Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making sure that a candidate is not disadvantaged by reason of a disability in demonstrating their competence and we welcome applications for reasonable adjustments from candidates with disabilities or other conditions.

We want to make sure that everyone has the same opportunity to take the SQE and under the Equality Act 2010, we have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for anyone who has a disability.

We may also be able to help if you have a condition that is not a disability as defined by the Equality Act.

All SQE candidates must be assessed against the Statement of Solicitor Competence and the Statement of Legal Knowledge and must reach the Threshold Standard to qualify. But reasonable adjustments will be made to the assessment methods to ensure that candidates with disabilities are not disadvantaged.

Once you have registered and activated your account, you can request reasonable adjustments for an assessment, prior to booking each assessment.

Learn more: Reasonable adjustments policy

Types of reasonable adjustment

We know that people request reasonable adjustments for different reasons. We will work with you to put in place reasonable adjustments to make sure that you are not disadvantaged.

We will make adjustments on a case-by-case basis, in line with our reasonable adjustments policy and the supporting evidence you provide.

Learn more: Reasonable adjustment Q&As

Applying for reasonable adjustments

You must request reasonable adjustments before you book each assessment. You can request reasonable adjustments during the pre-booking steps via your SQE account. You will be asked to complete and submit a reasonable adjustment request form, and provide evidence.

We do our best to make sure this website and our candidate accounts are accessible to people with a disability that affects their use of the internet. But if you cannot use our online registration and booking process due to a disability, please get in touch by phone 0203 486 3080 or email enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk.

Information for disability assessors

We do ask for evidence if you need a reasonable adjustment. If you need to let your doctor or healthcare professional know about the SQE and what's involved, we have information available to explain the qualification and what is needed to request a reasonable adjustment. We suggest that you speak with the relevant professional to obtain the evidence to support your application as early as possible.

Learn more: Information for disability assessors

Assessment centre locations

Pearson VUE Professional Centres in England and Wales comply with the disability access requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The test centres can accommodate a range of alternative arrangements for candidates with special requirements or the need for reasonable adjustments. Note that you can not book for any SQE assessment with Pearson VUE directly.

Learn more: Pearson VUE test centre support

Learn more: Assessment centre locations

Disabled Students’ Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) can help you cover some of the extra costs you have in studying because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

The DSA is not the SRA’s or Kaplan’s scheme. The SQE is an exam not a course. However an SQE-related course may qualify for the DSAs but that is for the Government to decide. The SRA and Kaplan are not involved in setting eligibility criteria or deciding who receives the allowance.

Help with travel

We do not offer travel support. However, support may be available from other sources, such as:

Reasonable adjustments Q&As

The following Q&As give you more information about the SQE reasonable adjustment policy and what you need to do to make a reasonable adjustment request.

Before requesting a reasonable adjustment you must first register for an SQE account. Once you have completed the registration process you will then be able to request a reasonable adjustment. Before booking your assessment, you must let us know if you require a reasonable adjustment. You will be asked to complete and submit a reasonable adjustment request form via your account. We will ask you to provide supporting evidence as part of your request.

Related question: What information is needed when making a reasonable adjustment request?

Related question: Who can provide information or evidence in support of my reasonable adjustments request?

Please let us know if you are not able to use our online registration and booking process. Contact us and we will work with you to find the best way to help. This may include agreeing with you other means of communication so that you can register, book assessments and provide us with information.

Contact us via email: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or by calling 020 3486 3080

Please let us know if you need a reasonable adjustment as early as possible. Late requests for a reasonable adjustment, or a delay in providing information to us, may mean we are not able to accommodate your needs in time for your preferred assessment date. If you request a reasonable adjustment after the booking deadline for an assessment, you will need to sit your assessment at a later date.

The table below illustrates some of the adjustments you may be offered. This is not an exhaustive list or an exact description of the adjustments that would be made for the SQE nor of the disability or condition that you may have. We recognise you may have other disabilities or conditions and may be affected in different ways. The content of this table is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive.

For each condition or disability identified below, one or more, but not necessarily all, of the reasonable adjustments shown could be made, or an alternative adjustment could be made. Any adjustment/s will be made on a case by case basis, in accordance with the SQE Reasonable Adjustments Policy and subject to the supporting evidence provided.

Example of condition or disability Reasonable adjustment
Arthritis Additional time, use of computer/laptop for written assessments, candidate may bring and take medication
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Additional time and breaks, use of earplugs
Cerebral palsy Additional time, separate invigilation
Chronic pain Additional time, candidate may bring and take medication
Depression Additional time, use of computer/laptop for written assessments
Dyslexia Additional time, enlarged/coloured assessments, use of computer/laptop for written assessments
Food intolerance Candidate may bring and take medication
Hypoglycaemia Candidate may bring appropriate snacks to the assessment
Migraines Candidate may bring water and medication to the assessment
Mobility issues A personal assistant, an amanuensis, additional time, use of computer/laptop for written exams, elevated monitor
Pregnancy Pregnant candidates are not disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act. However, if we are aware of their condition, we will make any arrangements which are medically advised
PTSD Additional time, use of computer/laptop for written assessments
Spondylitis Additional time, use of candidate’s own back support
Tendonitis Use of computer/laptop for written assessments, use of candidate’s own wrist brace, use of own pen
Visual impairment A reader, additional time, a separate room and invigilation, large-print copies of materials provided in printed format, use of software eg ZoomText to magnify the text and a variety of different contrast options

Your request will be considered by an experienced and suitably qualified team, who report to the Kaplan SQE Head of Equality and Quality. Our team includes members who have experience of disability and of agreeing reasonable adjustments. Our team will engage sensitively, promptly, consistently and fairly with you and in accordance with the SQE Reasonable Adjustments Policy.

When we receive your request for a reasonable adjustment, we will consider your request and, where necessary, we will get in touch, using the email address you provided on registration (or if you are unable to use email, by using your preferred method of communication). We may need to discuss your request with you or may ask you to provide further information or evidence. In many cases your initial request will provide all the information we need.

When you request a reasonable adjustment, our team will work with you to agree what adjustment(s) can be made. The test centres can accommodate a range of alternative arrangements for anyone with agreed reasonable adjustments, and who have special requirements. We will identify a test centre which can accommodate your agreed reasonable adjustment and is as near to you as possible, and will reserve a place there. You then book the place by making the required payment. This may mean that you have to travel to a test centre other than the nearest one to your home address, but we will ensure that the booking is appropriate for you.

Within your SQE account, you will be asked to provide details of the adjustment(s) requested, including the nature of your disability or other condition and supporting evidence, your prefered test centre location, and details of the assessment you wish to sit. The supporting evidence must be provided by an appropriate person and must include information detailed enough to identify:

  • the nature of your disability or condition; and
  • the effect of the disability or condition on your ability to perform in the assessment; and
  • requested reasonable adjustments and how these adjustments will address your needs.

The appropriate person/s to provide this evidence is your disability assessor. They may be your specialist consultant, your GP, an occupational health adviser, an educational specialist or another specialist with appropriate qualifications. Please look at the information we put in place for disability assessors. This will help you to identify the information and evidence we need you to submit when you request a reasonable adjustment. Please read the guidance before completing your request, and share it with your disability assessor(s) to help them prepare appropriate information and evidence to support your request.

Related question: I have some supporting evidence but it is over two years old. Will I need to get more up to date evidence? If so, will Kaplan pay?

Related question: Who can provide information or evidence in support of my reasonable adjustments request? 

The person providing the evidence (your disability assessor) must have sufficient professional qualifications as well as expert knowledge of your disability or condition to understand what that disability or condition is and how it will impact on your ability to demonstrate the competence requirements of the SQE assessments. For example your specialist consultant or GP, an occupational health therapist, a healthcare professional or an educational psychologist. As well as providing evidence of your disability or condition, they are best placed to provide proposals for adjustments which can help to remove or minimise any disadvantage you may suffer as a result of your disability or condition.

If you are requesting reasonable adjustments because you have a learning difficulty, we will require a report from an approved assessor. Approved assessors in the UK include:

Specialist reports should be in English, or if you have indicated that you will sit the SQE in Welsh, the report may be in Welsh. Where the report has been prepared in another language, it must be accompanied by a certified translation into English by a professional translator. The report should have been prepared at a time when you were aged 16 or over.

You are advised to start thinking about the reasonable adjustment you will request as early as possible, and preferably well before you want to book an assessment. It may take some time to get the referral you need, and to identify who will be the appropriate disability assessor(s) to provide evidence of your condition and of the adjustment you will request.

Please share the information we have prepared with your disability assessor or assessors. This will help them to understand SQE assessment methods and requirements, and discuss them with you, and to produce the information and evidence which will support your request for reasonable adjustments.

Our team can provide general advice on the information and evidence you may need to submit in support of your request for a reasonable adjustment. They can be contacted via email (or other agreed means of communication). Our team may also be able to suggest a range of reasonable adjustments which you may wish to discuss with your disability assessor. The role of the Kaplan reasonable adjustments team is to work with you to try to agree the reasonable adjustment you need, once you have submitted your request with supporting evidence.

It is your responsibility to provide the information and evidence which will enable full consideration to be given to your request for a reasonable adjustment. You, working with your disability assessor, should propose adjustment(s) appropriate to remove or reduce the disadvantage which you might otherwise experience because of your disability or condition.

This can be submitted and we will assess this on a case by case basis. We will work with you to identify whether that evidence is sufficient or whether you will need to provide further information. We can, for example, consider recommendations prepared by an adviser at a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) assessment centre, provided that they are accompanied by the medical or other specialist evidence you submitted to apply for DSA, or equivalent more recent evidence which reflects changes in your condition. However the assessment methods encountered at university are likely to be very different from those of SQE1 and SQE2. It may be that reasonable adjustment offered at university will not be appropriate or sufficient for you when you undertake the SQE. Where this occurs, we will discuss with you what else is required by way of evidence or information.

Related question: My supporting evidence is over two years old. Will I need to get more up to date evidence? If so, will Kaplan pay?

If you are not able to provide appropriate supporting evidence when you first notify us of your reasonable adjustment request, you should submit the request at once, and your supporting evidence as soon as possible afterwards. Your request for reasonable adjustment(s) cannot be fully considered until both the request form and supporting information or evidence have been received.

Please respond promptly, wherever possible, to requests for information or further evidence in connection with a reasonable adjustment request. If you delay, we may not be able to reserve your place in a convenient test centre, since the number of available seats reduces as the assessment date approaches.

Requests for reasonable adjustment and/or supporting evidence received after the booking deadline for the relevant assessment cannot be processed except as relating to the next sitting of the assessment.

Please contact us by email, or otherwise, if you wish to discuss concerns about confidentiality in relation to the submission of your evidence.

Contact details: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or 0203 486 3080

Whether the evidence is enough will depend on your disability or condition and the reasonable adjustment you are requesting. We recognise that some conditions may not change over time and in such circumstances evidence such as the diagnosis of your condition may well be more than two years old, and is likely to be appropriate. However the adjustment(s) you are requesting must also be supported by evidence, so you should consider discussing these with your disability assessor(s) in good time, in order to obtain their recommendation(s) for submission to Kaplan. While we do not want candidates to incur unnecessary costs, we are not responsible for the cost of obtaining evidence in support of reasonable adjustments.

The assessment methods for SQE1 and SQE2 are not the same and so adjustments made for one may not be appropriate for the other. Please see the information on assessment methods provided in the information for disability assessors and in the Assessment Specifications for SQE1 and SQE2. We want to make sure you have reasonable adjustments in place which are appropriate and specific to your needs for each assessment. Therefore separate requests for reasonable adjustment(s) should be submitted at the time of booking for SQE1 and for SQE2.

The evidence you provide for SQE1 may also be used in support of a request for reasonable adjustment for SQE2 and may be resubmitted when booking SQE2. If we require additional information or evidence, we will contact you.

If you have difficulties submitting the evidence, please contact us and we will work with you to help.

Contact details: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or 0203 486 3080

Related questions:

What information is needed when making a reasonable adjustment request?

Related question: Who can provide information or evidence in support of my reasonable adjustments request?

Can I provide evidence used for a reasonable adjustment during my time at university as part of my supporting documentation?

My supporting evidence is over two years old. Will I need to get more up to date evidence? If so, will Kaplan pay?

You are advised to start thinking about the reasonable adjustments you will request as early as possible, and preferably well before you want to book an assessment. It may take some time to get the referral you need, and to identify who will be the appropriate disability assessor(s) to provide evidence of your condition and of the adjustments you will request. As soon as you are able to, we recommend you talk to your disability assessor(s) about what adjustments they recommend for you for SQE1 and for SQE2, using our information for disability assessors to explain the assessment methods.

Depending on the nature of your disability, you may be able to obtain recommendations from your disability assessor of reasonable adjustments for each of SQE1 and SQE2 at the same appointment. In complex situations, and where you are likely to request adjustments which may take some time to agree and put in place, it would be best to contact the Equality and Quality team to discuss your needs before you start the booking process.

Contact details: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or 0203 486 3080

Your request for reasonable adjustment(s) will be reviewed by a member of our reasonable adjustments team. In complex cases we may ask your permission for us to contact your specialist consultant or GP or the person who has assessed your requirements for reasonable adjustments. We will keep the information provided to us confidential and as required by the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Where a request relates to SQE1 and the written assessments of SQE2 we will share details of the adjustment agreed as necessary and appropriate with Pearson VUE so that arrangements can be made at the test centre. Where the request relates to SQE2 oral assessments we may share the information with the assessors, markers and such members of the operations team as is necessary and appropriate to make sure your reasonable adjustment is put in place.

You need to make a new request for each sitting of the SQE assessments. If your circumstances have not changed you may be able to submit the same supporting evidence as originally provided if it is appropriate to do so. When you book resits, you will do so via your SQE account (or agreed alternative ) in the same way as for your original assessment booking. Before you are able to book you will be asked whether or not you require reasonable adjustment(s).

Related question: Can I provide evidence used for a reasonable adjustment during my time at university as part of my supporting documentation?

You can withdraw your request at any time. We will try to accommodate changes. However this will always depend on the nature of the change and the timing of the request. It may be that changes to the original adjustment cannot be made in time for the booked assessment but can be accommodated for a later sitting.

You will be able to track the status of your request through your SQE account (or otherwise as agreed). While we are reviewing your request, you will be able to see via your account that it is under consideration or, if you cannot use your online account, then you may contact us for an update.

Contact details: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or 0203 486 3080

Requests for further evidence or information will be sent to you by email (or alternative means of communication as agreed). After your request has been reviewed and all supporting evidence has been considered you will receive an update from us via your account (or otherwise as agreed). You may confirm and accept the proposed reasonable adjustment in which case the reasonable adjustment will be recorded on your account. If you do not accept the adjustment we propose, you may reject our response and in the first instance discuss this with the Kaplan reasonable adjustments team. We will contact you if we receive a rejection from you via your account, or initiate a discussion by alternative means of communication as appropriate.

If after discussion you disagree with our decision you can appeal against it by contacting the SQE Academic Director.

Related question: Can I appeal a decision to grant me reasonable adjustment?

The time it takes us to process a request for reasonable adjustment will depend on the nature and complexity of the request and the supporting information and evidence you provide. In most cases the reasonable adjustment requested will be straightforward to put in place. In some cases we may need to ask for clarification or further evidence. Once we have all the information or evidence necessary to reach a decision, we will normally let you know via your SQE account (or otherwise as agreed) within 20 working days.

If you are not satisfied that appropriate adjustments have been offered, and have discussed the offer with the Kaplan reasonable adjustments team without reaching agreement, you can appeal against the offer of reasonable adjustment by contacting us.

Contact details: enquiries@sqe.sra.org.uk or 0203 486 3080

Your appeal must include all relevant information and evidence, and explain why you do not accept the decision regarding your request for reasonable adjustments.

The Academic Director may take advice as appropriate and will review your case and the offer made to you. The Academic Director, taking all relevant factors into account, will determine whether the adjustment you have been offered and/or the manner in which the decision to offer you that adjustment (or not to offer you an adjustment) was reached, involved material irregularity and/or was manifestly unreasonable and/or irrational.

Where the Academic Director upholds your appeal, they may recommend further action, which will normally be an altered offer of reasonable adjustments. Where the Academic Director rejects your appeal, the original offer of reasonable adjustments will stand.

The Academic Director will communicate his or her decision on your appeal to you by email (or other agreed means of communication) within 10 working days of submission of the appeal. Where the Academic Director upholds your appeal a new decision on your request for reasonable adjustments will be communicated to you via your SQE account (or other agreed means of communication) within five working days after the decision of the Academic Director. 

We understand that some candidates who request reasonable adjustment will need to make additional arrangements and incur additional expenses which are significantly more complex and costly than those which all SQE candidates meet.

This might arise for example because you have a much longer journey to reach a test centre which can accommodate your agreed reasonable adjustment. Because of your disability, you may have to make additional travel arrangements, or arrange an overnight stay or pay for the presence of a carer. In considering what reasonable adjustment should be made, we will discuss with you all the individual circumstances of your case and all adjustments which it may be reasonable to make. In some cases the reasonable adjustment we agree may include payment by us towards additional expenses you may incur.

Each case will be determined on its individual merits and consistently and fairly in line with the SQE Reasonable Adjustments Policy. In reaching a decision about what adjustments should be made, we will consider all relevant factors in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and supporting legislation.

Because we need time to agree and put reasonable adjustments in place, we request that you let us have your request for reasonable adjustment by the relevant booking deadline. It may not always be possible to make last minute adjustments as alternative accommodation or resources may not be available.

Where you have a condition which means that a “flare up” could occur, it will be helpful where possible for us to know this at the time when you make your request for a reasonable adjustment.

If you have an unexpected health problem which arises or “flares up” after booking the assessment and prevents you from sitting the assessment, then on submission of medical evidence you can expect to be offered another opportunity to sit the exam in line with our Mitigating Circumstances Policy .

If you experience a deterioration in your health which materially affects your performance during the assessment you should inform the invigilating team at once, and contact us immediately after the assessment so that we can advise on making a claim for mitigating circumstances.

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Ready to register for the SQE?

Create your personal SQE account and book your assessments.

Register for SQE 

Have you passed the SQE?

Find out what happens after passing the SQE and admission to the roll of solicitors.

Learn more