The JAC is committed to ensuring that candidates with disabilities and long-term health conditions can participate fully and fairly. The JAC will discuss what reasonable adjustments a candidate might need at all stages of the selection process.
The JAC actively encourages applications from groups currently under-represented in the judiciary, including candidates with physical, sensory and/or mental health disabilities and long-term health conditions.
The JAC provides reasonable adjustments to ensure that candidates with disabilities are not placed at a disadvantage in the selection process. Reasonable adjustments will also be considered for those suffering from short-term injury or temporary illness.
Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if:
- they have a physical or mental impairment and
- the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities
Reasonable adjustments are changes to physical surroundings or working practices that remove a disadvantage that a person with a disability or long-term health condition may otherwise encounter. Adjustments are as individual as the people who need them and are tailored to the circumstances in which they are used.
If it is reasonable, the JAC can make an adjustment or provide an extra aid to ensure candidates are not disadvantaged in the selection process.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
- additional time to complete online tests for candidates with (but not limited to) dyslexia, autism, visual impairments, fibromyalgia and other conditions
- accepting applications in a different format than the standard online submission
- providing shortlisting and selection day materials in a larger font size or in Braille
- providing shortlisting and selection day materials on coloured paper or in different colour contrasts
- provision of a car parking space on selection day
- arranging a visit to the venue ahead of selection day to enable a candidate to familiarise themselves with the interview room and layout, or for example, to test acoustics and check their hearing loop works
- ensuring that all relevant areas of the selection exercise venue are accessible for wheelchair users
- access for assistance dogs to accompany their owners on selection day
- arrangements for a sign language interpreter or allowing a candidate to bring their own interpreter or palantypist on selection day
- discussing arrangements (such as seating layout, speed of discussions and lighting) ahead of time for those who lip-read or have visual impairments
- providing special, adapted equipment or allowing candidates to bring their own specialist equipment on selection day
- enabling candidates to participate in the selection exercise at a specified time
This is not an exhaustive list. If the reasonable adjustment that you require is not included, contact the JAC to discuss your needs.
The JAC’s reasonable adjustments process
Reasonable adjustments work most successfully the earlier you are able to tell the JAC about the adjustments you need. This allows the Reasonable Adjustments Officer time to consider your request, contact you to discuss your needs and ensure you are content with the proposed adjustments. We cannot guarantee that an adjustment can be put in place if you tell us on the day or just prior to the event where an adjustment is required. While we will do everything we can to accommodate a request, some adjustments take time and consideration to put into place.
If you require any adjustments for the selection process, ideally you should specify this on your application form, providing as much detail as possible.
If you need an adjustment to complete your application, please contact the Reasonable Adjustments Officer.
The Reasonable Adjustments Officer considers requests on an individual basis and will contact you to discuss your requirements. They will discuss the details and options with you or, if you have asked us to do so, someone acting on your behalf.
The Reasonable Adjustments Officer can provide information about the venue and selection exercise process so you know what reasonable adjustments you may need.
The Reasonable Adjustments Officer will confirm arrangements prior to the start of the relevant selection exercise stage. They will also explain whether you are required to take any action before the selection exercise stage starts. You must confirm in writing that you are content with the reasonable adjustments being made.
The Reasonable Adjustments Officer will arrange the agreed reasonable adjustments before the selection exercise starts.
Enhancement of grading due to a reasonable adjustment cannot be considered.
Assessing requests for reasonable adjustments
In deciding whether to allow requests for reasonable adjustments the JAC will consider whether:
- any of the arrangements or physical or sensory features of the selection exercise or the selection exercise venue will put the candidate with a disability or long-term health condition at a disadvantage
- if there is a disadvantage, any reasonable action to overcome that disadvantage. In deciding what action to take, the JAC will take account of statutory guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Key considerations will include:
- discussions with the candidate to understand the practical issues presented by their disability or long-term health condition
- if an effective practical solution will overcome the disadvantage
- if making the adjustment would adversely affect other candidates
- the costs and resources associated with the solution. If the JAC considers the costs or resources associated with the adjustment to be prohibitive, we will discuss this with you
Action by candidates
If you wish to request or discuss a reasonable adjustment, you should state this in the ‘reasonable adjustments’ section on your application form or contact the Reasonable Adjustment Officer directly.
If you would like the JAC to discuss reasonable adjustments with someone else on your behalf, please let us know, either on your application form or by emailing the Reasonable Adjustments Officer.
If you consider that you need a reasonable adjustment at any time during the selection process after you have submitted your application, it is your responsibility to contact the JAC directly about this.
If you have not received a response to your request to make or discuss a reasonable adjustment one week before the test, telephone assessment or interview is due to take place, contact the Reasonable Adjustments Officer by phone or email.
If you experience any difficulty during an interview or telephone assessment, inform the chair of the selection panel so that other arrangements can be considered.
The JAC understands that discussions about reasonable adjustments may include exchanging personal or confidential information. This information will be handled sensitively and will have no effect on your application or on determining your suitability for a judicial post.
If your request for a reasonable adjustment cannot be accommodated or there is a disagreement about the reasonable adjustments, you can raise your concerns or make a complaint.
If you wish to make a complaint, contact the Reasonable Adjustments Officer in the first instance. If it is not possible to resolve the issue immediately, it will be considered as if it were a first-tier judicial appointment complaint and will follow the process set out in the JAC’s complaints handling policy.
After the selection process ends
This policy applies to the JAC selection process only.
Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) will provide information about reasonable adjustments to successful candidates once they are in post.
If you wish to make a request, or have any questions or concerns, contact:
Reasonable Adjustments Officer
5th Floor, Clive House
70 Petty France
020 3334 0123