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Dual Assessment Process Explained

Dual Assessment Process Explained

Within Disability Services, most students will go through two assessments to identify/agree what reasonable adjustments would be suitable to effectively support them with their studies.

  • The assessment with your Disability Officer is essential to register with the Service and receive non-funded supports such as extra time in exams, flexibility with deadlines etc.
  • The second assessment relates to those students who have applied for funded supports through the DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance) award or similar.
  • Non-Funded / In- School Support Assessments (with your Disability Officer)


    UG students: Disclose on your UCAS form your disability / long-term condition by completing the ‘Disability/Special Needs’ section.  Although this is optional and you can provide this information later if you prefer, it means that you will be picked up a lot more quickly by the Service.

    PG students: disclose at the application stage by contacting the Service directly (see below) to either re-register or register for the first time if you are new to the University.


    Register with the Service at any stage by completing a Register with the Service at any stage by completing a Pre-Registration Questionnaire.


    Upload a copy of your medical evidence with your completed questionnaire (for guidance, see Student Information).


    Your Disability Officer will review the information provided and will decide what assessment type is most suitable for you.


    If your Disability Officer believes your support needs can be quickly identified / implemented, they will conduct a desktop assessment so you do not need to take time out to meet your Disability Officer in person. However, you will be given an opportunity to meet with a Disability Officer to discuss your support needs further if required.


    If your Disability Officer feels a one-to-one assessment would be more helpful, you will be offered an appointment via video conferencing / telephone or a face-to-face meeting.


    You will then meet with your Disability Officer to discuss / agree your supports.


    To remind you what was agreed, you will be sent an ISSA (Individual Student Support Agreement) summarising the supports / reasonable adjustments.


    Your School will be given access to the ISSA at the same time so staff there know what reasonable adjustments should be put in place for you.


    If you have any queries or have issues with your School-based supports, contact


  • Funded Support Assessments (for UK and RoI students)


    Apply for funding as soon as possible (see How Do I Apply For DSA?) by completing a DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance) application form or similar and attaching your medical evidence.  The DSA form is normally available around Easter time.  You do not need to wait until you have an offer of a place to apply.

    Nursing students with bursaries – you do not need to complete a funding application form.  Your Disability Officer will make a referral for you for an assessment with the Needs Assessment Centre.


    You will receive a DSA1 letter from your funder confirming your eligibility for a needs assessment to review and identify your support requirements.  Please note that this can take up to 8 weeks or more.


    The Needs Assessment Centre at Queen’s will be advised of your eligibility and within two working days of this, the Centre will contact you with a Welcome email.


    You will be asked to complete a pre-assessment questionnaire which requires you to upload your medical evidence

    Even though you may have already provided the latter for your non-funded supports, you will need to upload it again into the separate assessment management system.


    Decide which type of appointment would best suit you - either a remote assessment appointment (via video conferencing) or an in-person meeting.


    When you have completed the questionnaire and uploaded appropriate medical evidence, you will be offered an appointment for a needs assessment.


    At the needs assessment, you will discuss / agree with your assessor what supports would be most appropriate to meet with your needs.


    These will be summarised in a draft report (which can take up to 10 days) but you will then have two days to review this and request amendments if required.  If you have any issues at any stage with your assessment, contact the Needs Assessment Centre at


    The final version of the report will then be sent to your funder for review. 


    You will receive confirmation of your supports from your funder, normally in the form of a DSA2 letter, which will be emailed to you.  Please note that this part of the process can take up to 8 weeks.  If you have not received your letter by then, contact your funder.


    In this DSA2 letter you will be told how to order your equipment (if applicable) and arrange any training (if applicable).


    At the same time, a referral will be made to the Register of Support Providers at Queen’s asking them to implement your one-to-one support (if applicable). 


    You will then be matched with your Support Provider(s) and each party will receive a match-up email outlining the other’s contact information and the support required.  Whilst the Register will endeavour to match you as soon as possible, this process can take time depending on the time of year and the type of support for which you have been referred.


    On receipt, your Support Provider(s) will make contact with you to make arrangements to initiate your one-to-one support so remember to check your institutional email account and your mobile ‘phone for messages.


    Any issues with your support should be raised with the Register of Support Providers by contacting them at


    You may find at a later stage that your requirements have changed and you need different / additional support.  Contact the Needs Assessment Centre at  any point to arrange for a review of your support needs.

You can download a copy of the Roadmap here.


Contact Details


Disability Services Office (for non-funded / in-School support queries)

Tel:  028 90 975250    Email: 


The Needs Assessment Centre at Queen’s (for needs assessment related queries)

Tel:  028 90 975062         Email: 


The Register of Support Providers at Queen’s (for queries in relation to your one-to-one support)

Tel: 028 90 973610          Email: 


Useful Information

DSA Equipment & Support Guide

To discover, by condition / disability, what one-to-one support, equipment and assistive technology (AT) / software you may be able to access by applying for the DSA (Disabled Student Allowance) award see the DSA Equipment & Support Guide

One-to-one Support

Find out more about the person-centred support you could access through the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) award in Queen’s Students’ Guide to One-to-One Support leaflet

SFNI (Student Finance NI) Regional Offices

Find your regional Education Authority (EA) office using your post code at:

SFNI DSA Info for:

FT UG students

PT UG students

PG students


(Student Awards Agency Scotland)

Students from Scotland can find out more / apply for the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) here:



(Student Finance England)

Students from England can find out more / apply for the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) here:


(Student Finance Wales)

Students from Wales can find out more / apply for the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) here:


(Fund for Students with Disabilities)

Students from Ireland can find out more / apply for funded support here: