student handbook


Sometimes, for many reasons, it can be challenging for a student to complete an assessment as it is presented, especially if they have a physical disability or learning difficulty.

Where this is the case, as your training provider, we can make reasonable adjustments to help you be successful in completing your training.

We cannot remove the need for an assessment, they are there to ensure you meet the standards set out in the training package. But sometimes, we can change how we assess you to still determine the same outcomes.

For us to be able to offer reasonable adjustment, you do need to disclose to us information on your disabilities or learning difficulties. The best time to do this is prior to enrolling. We’ll then discuss any reasonable adjustments we can make for you. Every reasonable adjustment needs to be justifiable and must uphold the integrity of the qualification. So sometimes, we may be limited in what we can offer to meet your needs, or the course may not be suitable for you.


Reasonable adjustment is a legislative term that, for vocational education and training refers to a measure or action taken by an education provider to enable learners with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as learners without disability.

All registered training providers are obliged to provide reasonable adjustment to ensure maximum participation of learners with disability. Its purpose is to make it possible for learners with disability to:

  • participate fully, with the same learning opportunities as learners without disability
  • have the same opportunity to perform and complete assessments as those without disability.


Inherent requirements are the fundamental parts of a course that must be met by all students in order for them to be deemed competent. They are the abilities, skills and knowledge students need to complete the course — those components which, if removed, would compromise the learning outcomes. We cannot remove an inherent requirement as a reasonable adjustment.

Students with disability can be provided with reasonable adjustments to enable them to meet these inherent requirements, provided this would not cause unjustifiable hardship to the training provider (eg increase the cost of delivery to facilitate the adjustment).

It is important to note, that if a student cannot meet the inherent requirements, even with adjustments, then they cannot complete the course.

It all depends on the physical disability and the individual.

For example, if a student is hard of hearing or deaf, we can provide support through written formats, and provide scripts of any learning or assessment components that are audible. Access to Auslan interpreters can also be arranged, however the cost for this is born by the students. You can also purchase equipment, such as electronic stethoscopes, which can assist you to perform your tasks. For students who have low vision, we could provide electronic resources so their text-to-speech software can read the learner’s guide.

However, we also have to consider the assessment requirements. For example, if you are required as part of the course to visually assess an animal’s behaviour, and you have low vision, this poses a greater challenge to make reasonable adjustments. Being able to assess an animal’s behaviour prior to handling is an essential skill for working with animals to keep yourself and others safe, as well as meet course requirements. We cannot remove that requirement. Depending on your vision abilities and the flexibility of the workplace, there may be some adjustments that can assist you to still meet the requirements and work safely.

If you have a physical disability which limits your ability to move or manipulate objects, or stand for long periods of time, this can impact your ability to undertake standard tasks that veterinary nurses or animal carers may need to do and by extension, the course requirements – such as lift and restrain animals or assist in theatre. Sometimes, we can change assessment requirements without changing outcomes – for example if you are limited to only lifting 10kg or under, we can change requirements from demonstrating lifting large dogs to small ones, as this would still meet unit requirements.

We encourage you to discuss your ability limitations with us so we can verify what the minimum requirements are to meet the inherent course requirements and make adjustments where we can do so. For the practical requirements, you will also need to have a workplace willing and able to accommodate any changes necessary. You should discuss this with us prior to enrolment.

Depending on the type of learning difficulty you have, will depend on the type of changes we can make.

For example, if you are dyslexic, we could provide you with a different format of resources that you can then use accessibility software to access.

If you struggle writing out long assessments, we can provide you with opportunities to answer your assessments in another medium – such as an oral or video assessment. This would not change the assessment outcomes. We do have to be careful that you can still meet the course unit requirements, especially for literacy skills.

We encourage you to discuss your learning difficulties with us so we can determine what assistance we are able to give. Sometimes we may be limited in the services we can provide but we will help direct you to external services. Ultimately, you know your own abilities the best and what works for you, so you will be involved in all decisions for reasonable adjustment.

Yes, all students are entitled to apply for an extension.

There are eligibility conditions and you must have a valid reason for requiring an assessment. For students who require reasonable adjustment which includes extra time to complete work, we may waive some requirements for eligibility for extensions and offer them at a reduced fee.

If you are are aware that you will need extra time due to a disability, then you must discuss this with us either before enrolling or at the commencement of your course. If you approach us towards the end of your course, we may decline an application for extension based on the standard eligibility conditions. It is important that you communicate with us as soon as you are aware there is an issue.

Skills Disability Support (SDS) is a Queensland Government participation strategy to ensure Queenslanders with disability achieve equitable participation in VET.

Under this strategy, RTOs that have been pre-approved to deliver training and assessment services as prequalified suppliers (PQS) in Queensland can access specialised services. UQ Skills is a PQS.

These services are available by application only and are applied as reasonable adjustment under the Disability Standards for Education 2005. They include:

  • assistive technology such as software, magnification aids and specialised computer accessories
  • reimbursement for specialised support services such as Auslan interpreters, disability coaches, mentors and reader/scribes.

If you are limited in your ability to access cases or equipment in your clinic, the first option is to complete placement elsewhere so you can meet these requirements. This is why we check what equipment and cases are at your clinic before you start your clinical assessments – we can put a plan in place prior to you commencing that part of your training.

Sometimes, we can work with you and your clinic to provide options to simulate a task and still meet training and assessment requirements. Not all tasks can be simulated however. 

Another option is to attend our workshops to complete skills there on our equipment with an Educator, or to hire equipment from us. These may attract a fee, so discuss with us as soon as you are aware of a problem.