Accessibility Statement for Online Designation Application Form

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by Historic England. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. While this service is not presently accessible we are committed to making it accessible.

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

How accessible this website is

We know this website is not optimised for accessibility.

Please contact us via the methods listed below for alternative means to apply for designation while we work to provide an accessible version.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working 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 customer services on [email protected], who will pass your request on to the appropriate team.

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

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

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

Historic England 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 not 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.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

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

The website fails the following Level A criteria:

  • 1.1.1 – Non-text Content: Provide text alternatives for non-text content
  • 1.3.1 – Info and Relationships: Logical structures
  • 1.3.2 – Meaningful Sequence: Present content in a meaningful order
  • 1.3.3 – Sensory Characteristics: Use more than one sense for instructions
  • 1.4.1 – Use of Colour: Don’t use a presentation that relies solely on colour
  • 2.1.1 – Keyboard: Accessible by keyboard only
  • 2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap: Don’t trap keyboard users
  • 2.4.1 – Bypass Blocks: Provide a “Skip to Content” link
  • 2.4.2 – Page Titled: Helpful and clear page title
  • 2.4.3 – Focus Order: Tabbing in logical Order
  • 2.4.4 – Link Purpose (In Context): Every link’s purpose is clear from its context
  • 2.5.3 – Label in Name: The name contains the text that is presented visually
  • 3.1.1 – Language of Page: Page has a language assigned
  • 3.2.1 – On Focus: Elements do not change when they receive focus
  • 3.2.2 – On Input: Elements do not change when they receive input
  • 3.3.1 – Error Identification: Clearly identify input errors
  • 3.3.2 – Labels or Instructions: Label elements and give instructions
  • 4.1.1 – Parsing: No major code errors
  • 4.1.2 – Name, Role, Value: Build all elements for accessibility

The website fails the following Level AA criteria:

  • 1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum): Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
  • 1.4.10 – Reflow: Your website must be responsive
  • 1.4.11 – Non-Text Contrast: High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds
  • 1.4.13 – Content on Hover Focus: Ensuring content visible on hover or keyboard focus does not lead to accessibility issues
  • 2.4.5 – Multiple Ways: Offer several ways to find pages
  • 2.4.6 – Headings and Labels: Use clear headings and labels
  • 2.4.7 – Focus Visible: Keyboard focus is visible and clear
  • 3.2.3 – Consistent Navigation: Use menus consistently
  • 3.2.4 – Consistent Identification: Use icons and buttons consistently
  • 3.3.4 – Error Prevention: Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data (eg. Legal, financial)
  • 4.1.3 – Status Messages: Status messages can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus

Disproportionate burden

Accessibility is a priority for Historic England.

We are constantly working to make sure our digital offer provides the best user experience for those with accessibility needs.

In this accessibility statement, we have identified multiple issues using the online designation application form. We believe fixing the issues with the current website would represent a disproportionate burden. The justification for this is outlined below.

We are currently working to build a new and accessible alternative to the designation application form on the corporate website. Initial plans to deliver the new version by the end of 2020 have been delayed by the impact of Covid-19. We are now due to launch in December 2021. This will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations.

The current application form is over 10 years old and would have to be extensively rebuilt in order to be compliant. It would be duplicating resources to address accessibility issues within the current website separately at this stage, while a project is underway to build a new and improved offer.

Historic England also has a wide number of legacy websites to update to modern standards. Since we do not have the internal resource or funds to work on them all at once we have prioritised the order in which we are working on them. For this, the number of visitors to each website was taken into account. This measures all users, not only those with assistive technology or other accessibility requirements. In September 2019 these were:

  • 556 users
  • 927 sessions

To put this into context, in the same period of September 2019, the corporate website received:

  • 492,371 users
  • 639,488 session

We believe the ability to apply for designation is an important service so, following work to ensure the corporate website is compliant, we have prioritised the application form next, above websites which receive more visitors.

In summary, we felt that fixing accessibility issues with the existing website at this stage represented a disproportionate burden because resources have already been allocated to building a new offer on the corporate website, where these issues will be addressed. The offer is due to launch in December 2021 and this will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations.

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

Online maps and mapping services

The map used has a number of issues within the accessibility standards, including 1.4.1 Use of Colour, 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast, 2.1.1 Keyboard, 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum).

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations as long as essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

It is Historic England’s intention for the service currently available at to be fully compliant with the accessibility standards by December 2021.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 25 August 2021.

This website was last tested on 18 November 2019. The test was carried out by Cadence Innova.

We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test: All pages which form part of the application form were tested by the external agency.

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