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Get fresh compliance insight into your buildings with an access audit.

Are you doing everything you can to comply with disability legislation? Access audits give managing agents honest insight into how accessible their operations really are.

24% of people across the UK live with some form of disability. The Equality Act 2010 protects these people from discrimination, enshrining their rights to goods, services, facilities, employment, and property rental.

This comes with specific duties and responsibilities for managing agents of commercial and residential properties. But in reality, many don’t know the exact scope of their obligations. Common, everyday practices could find a building in breach of the Equality Act. Things like:

  • Low colour contrast between walls and floors (grey-on-grey is worryingly popular)
  • Loose, unfixed seating lining the walls of corridors
  • Storing supplies in unused disabled toilets
  • No designated responder for disabled alarm calls

With so many tiny details to be aware of, an expert outside perspective is incredibly helpful. That perspective gets delivered as an access audit. An access audit reviews your buildings’ fabric and management for barriers which might be preventing equitable access.

What’s involved in an access audit?

During an access audit, the auditor examines your physical buildings and the way they’re managed. The process takes a risk assessment-based approach to identifying and removing obstructions or accessibility issues.

An access audit doesn’t look at operations happening inside the building, only access into and throughout the building itself. For example: a school would be checked for wheelchair access; ramps or lifts. But it wouldn’t be asked whether its curriculum is available in braille.

How often should you carry out an access audit?

Every effective risk assessment needs to be reviewed from time to time. We recommend a new access audit for buildings every 12-24 months, or after any significant change.

Some buildings will need to be reviewed more often than others. A hospital would typically make few changes to the way it uses its premises. Compare that to a university, which could be changing departments regularly and adding new buildings to its stock.

What do you get in your access audit?

Once an audit identifies possible impediments in your buildings, it proposes a hierarchy of reasonable solutions to remove them.

These will be arranged by cost and impact. If a second-floor meeting room lacks wheelchair access, for example, the best long-term solution could be to install a lift. That would make the building more accessible overall in the long term, but is the budget there? A workable alternative could be to simply hold meetings on the ground floor instead from now on.

It’s vital to stress that an access audit isn’t something you buy to show you’re compliant with the Equality Act. It’s a reflection of your compliance, of the way you fulfil your legal and moral responsibility to occupants.

A credible auditor will provide an honest picture of your business, and clear actionable steps towards any possible improvements.

Why partner with NIFES?

Our experienced teams help dozens of universities, schools, and academies realise their compliance potential. We also proudly serve multiple NHS trusts, and a fast-growing commercial clientele. NIFES expertise covers a broad range of backgrounds and property types.

Audits are delivered by qualified personnel, including GradIOSH and TechIOSH-accredited operatives. The Centre for Accessible Environments updates our own in-house training annually, ensuring we’re always passing on the latest best practice.

Working with us, you get the peace of mind that comes from a proven track record. From auditing existing stock to accessible design consultancy and pre-acquisition due diligence, let us ease your compliance burden. It all starts with a conversation.

Contact Us

Registered Office Address
The Brew House,
Greenails Avenue, Warrington,
Cheshire, WA4 6HL

T: 0845 168 6684