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Mitigating Circumstances

Students will be able to apply for mitigating circumstances online at https://chiview.chi.ac.uk (under ‘My Study’ you will see a yellow box to click on called ‘Mitigating Circumstances)

Mitigating Circumstances are serious events which impact upon your performance and must be:

·         Severe: the event or circumstance must have had a serious impact on assessment performance

·         Unexpected: the student must have had no prior knowledge that a particular event would occur

·         Unpreventable: there must have been no reasonable steps that the student could have taken to prevent the event or circumstance from occurring

·         Relevant: the event or circumstances must have occurred at the time of the assessment or during the period immediately leading up to (it)

·         Corroborated: the claim must meet the requirements for independent documentary evidence outlined in the FAQs.

Mitigating Circumstances and Extensions are often confused as the same thing, when they are two completely separate processes; extensions are applied for through the relevant Programme Coordinator; mitigating circumstances through AQSS. Before advising students to complete a mitigating circumstances claim form, please read the guidance on the differences between mitigating circumstances and extensions: 

Any student who believes that there are circumstances (e.g. ill health or close family bereavement) which have seriously affected their performance in assessment is advised to submit a claim so that those circumstances may be taken into account when the Board of Examiners meet to discuss candidature, particularly in cases of failure or failure to submit.

What mitigating circumstances does is, in any case of failure or failure to submit in an module, a student is usually allowed to take that assessment again, at the next point of assessment, without a capped mark of 40%, as a resit would be. If you have submitted a claim for mitigation and you pass your module, mitigation will not be applied and the original mark will be accepted. Marks are not normally altered because of a student’s mitigating circumstances. However, the Board’s decision on what to do in certain situations may be influenced by the mitigating evidence considered.

Claims for mitigation are only for the notification of circumstances which have not previously been taken into account by the University (for example where a disability has been recognised by the University), or where it is felt that the effect of your circumstances on your performance has been greater than allowances which have already been made. All claims will be treated in confidence. The contents of the claim will normally be kept confidential to the Chair and Officers of the Board of Examiners.

Please note that claims for mitigation should normally be submitted before the point of assessment. If this is not possible, claimants should liaise with the Academic Quality and Standards Service who will give guidance on the maximum timeframe for submission.

Please refer to the FAQs before submitting your claim:  Mitigating Circumstances FAQs 2017/18

Guidance on claims of mitigating circumstances versus intermission

Mitigation is only ever used in relation to assessment; mitigation cannot be used in relation to attendance (or rather absence). If a student has missed a significant number of sessions for good reason, they should be advised to intermit. We have cases where students have not been in attendance since September and have not been able to submit work for four Semester 1 modules and have been advised to seek mitigation. This leaves the student in the position of attempting to hand in work for eight modules in Semester 2. If the student then fails three or more modules, they are required to move to part-time registration, having financial implications.

Any late application to intermission which is received in Registry with a signature date greatly at odds with the last date of attendance will be treated as intermitting from the date the form was signed and any tuition fee charge applied in accordance with the Tuition Fee Policy.   In exceptional cases where retrospective intermission is being claimed, (usually where a student has been incapacitated due to extreme ill health), this has to be authorised by the Pro-Vice chancellor.

Guidance on claims of mitigating circumstances received after the relevant board of examiners has met

The University’s academic regulations allow for students to appeal the decision of a board of examiners on the basis that:

“… where, for good reason, the academic body was not made aware of a significant factor relating to the assessment of a student when it made its original decision. If the appeal is based on mitigating circumstances, evidence must be produced; if the appeal is based on evidence that the student had been previously unwilling to divulge to the Board of Examiners, the letter should set out the reasons why the student was unwilling to produce such evidence at an earlier stage and provide any appropriate supporting documentary or medical evidence.”

So, claims (appeals) submitted after the board of examiners has met will not be considered unless the student has provided a credible and compelling explanation explaining why he/she did not bring the circumstances to the attention of the board of examiners.  Reasons such as not being aware of the procedure and/or deadlines/advised otherwise will not be accepted.

For a claim (appeal) to be accepted a student must produce independent documentary evidence to show that the circumstances: a) have detrimentally affected their performance/submission/attendance in assessment or will do so; b) were unforeseen; c) were out of their control and could not have been prevented; d) relate directly to the timing of the assessment affected. Students should be aware that discussing their claim with a member of staff does not constitute a submission of a claim of mitigating circumstances.

Appeals on the basis of mitigation must be submitted to the Director of Quality and Standards who will ascertain whether an appeal panel needs to be convened or whether the Chair of the relevant board of examiners might take Chair’s Action to allow the claim and set a first sit for the assessment/s concerned. All claims will be treated in confidence.

How to Apply:

Please complete the mitigating circumstances claim form online via ChiView, and attach the relevant independent documentary evidence. Incomplete forms or those unaccompanied by independent documentary evidence will not be accepted, so please ensure that your information is completed in all sections and that you append your evidence. You are advised not to rely on a third party e.g. Academic Advisor, Counsellor, GP to forward evidence on to AQSS.  See the  FAQs  for examples of appropriate evidence or contact AQSS for advice. 

For advice and guidance on mitigating circumstances please contact:

Rachael Clausen (term time) or Sophie Butler

Academic Quality and Standards Service

Bishop Otter Campus

University of Chichester

College Lane

Chichester

West Sussex

PO19 6PE

Rachael Clausen - Tel: 01243 816074

Sophie Butler -  Tel: 01243 816021

Email: mitcircs@chi.ac.uk

In the unlikely event you are unable to complete an online application, please email mitcircs@chi.ac.uk to request a form; or collect a hard copy from SIZ, Academic registry or AQSS.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?

Any student aggrieved by the outcome of discussions at the Board of Examiners has the right to appeal against the Board’s decisions, within 21 days of publication of results. Details of the Appeal Regulations are available from Katie Akerman in AQSS or on Moodle under Academic Regulations. For Appeals only: Katie Akerman, Tel: 01243 816469, Email: k.akerman@chi.ac.uk