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Summary of guidance concerning the provision of documentary evidence required to support claims for extenuating circumstances

Certification of evidence

All certification should be provided by an independent professional as defined below.

    • Certification will not be accepted from a family member, friend of the family, or a personal friend or colleague.
    • An appropriate member of staff of Queen Mary University of London may provide statements to be used as documentary evidence in cases where (a) they have been informed by the student of their circumstances and (b) can comment on the impact on the student and (c) it would be very difficult or impossible to obtain any other evidence.
    • In the case of documents that are not in English a certified translation of the documents into English is required.
    • A Subject Examination Board or its Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Board may take reasonable steps to ascertain the authenticity of any documentation, and the relationship of the author with the student where there is any doubt.

Medical evidence

    • Medical documentation should be supplied by a practitioner who is registered with a recognised health care professional body. There are nine health professional regulatory bodies in the UK set up to protect and promote the safety of the public. These are listed in appendix 1. For example the General Medical Council ( for doctors, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (, counsellors or psychotherapists should normally be registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (, and the Health Professions Council ( which covers 15 health professions. The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence oversees the organisations that regulate health professionals across the UK.
    • Documentation relating to medical conditions should be obtained from a formal medical consultation that should take place within three working days of the condition commencing/occurring. If there is a ‘good reason’ why this is not possible it should be stated in the claim and if possible in the documentation, for example hospitalisation. Students who are unable to obtain medical appointments within this time frame should note the reason for this on the claim form. Medical documentation must cover the date of the missed or affected examination.
    • Students are responsible for bearing the costs of any charges for medical certification.
    • Originals of doctor’s certificates, showing original signatures, must be provided. Photocopies are not accepted.

Non-medical evidence

In circumstances where the claim for extenuating circumstances is based on a non-medical event or incident, formal evidence is required also. Examples include:

    • involvement in an accident or incident involving the police, ambulance or fire services. Evidence might include a police report and crime or incident number, the contact details of and/or a letter from the reporting officer if the student were involved in the incident, for example as a witness;
    • A copy of the death certificate will be required;
    • travel delays. Proof of major disruption to travel arrangements will be required.

For longer distance travel, original travel tickets/documents proving intention to travel to arrive for the assessment/examination at least one hour before the examination or deadline to hand in work, and documents setting out the revised travel arrangements are required.

For more local journeys, travel disruption will not normally be considered as a valid reason for an Extenuating Circumstances claim.

You should always allow extra time for your journey on the day of an examination or assessment, or to ensure that coursework is submitted before the deadline. Student must arrive in good time before an examination or test commences, for example at least 30 minutes before the start time.

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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