Qualifications Wales accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to Qualificationswales.org and Qiw.Wales

This website is run by Qualifications Wales. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)



We have installed ReadSpeaker’s webReader text-to-speech software, which allows visitors to instantly convert online content to audio on our website. Click on the icon in the top left of our website to try this out, and take advantage of the full range of useful webReader features , including, translation, read-on-hover and word look-up.


ReadSpeaker docReader can read any of our reports in 50+ languages. The toolbar enables you to browse, read, and listen to the document. It also includes a word look-up and highlighter feature. 

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

In an independent review of our website, our site was 40% accessible when tested against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) Level A criteria and 60% accessible when tested against Level AA criteria.

The website passed testing against the following criteria:

Meaningful Sequence

1.3.2 When the sequence in which content is presented affects it’s meaning,
a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined.
(Level A)

Sensory Characteristics

1.3.3 Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not
rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size,
visual location, orientation, or sound. (Level A)

Orientation : (WCAG 2.1)

1.3.4 Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display
orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display
orientation is essential. (Level AA)

Identify Input Purpose: (WCAG 2.1)

1.3.5 The purpose of each input field collecting information about the user
can be programmatically determined when :
The input field serves a purpose identified in the Input Purposes for
User Interface Components section; and
The content is implemented using technologies with support for
identifying the expected meaning for form input data.
(Level AA)

Use of Colour

1.4.1 Colour is not used as the only visual means of conveying information,
indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual
(Level A)

Reflow: (WCAG 2.1)

1.4.10 Content can be presented without loss of information or
functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions for :
Vertical scrolling content at a width equivalent to 320 CSS pixels;
Horizontal scrolling content at a height equivalent to 256 CSS pixels.
Except for parts of the content which require two-dimensional layout for
usage or meaning.

(Level AA)

Text Spacing (WCAG 2.1

1.4.12 presentation of graphics is essential to the information being
In content implemented using mark-up languages that support the
following text style properties, no loss of content or functionality occurs by
setting all of the following and by changing no other style property:
Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;
Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.
Exception: Human languages and scripts that do not make use of one or
more of these text style properties in written text can conform using only
the properties that exist for that combination of language and script.
(Level AA)

Content on Hover or Focus (WCAG 2.1)

1.4.13 Where receiving and then removing pointer hover or keyboard focus
triggers additional content to become visible and then hidden, the following
are true:
A mechanism is available to dismiss the additional content without moving
pointer hover or keyboard focus, unless the additional content
communicates an input error or does not obscure or replace other content;
If pointer hover can trigger the additional content, then the pointer can be
moved over the additional content without the additional content
The additional content remains visible until the hover or focus trigger is
removed, the user dismisses it, or its information is no longer valid.
Exception: The visual presentation of the additional content is controlled by
the user agent and is not modified by the author.

(Level AA)

No Keyboard Trap

2.1.2 If keyboard focus can be moved to a component of the page using a
keyboard interface, then focus can be moved away from that component
using only a keyboard interface, and, if it requires more than unmodified
arrow or tab keys or other standard exit methods, the user is advised of the
method for moving focus away.
(Level A)

Three Flashes or Below Threshold

2.3.1 Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times
in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red
flash thresholds.

Page Titled

2.4.2 Web pages have titles that describe topic or purpose.
(Level A)

Multiple Ways

2.4.5 More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process.

(Level AA)

Pointer Gestures (WCAG 2.1)

2.5.1 All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for
operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based
gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.

(Level A)

Pointer Cancellation (WCAG 2.1)

2.5.2 For functionality that can be operated using a single pointer, at least
one of the following is true:
No Down-Event
The down-event of the pointer is not used to execute any part of the
Abort or Undo
Completion of the function is on the up-event, and a mechanism is available
to abort the function before completion or to undo the function after
Up Reversal
The up-event reverses any outcome of the preceding down-event;
Completing the function on the down-event is essential.

(Level A)

Label in Name (WCAG 2.1)

2.5.3 For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the name contains the text that is presented visually.
(Level A)

Language of Parts

3.1.2 The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be
programmatically determined except for proper names, technical terms,
words of indeterminate language, and words or phrases that have become
part of the vernacular of the immediately surrounding text.
(Level AA)

On Focus

3.2.1 When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context.
(Level A)

On Input

3.2.2 Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behaviour before using the component.
(Level A)

Consistent Navigation

3.2.3 Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user.
(Level AA)

Consistent Identification

3.2.4 Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently.
(Level AA)

Error Identification

3.3.1 If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text.
(Level A)

Error Suggestion

3.3.3 If an input error is automatically detected and suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardise the security or purpose of the content. (Level AA)

Status Messages (WCAG 2.1)

4.1.3 In content implemented using mark-up languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties such that they can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving
(Level AA)

If you need information on this website in a different format please contact: 

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 7 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website 

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: comms@qualificationswales.org

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us. 

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Qualifications Wales is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:

  • A skip link is not available to bypass the main navigation elements in the header of the page
  • Image links are present that do not contain text that accurately describes its destination or purpose
  • Images of text are present that cannot be adjusted for the user's required presentation
  • The home page does not contain a level-one heading
  • Lists are present that have not been marked up correctly
  • Buttons are present that do not contain text descriptive of their function or purpose
  • The users focus is not directed to the contents of the hamburger menu when visible
  • Some page elements are not accessible to keyboard commands
  • Page content is not presented to screen reader users in a logical order
  • Visual headings are not programmatically determined.
  • Titles attributes are not available to help users identify the general purpose and content of a page or frame
  • Some pages do not include a language attribute
  • Links to Non-HTML documents are present that do not indicate their file type or size
  • Closed captions are either inaccurate or not available for some videos
  • Links to different destinations are present that do not contain uniquely descriptive link text
  • A form element is present that does not contain an explicit label (third party webpage)
  • Page content is not contained within landmarks (third party webpage)
  • Images are present that do not contain appropriate alt text attribute values
  • Moving content is present that does not include a pause or stop facility.
  • Some users found the search facility edit field to be problematic
  • Page elements are present that do not meet the minimum colour contrast requirements
  • The presentation of some meaningful graphics has insufficient colour contrast
  • Some interactive page elements are not highlighted by a visible focus indicator
  • Form elements are present that are not descriptive of their function or purpose
  • Some users were unable to adjust the volume of the ReadSpeaker tool using assistive technology
  • Some screen users struggle to understand bi-lingual document content
  • Some elements are not displayed when using high contrast mode
  • The order in which some page elements receive focus is not logical 

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The table below set outs which criteria we are not yet fully compliant with:

Non-text Content

1.1.1 All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose. (Level A)

Captions (Pre-recorded)

1.2.2 Captions are provided for all pre-recorded audio content in synchronised media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labelled as such.
(Level A)

Info and Relationships

1.3.1 Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text.
(Level A)

Contrast (Minimum)

1.4.3 The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following:
Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1;
Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.
Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.
(Level AA)

Images of Text

1.4.5 If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text except for the following:
Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.5
Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user's requirements;
Essential: A particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed.
(Level AA)

Non-text Contrast (WCAG 2.1)

1.4.11 The visual presentation of the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

User Interface Components

Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the Fail (M)DAC | Accessibility Report 133 appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;

Graphical Objects

Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.

(Level AA)


2.1.1 All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's movement and not just the endpoints.

(Level A)

Pause, Stop, Hide

2.2.2 For moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information, all of the following are true:

Understanding Success Criterion 2.2.2

Moving, blinking, scrolling: For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; and

Auto-updating: For any auto-updating information that (1) starts automatically and (2) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it or to control the frequency of the update unless the auto-updating is part of an activity where it is essential.

(Level A)

Bypass Blocks

2.4.1 A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages.

(Level A)

Focus Order

2.4.3 If a Web page can be navigated sequentially and the navigation sequences affect meaning or operation, focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability.
(Level A)

Link Purpose (In Context)

2.4.4 The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.

(Level A)

Headings and Labels

2.4.6 Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.

(Level AA)

Focus Visible

2.4.7 Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible.

(Level AA)

Language of Page

3.1.1 The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined.

(Level A)

Labels or Instructions

3.3.2 Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input.

(Level A)


4.1.1 In content implemented using mark-up languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique, except where the specifications allow these features.

(Level A)

Name, Role, Value

4.1.2 For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies.

(Level A)

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

By September 2020, we plan to convert some of our most regularly used and public facing regulatory documents into HTML format. Other relevant documents will be converted to HTML format when they are reviewed.   

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to fix past consultation documents.  

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Our accessibility roadmap shows how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

Preparation of this accessibility statement 

This statement was prepared on 19 August 2020. It was last reviewed on 19 August 2020.

This website was last tested on 25th June 2020. The test was carried out by Digital Accessibility Centre.

Pages were tested according to heaviest website traffic. This information is included in the report provided by DAC.

You can read the full accessibility test report.