Reasonable adjustment policy

Content Summary


CPA Australia's Reasonable Adjustment policy draws directly from Australian Government Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards) formulated under the Australian Government Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). The primary purpose of the Standards is to clarify the obligations of Education Providers and Educational Authority under the DDA and the rights of people with disabilities in relation to education and training.


This policy applies to all enrolled candidates of the CPA Program or Foundation exams.

It is accepted that there are some essential requirements which are considered fundamental competencies for a CPA member and therefore an unreasonable alteration to any assessment.

Essential academic and technical requirements considered include but are not limited to:

  • ability to comprehend complex accounting standards, calculations and practices
  • ability to clearly communicate a candidate's knowledge and application of accounting principles and practices during assessment.

As the official working language of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is English, all content and exams developed by CPA Australia will be delivered in English language only. Requests for materials in other languages will not be accepted.

While reasonable attempts will be made to accommodate requests for changes to the format of study and exam materials, it is recognised that some materials are developed for computer-based use only. In these circumstances printing will be unavailable and alternative arrangements will be made to support a suitable adjustment in a computer-based exam environment.

Definition of Reasonable Adjustment

Any reasonable change to study guide or exam conditions made to accommodate a candidate with a verified disability or medical requirement.

Application for Reasonable Adjustment

You may apply for a Reasonable Adjustment to your study guide or exam conditions by completing the Reasonable Adjustment application, after you have enrolled in your subject/program.
Note: Online study resources are compliant with WACG 2.0, level A standards or above.

You will need to observe the Reasonable Adjustment closing dates published on our Important dates and fees page.

CPA Australia will not be able to accommodate Reasonable Adjustment applications submitted after the applicable closing dates.

If you wish to request a Reasonable Adjustment for your study guide or exam, you must provide a completed Reasonable Adjustment application form as well as supporting documentation from a medical practitioner detailing your disability or medical condition. The documentation must clearly demonstrate how these conditions are expected to impact on your ability to study or take your exam under standard conditions.

Submitting a Reasonable Adjustment application

You must submit your application and supporting medical documentation via email to [email protected].

All documentation must be submitted in one email.

The following documentation is required:

  1. A completed Reasonable Adjustment application signed by you and your medical practitioner.
  2. A current report from your medical practitioner. The report must meet the following criteria:
    • be on the medical practitioner's letterheaded paper, dated, signed and stamped by the medical practitioner
    • the medical practitioner must be appropriately qualified to diagnose and make recommendations to support the applications based on your medical information
    • contain a specific diagnosis and date of the diagnosis
    • detail the extent of the disability or medical condition as well as the expected duration
    • contain a recommendation as to the specific adjustments that need to be made to allow you to manage your condition and be able to perform to the same level as other candidates.

Application review process

All completed applications for Reasonable Adjustments will be reviewed by the Reasonable Adjustment team.

The Reasonable Adjustment team reviews each application on a case-by-case basis. Any recommendation by a medical practitioner is not automatically accepted by CPA Australia as the medical practitioner is unaware of the requirements of the program and the specific nature and structure of our exams. The team will take into consideration the impact of any adjustments on the integrity of the study and exam process in its decision making. CPA Australia will consider alternative options within reason and the effect on any relevant parties, including the integrity of the CPA Program or Foundation Exams, and assessment requirements and processes.

CPA Australia reserves the right to request additional information after a review of the submitted information, prior to making a decision on the application.

Any request for Reasonable Adjustment which fundamentally alters the integrity, security or validity of CPA Australia's exams will not be granted.

All information submitted will be treated as strictly confidential. Information and evidence submitted as part of your application will only be viewed by the Assessment Operations team. For further information, refer to our Privacy Policy.

Notification of decision

CPA Australia will make a decision on whether to grant a Reasonable Adjustment to a study guide or exams within a reasonable time.

You will be notified by email, usually within ten (10) business days of receipt of a completed application, of the decision of the Reasonable Adjustment team.

If you apply for a Reasonable Adjustment, you are not automatically granted Special Consideration for your exam result. You should apply for Special Consideration each semester if your disability or medical condition has impacted your studies leading up to the exam, or if any of the other grounds for Special Consideration have impacted your exam performance or studies during the semester in a manner which is not addressed by any Reasonable Adjustments made for you.

Study guide

Once a Reasonable Adjustment application has been approved in relation to an adjustment to your study guide, we will contact you to coordinate development and delivery timelines for adjustment to your study guide.

Exam appointment process

If you have an approved Reasonable Adjustment for your exam you will follow a different exam scheduling process:

  • You will not be able to self-schedule your exam appointment via My CPA Program as particular arrangements have to be made.
  • By applying for a Reasonable Adjustment, you agree to CPA Australia scheduling your exam time and venue and will need to be prepared to sit the scheduled exam at any available date and time during the exam period. You will be scheduled at the closest venue able to deliver the approved accommodation to your residential address. Where a test centre is not available, you will be scheduled for an online proctored exam, should your accommodation be suitable for delivery in an online proctored environment. It will be at CPA Australia's discretion as to which accommodations are suitable for delivery in an online proctored environment.
  • You will receive confirmation of your exam appointment within three to four (3 – 4) weeks from receipt of the email confirming your approval of the Reasonable Adjustment.
  • If you have an existing exam appointment, CPA Australia may need to cancel this and reschedule to a venue, date and time that can accommodate the Reasonable Adjustment.

Occasionally, due to unforeseen events, such as, but not limited to natural disasters, extreme weather events, global health pandemics, power outages, site closures or connectivity issues, changes to your scheduled exam appointment may be required. Your exam may need to be rescheduled to another day, time or location. In these circumstances, CPA Australia will make every effort to ensure your exam is rescheduled within the exam period.

Ongoing Reasonable Adjustment classification

You can apply for an "ongoing" Reasonable Adjustment. This applies in situations where you have an enduring condition (for example, quadriplegia, blindness) where a change is considered to be highly unlikely.

If the Reasonable Adjustment granted is classified as “Ongoing”, then the Reasonable Adjustment remains in place whilst you are enrolled and undertaking exams through CPA Australia.

CPA Australia reserves the right to request updated medical information from time to time to ensure currency and applicability of the requested adjustment. This allows CPA Australia to alert you to alternative adjustments that are made available by advances in technology.

Reasonable Adjustment appeals process

If you have a current enrolment, you may lodge an appeal against a decision of the Reasonable Adjustment team only if you are able to provide additional or new evidence to support your disability or medical condition.

Lodging an appeal

Any appeal must be lodged in writing to the Senior Manager, Programmes and Pathways, Education, CPA Australia, within seven (7) working days of receipt of notice of the decision of the Assessment Operations team.

An appeal must be in writing and at a minimum contain:

  • Your name, member ID, address, date of birth and contact details
  • the nature of the decision or matter being appealed
  • the basis of the appeal
  • details of the specific outcome sought
  • copies of all relevant documents.

Education Appeals Committee

All appeals will be assessed by CPA Australia's Education Appeals Committee, chaired by the Senior Manager, Programmes and Pathways, Education. There will be representation from two other CPA Australia employees from the Education team who are not members of the Assessment Operations team.

Members of the Reasonable Adjustments team may be invited to present written or verbal information to the hearing held by the Appeals Committee.

The appeals hearing

After you lodge an appeal you will be notified of the date of your hearing at least three (3) working days prior to the hearing. You may be accompanied at the appeals hearing by someone of your choosing to provide support or advocacy.

The Chair of the Education Appeals Committee shall be responsible for the management of the hearing and the administration of the appeal proceedings. They will not be bound by the rules of evidence and in such a manner as the Chair determines is fit and proper to meet the circumstances of the case and the requirements of fairness and natural justice.

You will be required to address the Committee. Any member of the Appeals Committee may question any party at the hearing.

CPA Australia may engage an independent medical practitioner to review your case to make recommendations to uphold or support the appeal process.

The decision

The Education Appeals Committee may determine the appeal on the same day as the hearing. You will be notified of the decision in writing within five (5) working days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Version: 6

Date approved: 7 July 2020

Approved by: Kristy Grady, Senior Manager, Programs and Pathways, Member Education

Reasonable Adjustment application form