Accessibility

SQA is working towards creating an accessible website for all. The structure of the website, and how it displays information is designed to be accessible, and all new content is checked to ensure compliance.

If you encounter difficulties using sections of SQA's website please report this to us at: web.team@sqa.org.uk. We will try to amend the content immediately.

If you have problems accessing pages or documents published on this website, please contact SQA's Business Development and Customer Support Team:

and we will supply you with the page or document in an accessible format.

Many of our publications can be produced in alternative formats, including large type, braille and community languages.

Website

This website is run by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We are working towards making the website text as simple as possible to understand.

Get help

AbilityNet provides guidance about how to:

How accessible this website is

Past papers

We have a Digital Question Paper section

We provide requested past papers in Braille

Alternative assessment arrangements can be arranged for candidates who need additional support during exams.

If you have a question about assessment arrangement contact the team:

We are currently working on the following fixes to ensure our past papers (published from 2018) are fully accessible: 

  • Alternate text
  • Tables
  • Lists
  • Manual reading order 

We are investigating fixes for our Urdu past papers and Mathtype usage as these are currently not accessible to screen readers.

Our modern languages and Gàidhlig past papers may not be accessible to screen readers in native language.

We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:

  • you can't modify the line height or spacing of text
  • some older PDF documents aren't fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some webinars do not provide information in an accessible way
  • the FAQ section (www.sqa.org.uk/faqs) pose issues for assistive technologies
  • concertinas pose issues for assistive technologies
  • complex tables may not be fully accessible

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: the web team (web.team@sqa.org.uk)

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

  • If you use British Sign Language (BSL), the Contact Scotland BSL service gives you access to an online interpreter enabling you to communicate with us using sign language.
  • Our offices have audio induction loops
  • We provide disabled parking on request.

How to contact us

Technical information about this website's accessibility

SQA 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.

Navigation and accessing information

There's no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a 'skip to main content' option). This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

It's not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.4 (orientation).

Concertinas  are not fully accessible - however due to the prevalence across the website it will take considerable time to fix the issue. We expect concertinas to be compliant by September 2021.

Interactive tools and transactions

Our recruitment sections are built and hosted through third party software and 'skinned' to look like our website. This doesn't meet 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, likely to be in two years. We are procuring a new website platform and will ensure our new site is fully compliant.

Other content hosted and supplied by third-party suppliers.

Recaptcha - used on forms - currently testing new accessible version. Will be compliant on all forms by September 2021.

Cookie Control - we've identifed errors and are working to fix these in partnership with our supplier. (by September 2021).

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don't meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they're inaccessible to a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2021, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services.

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

Live video

Live video streams don't have captions. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We don't plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

How we tested this website

This website (all pages) was last tested on 25/01/21. The test was carried out by the web team

We tested: our main website available at https://www.sqa.org.uk/

We used: Commercially available product: https://www.powermapper.com/

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We're conducting an audit to guide priority and level of improvements needed to comply with WCAG 2.1

We are training staff in accessibility awareness and clear and confident writing.

This statement was prepared on 20/09/19. It was last updated on 5/08/21.

Users of screen readers should note that this site makes use of Title and Acronym, and so will gain more from the site if they configure their screen reader to pick up these attributes.

For users of JAWS we recommend the following sort order 'title|text|alt|href' as the best combination to set.

Access keys provide a quick way to navigate round the site without using a mouse, and on this site they are based on the UK Government Access Keys system.

The keys are used in conjunction with Alt or Ctrl and Enter keys which vary depending on your browser.

Windows users can navigate with the accesskey feature by typing ALT+Accesskey. On the Mac, you would use CTRL+Accesskey. Internet Explorer users may also need to hit the “enter” key to activate a link.

Detailed Instructions

1. Hold down

  • 'Alt' key if using Internet Explorer for Windows
  • 'Alt' and 'Shift' key if using Mozilla/Firefox on Windows
  • 'Ctrl' on Mac, or if using Safari on a Mac 'Alt' on Windows for Opera on Windows ('Alt' and 'Shift' are required in some circumstances)

2. and simultaneously select a key from the list below

3. you may need to also press 'Enter' if using Internet Explorer for Windows on a PC - other browsers go to the page immediately.

  • 0 - Accessibility and Access Key details
  • 1 - Navigate back to Home Page
  • 9 - Feedback to the SQA
  • S - Skip to Section Navigation links

These keys have been selected so as not to conflict with those in use by Browsers, Word, Acrobat Reader and assistive technologies such as JAWS, Supernova and HomePageReader.

All links to external sites open in the same window. Scottish Qualifications Authority is not responsible for the content or accessibility of these referenced sites.

The Adobe site offers:

There is more information on PDF Accessibility and other issues from the RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind) Access Centre.