Accessibility statement

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service website is run by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website, including people who use assistive technologies. For example, that means you will be able to:

  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software, like Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • listen to the website using a screen reader, including the most recent versions of JAWS and SuperNova
  • magnify text on screen with ZoomText

We’ve also made the website content as simple and as clear as possible to understand.

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

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • the Activity Skills assessments on the Skills health check are currently inaccessible because of the extensive use of graphics and pictures
  • the Personal Skills assessments on the Skills health check and most of the Activity Skills assessments are quite long and may be difficult for someone with neuro-diverse issues to work through
  • navigating through each of the Activity Skills may be difficult, as the focus stays on the ‘Continue’ button when moving from one question to the next
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text on the site

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need help using this website, you can contact us and an adviser will get back to you to provide support.

The following information will help us to deal promptly with your enquiry:

  • the web address (url) of the page you want help with
  • the type of help you need
  • your name and email address

We’re open from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any issues that are not listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, you can contact us with the details.

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

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

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Disproportionate burden

The Skills health check assessment was built and hosted through a third party and designed to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal.

Navigation and accessing information

Navigating through each of the Activity Skills can be difficult. For instance when users move from one question to the next, the focus remains on the ‘Continue’ button and does not take you to the top of the page.

Interactive tools and transactions

These are the accessibility issues identified during testing:

  • on the Skills assessment health check home page, there is a button that says, ‘Go to skills health check’ - this is actually a visited link so may cause some confusion for some users when navigating this page
  • the Personal Skills assessments and most of the Activity Skills assessments could be difficult for someone with neuro-diverse issues to work through, as the sections are long and some of the questions are repeated throughout - this may make users think they have already answered the question.
  • the Activity Skills assessments may not be accessible because of the extensive use of graphics and pictures

We are working to improve our website to make sure that all of our pages, products and features are fully compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard by September 2020.

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

PDFs and other documents

The Skills health check assessment results reports are in PDF format and do not meet accessibility standards. They may not be structured to be accessible to a screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value). We aim to review these reports and replace them with accessible pages by September 2020.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 07 August 2019. The test was carried out on our behalf by Technology Services: End User Computing, Technology Group, which is part of the Department for Education (DfE).

We tested:

The testing was carried out on the National Careers Service account page and Skills health check tool. An account was created and a Skills health check assessment was started. The password for the account was changed and the account was then closed.

Testing was carried out using the following software:

  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking (V15.4)
  • JAWS (2019)
  • SuperNova (V18)
  • ZoomText (2019)
  • SortSite (v5.21)
  • aXe Accessibility (v3.9.0 axe-core)

At the time of testing, these were the National Careers Service's supported versions of accessibility software.

Things to note:

  • WCAG 2.1 AA standards were considered and reported against
  • the browser used was IE11 as this is standard in the ESFA
  • testing was done with 2 different screen reader packages, as they often interact differently with a page
  • testing was carried out using only keyboard, keyboard commands and voice where applicable - a mouse or similar device was not used
  • during testing, consideration was given to usability and to neurodiversity
  • compatibility and usability cannot be guaranteed for people who access the system outside of the ESFA network, as it is not possible to test for every browser, operating system and accessibility software package

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working to address the accessibility issues with the Skills health check tool identified in the report. We aim to make sure all pages are accessible by September 2020.

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2019. It was last updated on 16 October 2019.