Accessibility and Standards

How accessible our webpages and documents are

New webpages and documents we publish should be fully accessible. However, we know that our older pages and documents (published before 23 September 2020) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are scanned documents and aren’t marked-up in a way that allows screen readers to understand them.
  • are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings.
  • are not written in plain English.
  • are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard.
  • contain images and charts without a textual description.
  • include complex tables.

These pre-September 2020 webpages and documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible. However if you need to access information in one of these resources, you can contact us telling us your name, email address and requirements and we will respond within 15 working days.

What to do if you cannot use one of our resources

If you need a document we’ve published in a different format, or need help with the information on a webpage, please contact us. We’ll consider the request and get back to you in 15 working days.

Using our documents

We publish documents in a range of formats, including:

  • PDF.
  • Microsoft Excel.
  • Microsoft Word.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document, we make sure to:

  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure.
  • make sure we include alternative text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for.
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data.
  • write in plain English.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our webpages or documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our webpages and documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our team.

Technical information about the accessibility of our websites and documents

Cambridge Assessment is committed to making our websites and documents accessible. The documents we publish are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

Content published before 23 September 2020 could be non-accessible for the following reasons.

Some of our webpages and documents have diagrams and/or tables. Some of these do not have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader.

Some of our webpages and documents do not identify headings, lists or data tables. This means users using screen readers may not be able to follow the structure of a document, which in turn may affect their ability to access and understand the information.

In some of our webpages and documents colour is used to differentiate types of information. This means users who cannot see will not be able understand the meaning the colour is supposed to convey.

Some of our webpages and documents and pages contain images of text to convey information, rather than plain text. This means users either using a text-only browser or using assistive technology may not be able to understand the image of text.

Some of our webpages and documents and pages do not have titles that describe the topic or purpose of the page. This is often the case where we have older pages. This makes it hard for users to navigate and find the content they need.

Some links in our webpages and documents do not contain meaningful context in the link text. This makes it hard for users using assistive technology to understand what the link is for, and where they would be directed to if clicked.

Some of our webpages and documents are not structured properly. This means they may not be accessible for users using screen readers or other assistive technology.

When we publish new webpages and documents we aim to make sure they are accessible.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix webpages and PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2020 if they’re not essential to providing our services. Any new webpages and PDFs or other documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

How we test our documents

We have implemented a web checker platform, which checks all of our websites and hosted documents every five days. We then use this information to resolve issues on all new content and historical content that is regularly viewed.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Cambridge Assessment is:

  • putting guidance and procedures in place to ensure that all new documents that we produce are accessible.
  • working with our partners to help them create accessible documents.
  • updating corporate Word and PDF templates to an accessible format.
  • creating reports as HTML rather than PDF where possible.
  • raising awareness across the organisation and encouraging the use of clear English in reports.
  • training staff on meeting accessibility standards.

This page was prepared on 14 September 2020. It was last updated on 14 September 2020.