Policy Deferred Examinations Procedure

Deferred Examinations Procedure

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(effective to 31 Dec 2020, from Jan 01 2021 refer to Special Consideration Procedure)


This procedure specifies the process relating to applications to sit Deferred Examinations.


To provide students with the right to equity and fairness when undertaking the assessment components of their studies through Deferred Examinations.


This procedure applies to all James Cook University students.


Definition of terms used in this Procedure are as per the Policy Glossary with the following additions:

In this Procedure the following terms have the meanings set against them respectively.

‘Assessment Committee’ – a College or Division committee established to oversee assessment outcomes for a suite of courses and or subjects, for the purpose of assuring quality of assessment as per the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy and the Student Results Policy.

‘College’ – a learning and teaching delivery entity within an Academic Division of the university, this may also include other Divisional entities such as Learning, Teaching & Student Engagement, the JCU Pathway College and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre.

‘Deferred Examination’ — an Examination awarded in accordance with this Procedure to a student who, has not Sat, or will not Sit, for an Examination in the subject in question on the original date set for the Examination. Results which can be awarded after sitting a Deferred Examination include all results available in the subject.

‘Extenuating Circumstances’ - an unexpected event that is outside a student's capacity to prevent or overcome that demonstrably affects their capacity to complete teaching/learning and/or assessment tasks, or achieve the level of attainment typical of their previous performance in the subject or course. These could include:

  • medical or psychological conditions or events
  • loss or bereavement – e.g. death of an immediate family member
  • family relationship breakdown
  • hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment resulting in severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
  • relevant obligations to military or jury service or service to emergency services such as the SES

‘Sit/Sat for an examination’ – attend/ed the Examination and was presented with the examination materials


  1. Students who consider their ability to attend an Examination, has been or is being adversely affected by Extenuating Circumstances may apply for a Deferred Examination.
  2. Students must submit the prescribed online application for a Deferred Examination.
  3. Applications must be submitted no later than three University working days after the date of the Examination.
  4. Applications made on medical grounds must have a medical certificate attached.
  5. Applications made on psychological grounds must have supporting documentation from a mental health practitioner or a General Practitioner attached.
  6. Medical and psychological documentation must provide sufficient information on which to make a determination regarding the application and must not be issued by a family member.
  7. Applications made on any grounds other than medical or psychological must be supported by relevant documentation and provide sufficient information on which to make a determination regarding the application.  Relevant documentation may include a statutory declaration by the student setting out the circumstances which are the basis of the application.
  8. For applications made on grounds which do not meet the definition of extenuating circumstances, students must supply supporting documentation and also provide a letter of endorsement from their Subject Coordinator.
  9. Following the processing of the application, the relevant material will be evaluated by the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions or the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations to determine whether Extenuating Circumstances existed which impacted on the student’s ability to sit the Examination at the scheduled Examination time.
  10. If the Team Leader, Examinations and Progressions or the Manager, Student Finance and Examinations determine that Extenuating Circumstances existed, a Deferred Examination will be approved. If a decision cannot be made, the student will be directed to provide further information, as per clause 8. If a student is unable to prove extenuating circumstances, the application will be denied.
  11. Student Services will communicate the outcome of the application for a Deferred Examination (including reasons for the decision) to the student by email within 5 University working days of the date of submission of the application.
  12. If a Deferred Examination is approved.
    1. Student Services will apply an ED result for that subject in the Student Management System; and
    2. the applicable College will be notified through a scheduled system report of the requirement for a Deferred Examination paper to be prepared.
  13. A University staff member may request a Deferred Examination on a student’s behalf if the staff member considers that Extenuating Circumstances exist. This request must be emailed through to exams@jcu.edu.au. For example, if:
    1. known technical issues have impacted or prevented the provision of a subject’s online Examination; or
    2. the University has been unable to facilitate an adjusted Examination for a student with known accessibility requirements.
  14. Students are not permitted to defer a deferred examination.  In these instances the student must contact the College.
  15. Other types of subsequent non routine Examinations may be offered as specified in clause 3 of the Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy

Special Consideration, Supplementary and Special Examinations Procedure

Student Results Policy

Students with Disabilities Policy.

Policy Glossary


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



18-1 05/12/2018 11/12/2018 Minor amendment to clarify requirements for supporting documents. Manager, Student Finance and Examinations


29 May 2017

31 May 2017

Establishment - Procedure embedded in the Special Consideration, Supplementary, Deferred and Special Examinations Policy were removed, reviewed and placed into this procedure.

Manager Student Finance and Examinations


Examination, Deferred examination,