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5.2 Inclusive Assessments

How to avoiding discrimination during Assessments:

  • Methods practiced should only be used if they are well designed, properly administered and professionally validated and are a reliable method of predicting an applicant's performance in a particular job.

  • If a test/assessment leads to indirect discrimination or discrimination arising from disability, even if such discrimination is not intended and the reason for the discrimination is not understood, the test should not be used unless it can be objectively justified.

Tips on recruiting disabled people:

  • When application forms are sent out, or at the shortlisting stage, explain to applicants if they will be expected to take a test or participate in an assessment.

  • Provide an outline of what will be involved and ask whether they require any reasonable adjustments.  This is because, if an applicant is a disabled person and is not explained in advance, this may disadvantage them because it does not give them a chance to ask for reasonable adjustments.

  • Even if the applicant does not tell you they are disabled or ask for any adjustments, if this becomes clear once they arrive for the test, you still need to make any adjustments which are reasonable.

  • Ensure that disabled applicants are not prevented in being able to compete on the same terms as other non-disabled applicants.

Reasonable adjustments:

  • Providing written instructions in an accessible format.
  • Allowing a disabled person extra time to complete the test.
  • Permitting a disabled person the assistance of a reader or scribe during the test.
  • Ensuring venues used are accessible, refer to webpage: Physical Access Guide for the University


A School/Unit allows an applicant extra time for a written test because they have severe dyslexia.  They also provide them with a computer, having checked with them what adjustments they need and accepted that they are reasonable adjustments.

Note: Schools/Units do not have to adapt a test to the point where it no longer tests whether someone would be able to do the job or not (taking into account any reasonable adjustments that would enable the disabled person to do the job).

Avoiding discrimination during social gatherings as part of an Assessment:

Tip: Ask in advance and make sure that soft drinks or an alternative meal can be provided.  




Human Resources

University of St Andrews
The Old Burgh School

Abbey Walk
St Andrews
KY16 9LB
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1334 463096