EN 301 549 - Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services

In 2014 a European law was passed which stated that anything which is bought or built by a public sector body needs to meet the European Standards for accessibility known as EN 301 549. The deadline for this is 23 September 2020.

The documented EN 301 549 - Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services is the European Standards. They apply to any software or hardware bought or built by a public sector body in Europe. It also covers websites and mobile applications, but if you’re building or buying these in the UK, the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 would be the standard you would need to work to.

Because the UK standards align with the European Standards, the same deadline of 23 September 2020 applies, and if you meet the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 you will also meet EN 301 549 for your website or mobile application.

What counts as a website?

The monitoring and reporting body for the regulations in the UK is CDDO (Central Digital and Data Office). When doing checks, CDDO will consider anything using web technologies as a website.

It doesn’t matter if it’s for internal use only or if you call it a programme, a tool or a portal. If runs in a browser and it’s using web technologies such as http protocols, then it is considered a website under the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018.