Government / Legislation

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Non-Medical Help Regulations


FAQ regarding the NMH audit:

The NMH audit process applies to the body named as the provider in the DSA entitlement letter (and actually on the DSA-QAG register).

Confusion seems to be occurring for two reasons:

  1. If the HEI are named as the supplier but then outsource the work, they will be audited
  2. The NMH Framework document states that external providers must familiarise themselves with the information provided by the HEI regarding the delivery of NMH services on-site, and cascade this to their staff (standard 2.7). HEIs are deemed to be responsible for ensuring that there is some sort of induction (and possibly a ‘handbook’) that provides information about relevant HEI regulations, policies and procedures. This has triggered lots of independent suppliers to request copies of the HEI’s guidance document for external NMH providers working with students on-site because they will be asked to show DSA-QAG this evidence during their audit. (Thanks to Katharine Noren-Curtis, University of Oxford, for clarification)

A sample ‘Guidance for External NMH Providers’ document can be found in the members’ area of our website: samples and templates.

DSA Changes

15/11/2016 Communication from DfE about 16/17 DSAs changes

Today we are publishing a number of documents giving further information about the changes to DSAs, and in particular detailing the recovery arrangements for the ECP – these are set out below.

I wanted to thank you for your help and advice in working through potential recovery arrangements for the Exceptional Case Process (ECP). You understood the Departments’ concern that, given the way the ECP works, there is a chance that public funding be used to provide support for students which are later deemed a reasonable adjustment – meaning that the higher education institution (HEP) should have covered the costs.

As you are aware, we have explored upfront cost and risk sharing as an option, which you agreed with in principle. However, at this point operationally and legally this is extremely difficult to implement.

The Department has therefore decided that SLC should cover the upfront costs, and alongside this should implement a proforma for applications under the Exceptional Case Process. This proforma asks the HE provider to sign an agreement that they will reimburse the Student Loans Company (SLC) if the support funded under the ECP is later deemed a reasonable adjustment. The Student is also asked to sign to give SLC permission to recover on their behalf (as it is the students’ grant which needs to be recovered from the HEI).
We will monitor expenditure under the Exceptional Case Process, and whether HEIs are reimbursing SLC when the support is deemed a reasonable adjustment. If there are concerns about HEIs not reimbursing SLC in this regard, the Department will pursue other legally binding recovery arrangements.

2016.11.08-DfE communication on changes to DSAs for Disability Officers Money Advisers and appeals and complaints officers (ref 6-2016)
2016.11.08-DfE communications on ECP recovery arrangements to Heads of Finance (ref 7-2016)

2016.11.08-DfE communications on changes to DSAs for Needs Assessors (ref 8-2016)
2016.11.08-DfE communications on changes to DSAs for students (ref 9-2016)
Update to the ECP Pro forma – Final 14-11-16
A guide to completing the ECP Pro Forma – Final 14-11-16

Guidance from the Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group

Guidance from the Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group on inclusive teaching in Higher Education was published on Friday 27th January 2017. It is also available from the Government publications page here.

A blog post giving more information about inclusive teaching and the guidance is here.

Personal Independence Payment

If you know anyone of working age who wants to or already does claim DLA then this new guide on PIP could be an important read:

View this new guide on PIP >

The Equality Act 2010

Link to the Equality Act

Equality Challenge Unit

Good practice guides and other advice on disability under the Equality Act


Including data on disabled students in HE

DDA Code of Practice Post-16 (revised) for providers of post-16 education and related services (2007)

The Government and the DRC have produced a number of Codes of Practice explaining legal rights and requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. These Codes are practical guidance particularly for disabled people, employers, service providers and education institutions rather than definitive statements of the law. However, courts and tribunals must take them into account.

New duties upon providers of post-16 education and related services came into force on 1 September 2006. This Code replaces the earlier Code of Practice for providers of post-16 education and related services (2004).

Download the Briefing on equality / diversity legislation >

Providing Personal Care to students with a disability studying within higher education

The aim of this paper is to “brief” the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and other relevant stakeholders on a number of issues related to providing personal care for students with a disability within higher education.


Disability Rights UK Disabled students and Universal Credit (with links) (September 2017)

DisabilityRightsUK Website