You can now self certify your own extenuating circumstances

The university has altered the extenuating circumstances policy


Cardiff University have made a change to their extenuating circumstances process that now allows students to self-certify.

This means in some circumstances students will not need to submit evidence to support their application.

Previously the university asked for evidence such as GP letters and death certificates for illness and bereavements.

In May, the Cardiff Tab reported that changes at the University's counselling and wellbeing service meant that students could no longer go to them for extenuating circumstances evidence, unless they had already been engaged with the service. This meant the loss of a commonly used form of evidence for many students, particularly those struggling with mental health struggles.

When asked if the introduction of the new process was related to this issue James Wareham, VP Welfare at the Studnets' Union said:

"The changes are certainly linked to the administrative burden on the University and GP surgeries due to the volume of Extenuating Circumstances requests, which is likely to be one of the motivations for the University no longer providing extenuating circumstances evidence at its wellbeing drop-ins."

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The self-certification of extenuating circumstances will cover absence from formal examinations as well as non-submission of coursework and extended deadlines.

However, you are only able to use this new process twice per academic year, and it is limited to cover a maximum seven days per case. Students will still need to submit evidence for any circumstances which effect them for more than seven days.

There is a question of how simple this new process will be despite no medical evidence being required, with students having to state when their illness began, the period it covered, and the ways in which it has impacted their studies.

Not much information is currently available about the process. A Cardiff University spokesperson said: "The relevant sections of the student intranet are due to be updated shortly. In the meantime, forms should be available, on request, from school offices."

A Cardiff University student who is mid-process of self-certifying says that: "it isn't as easy as it sounds and you can't self certify every condition. You still need to get a lot of supporting evidence in some cases."

VP Welfare James Wareham added:

"Both Sabbatical Officers and SU Student Advisors have lobbied for self-certification for extenuating circumstances for some time. For a range of issues, it can be difficult to provide supporting evidence in the short-term, and certainly without causing additional distress to students.

The move from the University to self-certification also reflects its trust of students, just as it trusts its staff to self-certify for absences."