Non-medical helper information

Important update following the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on exams

There will be no face-to-face, invigilated examinations until further notice. Alternative assessment arrangements have been put in place, some of which are 48-hour open book assessments. These open-book assessments are intended as an 'inclusive' alternative approach to traditional invigilated examinations, that supports all students fairly and mitigates against disadvantaging anyone. These are not coursework and so do not qualify for non-medical helper support.

What are Non Medical helpers (NMH)?

Non Medical helpers (NMH) are people who can provide support for students with a disability. They can include Specialist one to one Study Skills Tutors, Specialist Mentors, Assistive Technology trainers, BSL sign language interpreters etc.

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) can pay for NMH support. A Needs Assessor decides whether someone requires NMH support. This is based on what is discussed during a DSA Needs Assessment.

Types of NMH

  • Specialist one-to-one study skills support is non-subject specific and helps students to develop skills and strategies aimed at promoting independent learning.
  • Specialist Mentor support is designed to offer strategies for independent learning to people with mental health issues and/or Autistic Spectrum Conditions. It is non-subject specific academic support combined with an in-depth understanding of mental health and/ASCs.
  • Assistive technology training is to provide a substantial programme of training for the student in how to use the range of assistive technology and specialist software or hardware, in relation to their studies. This support is time limited.
What DSA funded NMH support does the University of Plymouth provide? The University employs two part-time, term-time only Specialist one-to-one Study Skills tutors. Details about NMH rates can be found in the NMH rates document.

Plymouth also works with Amano, Clear Links, Randstad and other companies who provide non-medical helpers for students with disabilities.

Is there any other non-medical helper support available?

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for universities and colleges to discriminate against disabled students by treating them less favourably when making academic offers and providing services. Under the Act, universities and colleges must make anticipatory ‘reasonable adjustments’ so disabled students are not significantly disadvantaged compared with other students who are not disabled

Other types of support such as study assistant support may be available. In addition, students who are not eligible for DSA including International students may be able to have NMH support. The Reasonable Adjustments Review Panel (RARP) can discuss the needs of a student prior to the offer of a place or during their time of study at the university on a case-by-case basis.

Find out more about reasonable adjustments.