Public-sector accessibility regulations

The Public-Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 means that we have a legal duty to meet accessibility standards. The best way of doing this is to check how far your website or app currently meets the WCAG 2.1 AA standard. Then, make a plan to fix the problems you’ve found.

Read the glossary to get the definition of website in this context.

What you need to do:

  • Carry out an evaluation of how accessible your website or mobile app is.
  • Fix any accessibility problems to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.12.1 level AA standard.
  • Publish an accessibility statement saying what’s accessible, what’s not, and how you plan to improve this.

When you need to do this:

  • For any websites created after September 2018 you need to act now. The regulations stipulate that these sites should have been compliant by September 2019.
  • For websites created before September 2018 you have until 23 September 2020 to comply with the regulations.
  • For all old mobile applications, you have until June 2021 to comply with the regulations. Newly published mobile apps need to comply now.

Detailed guidance

The Government Digital Service have published further information on Understanding new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.

Accessibility statements

One of the requirements for the public-sector accessibility regulations is that you must add a web accessibility statement to your site, detailing how accessible the site is, any areas that are not, and what you are doing to improve it. The statement should include a contact for anyone who wants to lodge a complaint or request an accessible version of any content and/or request an alternative way to access the service.

If your College website is in the T4 content management system (CMS) or uses the domain then the College digital or ICT team will add the statement on your behalf. All other College affiliated sites require the site owner to add the statement. (Read the digital accessibility standards for affiliated sites.)

Find out more about accessibility statements and download a template