Inherent requirements key terms

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the university's learning, assessment and accreditation processes. The inherent requirements are the abilities, knowledge and skills needed to complete the course that must be met by all students.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to enable them to meet these requirements.

Inherent requirements are specific to a particular course. In the University context, in addition to inherent requirements, there are also compulsory requirements of a course. These are broader and can include both compliance with the policies, procedures and regulations which are applicable to all students at the University and also the mandatory requirements associated with the course of study eg. attendance, completion of assignments.

Inherent requirement domains

To provide clarity and consistency, the inherent requirement statements have been grouped under several domains. Courses may contain some or all of these domains.

Ethical behaviour

Acting in ways consistent with the recognised values of society and avoiding activities that do harm.
In the context of inherent requirements, students undertaking a course of study may be governed by practice standards and codes of ethics.

Behavioural stability

The maintenance of conduct that is acceptable and appropriate, according to the recognised norms of society over a given period of time.


Related to the law. In the context of inherent requirements, this refers to the legal requirements of professional bodies relevant to specific courses of study.


Verbal communication

Conveying messages, ideas or feelings through speech.

Non verbal communication

Communication other than speech that conveys meaning including; gestures and facial expressions; body posture, stance, touch, eye movements, eye contact and distance from the person/s with whom you are communicating.

Non-verbal cues can provide significant additional information to the person with whom you are communicating.

Written communication

Communication by written symbols including electronic means, print or handwriting.


The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through one's thoughts, experience and senses.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Any of a number of acquired skills that reflect an individual's ability to think. Cognitive skills include: verbal and spatial abilities; concentration; memory; perception; reasoning; planning and organisation; flexible thinking and problem solving.

Literacy (language)

This relates to the ability to acquire, understand and apply information in a scholarly manner.


This relates to the ability to understand and work with numbers.

Reflective skills

Actively listening to someone express their thoughts, feelings or experiences and showing understanding by consciously responding through skills such as paraphrasing, summarising or mirroring.

Relational skills

Personal skills required to interact appropriately with others with the aim of building and maintaining healthy, productive relationships. Skills include empathy, trustworthiness, patience, active listening, approachability and reliability.

Sensory ability

The way a person recognises external stimuli - through sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch.

Strength and mobility

Gross motor skills

The use of large muscle groups that coordinate body movements for activities such as walking, lifting, pushing, pulling and maintaining balance.

Fine motor skills

The ability to undertake precise coordinated movements of the hands for activities such as writing and manipulating small objects.

Sustainable performance

The ability to undertake a task/s over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

Reasonable adjustments

The Disability Discrimination Act [DDA], 1992 as amended in 2009 (Australian Government Comlaw, 2010) provides legal protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability.

The DDA through the Disability Standards for Education 2005 requires institutions to make reasonable adjustments to enable the student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability.

Reasonable adjustments are modifications made to the learning environment, teaching delivery or assessment method used to help students with a disability or chronic health condition to access and participate in education on the same basis as those without a disability. Reasonable adjustments facilitate students meeting the inherent requirements of their course of study.

An adjustment is defined as "reasonable" if it balances the interests of all parties affected including not causing "unjustifiable hardship" to the educational institution.

Examples of adjustments include but are not limited to provision of the following:

  • assistive technology
  • furniture
  • extra time in exams
  • note takers

For further information about adjustments, please refer to the Western Sydney University Disability Service webpage.

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