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Special dispensation can be applied for in the following circumstances:

  • If it is not possible for the moderator to meet young people at the moderation
  • If a young person/young people are below or above the stated age limits for Arts Award     

See below for more information about when special dispensation can be applied for and the process to do so.

If young people are unable to meet with the moderator at face-to-face (standard or joint) moderation

There may be a valid reason why young people are unable (or it would be inappropriate for them) to meet the moderator at a face-to-face moderation. For example: 

  • the cohort may have moved on/away from a specific project
  • there may be mental health, communication or behavioural issues which would cause undue stress for the young people
  • young people may be in a secure environment where practical arrangements to meet with a moderator are disproportionately challenging to arrange in order to coincide with moderation time available.

If a young person is/people are below the age of 11 (for Bronze, Silver or Gold), or above the age of 25 (for all levels) at the time of moderation

Arts Award's national qualifications support young people up to the age of 25 to develop as artists and arts leaders. They are specifically designed for young people within this age group however, occasionally, special dispensation may be made for individuals outside of the official age group to achieve their qualification.  

A young person can be aged up to 25 for Discover and Explore, or aged 11 – 25 for Bronze, Silver, Gold at the time of moderation.

However, you can apply for special dispensation if:

  • One or more of the young people in a cohort are not eligible to do Arts Award due to their 26th birthday being up to 12 months before the proposed moderation date (or date of Discover certificate order).


  • One or more of the young people in a cohort are not eligible to do Arts Award (Bronze, Silver, Gold only) due to their 11th birthday being up to 12 months after the proposed moderation date.

In both cases the adviser must present a valid reason for the dispensation and the majority of the group must be the correct age.

Please note that all young people given special dispensation by Trinity must be enrolled with the rest of the cohort as part of one moderation booking/certificate order and not through separate moderations/orders.


How to apply for Special Dispensation:

Please apply via email to Moderation.Team@trinitycollege.co.uk, making sure to cover each of the points below: 

1) Your centre name and number
2) Your name and role
3) The moderation date and number of young people being moderated and their ages
4) An overview of your project
5) An explanation of why you are applying for special dispensation OR the reason that young people are unable to attend the moderation

Applications for special dispensations of age are assessed on a case by case basis and you will be contacted once a decision has been reached.

In the case of special dispensation not to meet the young people, as long as a valid reason is presented and the Arts Award team is notified before the moderation takes place, then special dispensation will automatically be granted. Applications for special dispensation not to meet the young people can also be requested over the phone by calling 0207 820 6178.

Please note, it is very unusual for special dispensation to be granted in any other circumstances than what’s been detailed above. Therefore, if you are intending on offering Arts Award to an individual who will not, at the time of moderation/certification, meet the above criteria, we strongly advise that you contact us before you start delivering.