Swine flu / norovirus and January 2011 assessments: general advice
05 January 2011
LJMU is keen to ensure that business continuity is maintained in the context of student assessment and progression and that all Faculties adopt a consistent approach to dealing with the possible impact of Swine Flu / Norovirus on the forthcoming assessments.
The UMF regulations do provide for flexibility in the context of assessment and colleagues are encouraged to refer to the relevant regulations as appropriate. [See UMF C4.7 Assessment, Mitigation, Illness & Absence for further details].
Most individual student circumstances can be managed via the Regulations and in the context of facilitating progression, colleagues should consider the range of possibilities available such as course work extensions, alternative assignments or waivers.
Where such action is inapplicable or inappropriate, for example where students contact the University to advise that they have been diagnosed with / have the symptoms of Swine Flu / Norovirus, so cannot attend an examination, they should be advised to follow Government and NHS recommendations. Students should not attend an examination if they believe that they have Swine Flu / Norovirus. In these circumstances they should be advised to submit a Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC) form and provide whatever evidence they can to support their PMC.
Regulations C4.7.1 & C4.7.2 make reference to students providing ‘appropriate evidence / supporting documentation’. However in light of the current circumstances and Government guidance, it is possible that students will not have and will not be able to obtain a medical certificate to support their applications. It would not be appropriate for the University to insist upon a medical certificate to confirm that a student has Swine Flu / Norovirus and PMC committees / Module Leaders should take a pragmatic approach to requests for coursework extensions / PMC submissions.
Similarly, students may have competed coursework but are unable to attend the University to submit in the normal way. Again, in these circumstances, common sense and pragmatism should be the order of the day and online submission of work or recorded delivery postal submission should be permitted where possible.
In the context of student progression, Assessment Boards should again consider the flexibility available in the Regulations [such as compensation / trailing / re-registration etc] in relation to students who have been unable to undertake assessment due to these highly infectious illnesses. See UMF C6 Progression, Level Completion Failure & Referral. Such decisions should not of course override the requirements of professional bodies / external validating bodies or their regulations.
Further advice can also be obtained from Academic Managers within Faculties, Wayne Turnbull (Academic Enhancement Unit) or Marie Ward (Head of Student Policy & Regulation).