Examination inability (illnesses) during examinations, certificates, official medical certificates

What should I do if I am ill during an exam?

If you are unable to take an examination on the day of the examination due to incapacity, you must submit a medical certificate to the Examination Office for the day of the examination. This certificate must be received by the Examination Office within 3 working days of the examination date. Saturdays do not count as working days during this period.
A simple medical certificate shall suffice for three absences from examinations due to incapacity for examination. This can either be your doctor's usual certificate of incapacity for work, which you must submit together with the mandatory supplementary sheet for medical certificates.
Or you can use the form "Ärztliches Attest" of the University of Trier, Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld. If you use this form, it is not necessary to enclose the supplementary sheet.

Both forms can be found in our "Downloads for students" section.

What is the deadline for submitting certificates to the Examination Office?

In accordance with the examination regulations, medical certificates for examinations must be submitted to the Examination Office at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld within three working days of the examination date. Saturdays do not count as working days during this period.
This three-day period also applies if you are unable to bring the certificate in person due to the illness. It is your responsibility to ensure that the certificate is received on time. You can also send us the certificate in advance by e-mail in order to meet the deadline. The original must then be submitted as soon as possible.

Please note that the medical certificate is received late of the notification of illness, it may not be recognized and the examination may then be assessed as "failed".

Along with the medical certificate, please provide additional information including your matriculation number, your degree program and the name of the exam for which you wish to be excuses from. For this purpose, please use the supplement to the certificates, which you can obtain from the Examination Office or as a download.
Outside of the opening hours, certificates and supplements can also be placed in the blue mailbox located in building 9924 on the upper floor, north corridor. It is emptied three times a day from Monday to Friday.
Please send the certificates by mail to the following address: Hochschule Trier, Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, Prüfungsamt, Postfach 1380, 55761 Birkenfeld. Of course, the certificate can also be turned in to the Examination Office by a person appointed by you.

How can I submit my certificate?

You can send us your certificate by mail (Adresse: Hochschule Trier, Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, Prüfungsamt, Postfach 13 80, 55761 Birkenfeld) or hand it in personally or by a designated person (relatives, acquaintances, fellow students, etc.) at the Examination Office (building 9924, rooms 117, 119, 108) or throw it in the mailbox located in the hallway of the Examination Office.

In order to meet the submission deadline of three working days after the examination date, we recommend that you send the certificate in advance by e-mail to the examination office and submit the original immediately afterwards.

When do I have to present a medical certificate from a public health officer?

If you have presented a certificate three times during examinations, you must present an official doctor's certificate (public health officer) for the fourth and each additional illness during examinations. If this is the case, the Examination Office will inform you of the obligation to submit official medical certificates from a public health officer with an official letter. Upon receipt of this letter, you are obliged to present an official medical certificate automatically and voluntarily for each non-participation in an examination due to illness.

This certificate must describe in detail the symptoms present on the day of the examination and the resulting limitations on the examinee's ability to perform. In accordance with applicable case law, the official doctor must be released from his duty of confidentiality if necessary. The supplementary sheet for the submission of certificates must be enclosed with the official medical certificate. This can be submitted later if necessary; however, until then the official medical certificate cannot be processed.

Which medical officer do I have to contact in order to obtain a certificate and who pays the costs?

For an official medical certificate, please contact the health office responsible for your place of residence or study. The costs are determined individually by the official doctor and generally range between 30.00 and 50.00 Euros.
The costs are not reimbursed by the university.


What information must the medical certificate contain?

The official medical certificate must describe in detail the present symptoms as well as the limitations on the performance. The mere indication of a diagnosis is not sufficient. To do this, you must release the medical officer from the duty of confidentiality. Example: The pure indication "migraine" is not sufficient, but the complaints such as headache, dizziness, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, etc. must be indicated.

When will my certificate be recorded in QIS?

The certificates received during the examination phase can only be recorded in QIS after the grades have been recorded. When the grades are recorded, the examiners first enter a 5.0 for not being present. When the counting of attempts of the previous semester has begun, the certificates received by the Examination Office are entered into QIS. This deletes the 5.0 mentioned above.

This usually takes place within the first two months of the following semester. If you see in QIS that you have not passed your examination despite having submitted a certificate, please do not ask at the Examination Office until two months into the current semester if your certificate has not yet been entered into QIS. This will reduce the high number of enquiries and allows the staff of the Examination Office to complete the work as quickly as possible. We thank you for your understanding.

What are the reasons for inability to take exams?

You are deemed to be incapable of taking an examination if you are subject to restrictions which considerably restrict your usual ability to take an examination, making participation in an examination unreasonable. Reasons for this include flu infections, colds, gastrointestinal diseases with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The mere indication of a diagnosis, e.g. gastroenteritis, is not sufficient to determine whether there is an incapacity for examination. What is decisive is a description of the impairments or the present complaint picture. In these cases, the symptoms of these diseases may result in an inability to participate in an examination. This complaint must be certified in detail by the doctor. The valid jurisdiction has therefore confirmed the obligation of the examinee to release the physician or official physician from the duty of confidentiality, if necessary.

In addition to extreme family stress situations in direct temporal connection with examinations an examination inability can be present. This is the case, for example, in cases of death, (serious) your illness or illness of your children or other relatives, caring for relatives, etc. These stressful situations must be credibly proven by suitable documents (medical certificates, death certificates, etc.). In these cases, a withdrawal from examinations or a temporary exemption from the obligation to participate in an examination may also be applied for.

Generally, pregnancy is not a reason for not being able to participate in an examination. However, if complaints should arise which endanger the expectant mother or the unborn child, there may be an inability to take an examination. The complaints and a possible existing dangers are to be proven by a medical or official medical certificate.

A respective list with the complaints and possible dangers dos not exist. Please check with the Examination Office to see if an incapacity for examinations exists and how to prove it.

Who decides whether there is an incapacity for examination?

It is not the physician (doctor) or official physician (doctor) who decides whether an incapacity for an examination exists, but it´s solely decided by the examining authority (Trier University of Applied Sciences). The physician (doctor) or official physician (doctor) is merely the appropriate person to certify the complaints and the associated limitations of the examinee's performance.

What happens if I am late for an examination, e.g. because of slippery roads or train delays?

If you are late for an exam, this is your own risk. It could be possible that you may then only have a limited examination time at your disposal. If another examinee has already completed their exam and has left the exam room, you may not be allowed to begin the exam in order to avoid deception.

Delays due to slippery roads and train delays or cancellations are within your personal risk area. There is no compensation for this in the processing time and these reasons are generally not recognized as valid reasons for non-participation in examinations.

You are responsible for ensuring that you do everything in your power to appear in time for the examination.
In case of doubt, an early arrival (possibly also one day before), but at least a travelling early to ensure a sufficient arrival time should be planned.

Where can I find the rules on non-participation in examinations and what are the rules?

Please notice:

  • In the examination regulations of your course of study, you will find under the paragraph heading "Failure, de-registration, deception, breach of regulations" (Versäumnis, Rücktritt, Täuschung, Ordnungsverstoß) the paragraph which contains the basic regulation on the procedure for failure to appear in examinations.
  • In principle:
    An examination performance is deemed to have been assessed as "insufficient" or "failed" if students fail to appear on an examination date or if they withdraw from the examination after the start of the examination without valid reasons. The same applies if a written examination is not performed within the specified allowed time.
  • Furthermore, the following generally applies:
    The reasons given for the failure to attend an examination or for resigning after the beginning of an examination must be notified immediately in writing and substantiated to the chairperson of the examination Board (or to the office designated or appointed by the examination committee). The Examination Board designated the Examination Office as the submission office for certificates.
    In the event of an illness, the certificate must be submitted immediately, i.e. without culpable delay, no later than the third working day after the examination date to the chairperson of the Examination Board or to the office designated by the Examination Board (= Examination Office).
    Please be advised, Saturdays do not count as working days.
    The certificate must indicate the inability to take the examination.
    The presentation of an official medical certificate may be required.
    The illness of a child that you are solely responsible for is equivalent to the illness of students.
  • This provision was supplemented by various resolutions of the Examination Boards of the two departments. These resolutions can be viewed at the respective Examination Boards.

The Examination Boards have established the following:

  1. The certificates in the event of illness on examination dates must be received by the examination office on the environmental campus by the third working day after the examination date. 
  2. The form "Ärztliches Attest" of the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld site can be used as a certificate (see “Downloads für Studierende”). This form does not require the submission of the supplementary sheet for the submission of certificates.
    If another certificate is presented (e.g. certificate of incapacity for work, official medical certificate, etc.), the submission of the supplementary sheet for the submission of certificates is mandatory. These certificates cannot be processed without the supplementary sheet. If necessary, the supplementary sheet can be submitted later (in person, by mail or by email).
  3. After the submission of three certificates for examination dates, an official medical certificate will be required from the fourth and each subsequent notification of illness. The Examination Office will count your sick certificates and will send you a written notice upon receipt of three sick certificates informing you that you are obliged to submit an official medical certificate for any further sick certificates.
  4. The official medical certificate must contain a detailed description of the symptoms and the resulting limitations on performance on the day of the examination. Otherwise an incapacity for examination cannot be examined and thus will not be recognized. 
  5. In order to meet the three-day deadline, a certificate from any doctor may first be presented; the official doctor's certificate must then be submitted immediately.
  6. We advise you to initially send certificates to the Examination Office by email in order to meet the deadline and then to submit the original without delay.
    Please keep in mind that the postal route can sometimes take longer than three days.
    Certificates received later than the three days will not be recognized and you will not be excused for the examination in question and will receive a failed attempt.
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