.1.1 The purpose of granting special arrangements is to accommodate a Candidate who is likely to be disadvantaged by a circumstance which is:

  1. beyond the Candidate's control, and
  2. objectively likely to have an adverse impact on the Candidate's performance in an RACGP Assessment or Examination.

The policy aims to provide educational equity to candidates of genuine need to ameliorate the disadvantages that they face and help ensure that their personal circumstances do not disproportionately interfere with their performance in an assessment or examination.

3.1.2 Candidates must ensure that they are sufficiently fit and healthy when they present for an RACGP Assessment or Examination. Marks are based solely on the performance of the candidate in the assessment or examination, and cannot be changed on the basis of personal circumstances surrounding the assessment or examination.

3.2 Objectives

The objectives of this policy are to describe:

  1. how applications for special arrangements will be handled by the RACGP, and
  2. the process for applying for special arrangements.

4. Definitions

  1. Candidate means a person who is enrolled in and applying for special arrangements in an RACGP Assessment or Examination
  2. Extenuating circumstances are considered on a case by case basis, but must relate to circumstances which are outside the Candidate’s control and which can be shown to have a direct and significant impact on the Candidate’s ability to sit an RACGP Examination and/or their performance in an RACGP Examination.
  3. RACGP Assessments and Examinations includes the following:
    1. Applied Knowledge Test (AKT),
    2. Key Feature Problem (KFP),
    3. Clinical Competency Exam,
    4. Candidate Assessment and Applied Knowledge Test (CAAKT), and
    5. Practice Experience Program Entrance Assessment (PEPEA).

5. General principles

5.1 The circumstances which may require special arrangements in an RACGP Assessment or Examination are:

  1. permanent and longstanding impairment;
  2. temporary impairement; and
  3. essential religious observance.

To see a list of circumstances that are generally not considered to be grounds for special arrangements, please refer to the RACGP Assessments and Examinations Special Arrangements Guidance Document.

5.2 When making an application for special arrangements, the Candidate must complete and submit the Special Arrangements Application Form.

5.2.1 For details of the required evidence and supporting documentation, please refer to the RACGP Assessments and Examinations Special Arrangements Guidance Document.

5.2.2 For guidance on the available special arrangements for nursing breaks, please refer to the Provisions and procedures for nursing breaks during RACGP Examinations.

5.2.3 The RACGP strongly recommends Candidates submit applications for Special Arrangements as soon as practicable after enrolment in an assessment or examination. This allows the RACGP to assess applications and make reasonable adjustments where appropriate. The RACGP may be unable to grant special arrangements if the application is received without sufficient notice, irrespective of the Candidate’s grounds for applying.

5.2.4 Candidates must submit applications for special arrangements according to the following schedule:

Assessment type

Deadline for special arrangements application


10 business days prior to the scheduled assessment date


20 business days prior to the scheduled exam date

Clinical competency exam 30 business days prior to the scheduled exam date

5.3 Granting of special arrangements

5.3.1 Special arrangements are only granted in extenuating circumstances which appreciably exceed the pressures experienced by other candidates in an assessment or examination setting.

5.3.2 The granting of special arrangements will never include the alteration of an exam result or fail status, because:

  1. the RACGP cannot assume or agree that the Candidate would have done better if their circumstances had been different; and
  2. while the RACGP recognises that illness can affect performance in an assessment or examination, it is the Candidate's decision to present for that assessment or examination.

If a Candidate presents for an RACGP Assessment or Examination and is unwell, or faces any other special circumstances that prevents them from sitting or completing the assessment or examination, they must notify the RACGP as soon as possible to discuss late withdrawal options available to them.

5.3.3 All application outcomes remain at the RACGP's discretion. A request for special arrangements may be fully or partially granted. Alternative arrangements may be offered by the RACGP as deemed appropriate. A request may be denied because the application is incomplete or due to insufficient evidence, or because the request cannot reasonably be accommodated by the RACGP.

5.3.4 An application for special arrangements that does not comply with this policy will not be considered.

5.4 Application outcome

5.4.1 The RACGP will provide written notice to the Candidate of the outcome of their special arrangements application as soon as practicable after the relevant due diligence and logistical capabilities have been explored.

5.4.2 If the Candidate believes that the outcome was reached incorrectly, the Candidate may apply for reconsideration in line with the RACGP Reconsiderations and Appeals Policy. An application for reconsideration must be received by the RACGP within ten national office business days of the Candidate being notified of the outcome of their special arrangements application.

6. Related policies, documents and legislation

All related policies are available here.

All related guidance documents are available here.

7. Administrative procedures

7.1 Access to published policy

This policy will be available via the RACGP website as detailed in clause 6.

7.2 Promulgation of published policy

Relevant staff members will be provided communications explaining the function and role of this policy.

7.3 Review of this policy

This policy will have a review cycle of three years.