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Needs assessment centre

The Needs Assessment Centre provides assessments for students attending any HE institution on a recognised course. These assessments confirm eligibility for receipt of the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

We have a team of specialist assessors, and offer DSA assessments to students who have:

  • sensory impairments
  • physical impairments
  • an autistic spectrum condition
  • a long-term or unseen medical condition
  • mental health difficulties
  • specific learning difficulties.

How to make an appointment

If you’ve applied for DSA and received the approval letter from your funding body, you’ll be asked to complete a Needs Assessment. To do this, email us or call on +44 (0)115 8483 495.

We are open from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4.30 pm throughout the year (except bank holidays and University closure days). There’s a voicemail message system in operation out of hours.

Main Assessment Centre, Clifton Campus, Student Services Centre:  Assessments are available to book on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Subject to SFE approval, we also hope to offer online appointments in the coming academic year (2020/21).

Outreach Assessment Centre, City Campus, Newton Student Services Centre: Assessments are available to book on Mondays and Wednesday at 4.30 pm and 6 pm during term time. More appointments will be available outside of term time.

Details of how to find our services can be found through AccessAble.

We aim to offer you an appointment within three weeks of your initial enquiry. If we are not able to do this, we’ll assist you in booking an appointment at another approved centre or – if you’d prefer – make arrangements for you to attend our next available appointment.

The assessment process

  • What information will I need to provide?

    Once we've confirmed your appointment, we will send you a pre-assessment form to fill in, as well as details on finding us. We will also ask you to provide a copy of the approval letter from your funding authority, and a copy of your supporting evidence (the details you submitted to support your DSA application - for example, a letter from your doctor, or an educational psychologist's report).

  • What happens at the assessment?

    You'll meet with one of our friendly, experienced assessors to explore how the DSA funding can best be invested in your studies, and how the University could make adjustments to assist you.

    During the meeting, we'll discuss the learning strategies that you currently use, the requirements of your course, and any support needs you may have. The assessor will then suggest tools and / or strategies that could be used to manage the impact of your disability or condition on your studies. The solutions can range from new equipment and software, to person-centred support.

    The assessment's goal is to identify and implement a support package that is properly tailored to you, and that maximises your academic potential. The assessor will ask for your opinion on the proposed support strategies, and answer any questions you might have.

  • What happens after my assessment?

    Your assessor will write a report, making formal recommendations to both your funding body (e.g. Student Finance England) and place of study. This may include quotes for support and equipment, which can be funded through the DSAs. Your report will then be sent to your funding body for approval, and you'll also receive a copy.

    We aim to complete your report within ten working days of your assessment. You're free to choose between seeing a draft copy, or giving us permission to send the final copy to your funding authority.

  • What does it cost?

    We charge a single assessment fee of £550. However, this is charged to your DSA, so isn't something you'll need to pay yourself. It will cover all assessment updates that may be required for the duration of your course. Postgraduate and PGCE students may also be eligible for a formal review of their needs - funded through the postgraduate DSA, or maybe from you applying for the first time.

DSA approved, what next?

Read the letter from your funding body carefully, as this will tell you what you need to do next.

  • Order your specialist equipment

    You'll be asked to order the equipment recommended by your assessment. Contact the named supplier in the letter, and send them a copy of it for their records. This supplier will discuss any upgrades you may want, and discuss how you will make the £200 contribution if you have been recommended a new computer. All recommendations can be found within the assessment of needs report.

    If you have been provided with a new computer, it will be insured and have a maintenance contract with the supplier. Please check your assessment report to see if additional insurance and maintenance is required.

  • Contact the non-medical helper provider

    If you've been recommended non-medical helpers with Nottingham Trent University as your provider, you can find more information here:

    • One-to-one specialist study skills
    • One-to-one specialist mentor for autistic spectrum conditions
    • One-to-one specialist mentor for mental health conditions

    If you're an NTU student and you've been recommended any other support to be provided by the University, please email us or telephone +44 (0)115 848 4366.

  • General allowance

    You can submit receipts to your funding authority for reimbursement at the end of each term. The amount you're looking to reclaim must be more than £10.

    If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email.

Frequently asked questions

  • I have permission to arrange an Assessment of Needs / Top-up Assessment. What should I do now?

    We have an assessment centre at Nottingham Trent University, so just call +44 (0)115 848 3495 to make an appointment. You can also search the GOV.UK website for an assessment centre in the UK.

  • How long is the waiting list?

    Our target is to book assessments within three weeks of your first point of contact. If we're not able to accommodate you at our Centre in this time, we'll help you to arrange an assessment at another location, or reserve you a spot for our next available appointment.

  • I've applied for DSA but haven’t heard anything

    For updates on your application, you can contact Student Finance England on +44 (0)845 3005090.

  • What is an Assessment of Needs?

    It's a meeting with one of our experienced assessors, to determine how your DSA funds can best be spent, and how the University can make adjustments to assist your studies.

    During the meeting, we'll discuss the learning strategies that you currently use, the requirements of your course, and any support needs that you might have. The assessor will suggest strategies that could be used to manage the impact of your disability or condition on your studies.

  • I've had my assessment, but I'm not sure what to do next?

    If your assessment was at our own centre and you have a query about it, you should call +44 (0)115 8483495 or email us.

    If you've had an assessment at another location, you should contact them directly. You can find details of UK assessment centres on the website.

  • I’ve had my assessment, how do I order equipment?

    Your funding body will contact you by post, telling you how to order the equipment. Typically, you should contact the supplier recommended in the letter. They will also need a copy of it for their records.

    If you need support in ordering your equipment, contact your Disability Officer at the University.

  • I had my assessment some time ago now, and I need to talk about the support

    Just phone on +44 (0)115 848 3495 or email us, and explain your needs.

  • The equipment provided through my DSA has broken – who do I need to speak to?

    You should contact the supplier of the equipment, as there will be a maintenance agreement in place to cover most repairs.

  • I've lost / had my laptop stolen. Can I borrow one?

    The Library has a limited number of laptops, which are available for use within the library for up to four hours. You should also contact the supplier to check the insurance policy if your equipment has been stolen.

  • What if I'm not happy with the service?

    Please talk to your assessor or the Assessment Centre administrator first. They'll be able to talk you through the complaints process. If you would then like to make a formal complaint, please write to the Student Support Services (Disability Services) Manager at the Student Services Centre, City Campus.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418