Revisions to the undergraduate academic concessions regulation

- Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost

In May, following consultations with students, faculty, staff and administrators, Senate approved a new undergraduate academic concessions regulation and related guidelines.

The revisions are based on principles of fairness and equity, and are designed to ensure confidentiality and privacy. They also centre student success by applying a trauma-informed lens. As well, they incorporate feedback and learnings from UVic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic—in particular the interim waiver of medical documentation.

The new regulation and guidelines better responds to students’ needs while balancing appropriately the responsibility of instructors to maintain the academic standards of their courses.

Highlights for faculty and instructors

The grounds for requesting an academic concession have been expanded to include:

  • Unexpected and unavoidable circumstances, including, but not limited to,
    • Illness, trauma or bereavement,
    • personal or family affliction, including responsibility to care for a family member, or
    • Indigenous cultural or community obligations; and
  • Conflicting responsibilities, including but not limited to, circumstances such as
    • Service in the armed forces or emergency services,
    • Representing the university, the province or the country by participating in an academic event, an athletic competition or an artistic performance.

The regulation separates requests for an academic concession depending on the student’s circumstances:

  • Students who intend to complete the course requirements before the final grade submission deadline can make the request directly to the instructor or complete a RAC Deferral* form.
  • Students who intend to complete the course requirements but cannot do so before the final grade submission deadline should complete a RAC Deferral form.
  • Students who have received a formal Deferral and are not able to meet that deadline but are still intending to complete the course requirements should complete a RAC Extended Deferral* form.
  • Students unable to complete the course requirements should complete a RAC Withdrawal* form and provide supporting documentation.


Instructors should indicate the required/essential components of the course in the syllabus. Please be clear what elements of the course cannot be deferred and what valid academic reasons exist for the requirement to complete these components while the course is underway.

A student who completes all course requirements is not eligible for an academic concession. Therefore, a Deferral should not be approved if all required components of a course have been completed and the student has received a failing or passing grade. In other words, a student is eligible for a Deferral if they did not complete one or more course requirements/essential components in a course, and in this case, a student should receive a grade of N.

Justification and documentation

In all cases, students will be required to provide justification for a request for concession. Documentation, including medical documentation (e.g., a doctor’s note), will only be required for:

  • requests based on grounds of conflicting responsibilities;
  • requests in circumstances where it is not possible to complete the course requirements (notation of WE or AEG);
  • exceptional circumstances (e.g., requests that come a significant period of time after a course has ended, or requests that come after all course requirements have been completed).

Note that under the revised regulations, students will no longer be able to request a Backdated Drop directly, but deans and designates can still offer this concession in appropriate circumstances.

*The Office of the Registrar will update their website to provide forms and guidance to students.

More information

The following flowchart provides a visual representation of the process:

RAC flowchart

Faculty, instructors and students can refer to the academic calendar: undergraduate academic concessions regulation and related guidelines. Graduate academic concessions remain unchanged.

Instructors with questions or concerns about specific requests for academic concessions are encouraged to consult their chair, director or associate dean. Instructors may not request documentation for academic concessions on grounds of unexpected and unavoidable circumstances; such requests, where appropriate based on the guidelines, will come from the associate dean.

More information