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DSA Assessment Centre
For your Study Needs Assessment
Leeds, Bradford, Barnsley, York & Manchester

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Ask our team any questions

Call: 0113 357 0495

Text: 07825 561 802

DSA Application Links:

Student Finance England: DSA

Student Awards Agency Scotland: DSA

Student Finance Wales: DSA

Student Finance Northern Ireland: DSA

General Links:

Disabled Students Allowances Quality Assurance Group: DSA-QAG

National Network of Assessment Centres

National Union of Students

How do I book an assessment?

To book your assessment please call our support team on 0113 357 0495 or email as soon as you have received a letter of eligibility from your funding body. We will offer you an appointment at a time to suit you, and send out all the relevant information that you need prior to attending your assessment.

What is the purpose of an assessment?

An assessment allows you to explore your individual support needs in relation to your new course. Your Funding Body will require an Assessment of Need, so that your support can be implemented. Statistically, students who have a Needs Assessment and access their support through DSA, perform academically better than eligible students who do not access their DSA.

Will the assessment cost anything to me personally?

No, the assessment will be funded through the DSA and your Funding Body. Please inform Aim Assessments of any travel costs you have incurred in attending, as they may be reimbursable with valid receipts.

How soon can I have an assessment?

Depending on availability and your requirements, we can normally offer you an assessment within 3 working days, assuming that you can provide us with the relevant confirmation of eligibility, medical diagnosis and completed Pre-Assessment form.

How long does an assessment take?

An assessment usually takes about two hours, but this can vary depending on the nature of the support required. If you need more information on timings please chat to us prior to your appointment.

What happens during the assessment?

Your DSA assessment is a relaxed and informal meeting with an experienced assessor having specialist experience of your specific learning difficulty or disability.
You will discuss your additional learning needs in relation to your studies, in a friendly and engaging environment.
You will have the chance to discuss your past experience and learning strategies, and what has and hasn’t worked for you previously.
You will have the opportunity to trial new equipment and assistive software, aimed at enhancing your ability to engage with your course and maximise your potential.

Your assessment is in no way a test, but a fantastic opportunity to work with an experienced assessor in designing an individual support strategy.

Do I need to do anything before the assessment?

We will ask you to complete a "Pre-Assessment Form" which looks at how your disability impacts on your studies, and any current strategies you may be using, to ensure we can provide the best possible service during your assessment.

What happens after the assessment?

Your assessor will write your Needs Assessment Report and, within 10 working days, this will be sent to you and your Funding Body, as well as your disability team if you give us permission to do so.
The Funding Body will review your support recommendations, which takes on average 10 working days (unless additional information is requested by your Funding Body).
Once your support recommendations have been approved your funding body will send you a letter to authorise funding, called a DSA 2 letter. This letter goes to whichever address you supplied on your DSA application. If you supplied your home (not term) address then it’s worth ensuring you keep checking your home address.
Aim Assessments are happy to help answer any questions related to this process.

How do I get the equipment / training / other support recommended in my report?

You will be sent a letter from your Funding Body, authorising funding (called a DSA 2 letter) and in this letter it will explain the process for the provision of equipment.
The process for arranging your support can vary, so please do follow the specific instructions on your DSA 2 letter, but as a general guide:

For equipment:
  • Contact the supplier(s) mentioned in the DSA 2 letter, and provide them with the relevant quote number(s)
  • You need to send the supplier(s) a copy of the letter from the funding body authorising funding or equipment
  • The supplier(s) will provide equipment directly to you. The supplier(s) will invoice the funding body directly
For non-medical helper support (study skills tutors, mentors and technology trainers):
  • Contact the supplier(s) mentioned in the DSA 2 letter, and provide them with the relevant quote number(s)
  • The supplier(s) will provide equipment directly to you. The supplier(s) will invoice the funding body directly
For other types of payment (e.g. printing allowances):
  • You will need to pay this cost upfront. Make sure you keep all your receipts, then send these to your Funding Body, with a claim form from your Funding Body website
  • The Funding Body will pay you back. Please do not arrange / purchase any support unless your funding body has confirmed they will fund it
Aim Assessments are happy to help answer any questions related to this process.

Can I bring a friend or relative to the assessment?

Yes, we welcome you to bring someone with you, and we provide a comfortable reception area for them to relax in during your assessment. Most students prefer to have their assessment on a one-to-one basis with the assessor, but if the idea of this leaves you feeling uncomfortable do speak to us.

Who can I speak to about the assessment or my DSA?

The Centre Manager Matthew Timmis is happy to answer any questions about the whole process of accessing support in higher education. You can contact Matthew on 0113 357 0495 or email

What is included in the assessment fee?

The single fee that is funded through the DSA includes the review of any additional needs which may arise throughout the duration of the course, and our liaison with funding bodies, equipment suppliers, your institution and other stakeholders to review your support needs as necessary (subject to regulation changes).

What do I do if I want to complain?

If you have any concerns about your assessment process, please don't hesitate to contact your Assessment Centre Manager Matthew Timmis, who will strive to correct any issues.

Aim Assessments also have a formal complaints procedure available HERE. We take any complaint very seriously, no matter how small or large, and will support you through our complaints procedure if required. 

We can contact you

Please complete this quick form and we will contact you.

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DSA QAG (the Disabled Students Allowance Quality Assurance Group) National Network of Assessment Centres (UK) NADP - National Association of Disability Practitioners Skill: National Bureau for Students With Disabilities Disabled Students Allowances W3C Web Standards Promotion  

Aim Assessments Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 08065231.

Registered Address: The Tannery, 91 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, LS3 1HS


Telephone: 0113 357 0495


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