• Tweet this item
  • share this item on Linkedin
Adam Turner

Q4 2020 UK Government and Public Bodies INDEX Results

Index Accessibility Public sector


With all public sector websites needing to be compliant with European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04) by 22 September 2020; we look at the progress UK Government and Public Bodies are making in ensuring their websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

At Sitemorse we published our 2020 Q4 UK Government and Public Bodies INDEX this week.

The INDEX has been published quarterly since 2006 and ranks the websites of over 300 Government and Public Bodies for digital compliance, based on User Experience, Search Engine Optimisation and Governance, Risk and Compliance.

The Q4 INDEX was compiled following over 200 million tests, checks and measures across over 640,000 URLs.

Congratulations to the Office for Students for retaining first place and to Horserace Betting Levy Board for being the most improved, rising an impressive 214 places up the table.

Since Q3, 38 organisations have improved the accessibility of their website, whilst 40 have seen it decline.

No organisations passed the WCAG 2.1 Level A and AA tests on 100% of their web pages and 11 organisations failed the level A and AA tests on every page.

European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, using European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04), was approved on October 26, 2016. It came into force for in the UK on 23 September 2018. The aim of the regulations is to ensure public sector websites and mobile apps can be used by as many people as possible.

This includes those with:

  • impaired vision
  • motor difficulties
  • cognitive impairments or learning disabilities
  • deafness or impaired hearing

New public sector websites have needed to be compliant since 22 September this year, all other public sector websites needed to be compliant by 22 September 2020.

If we focus on accessibility, Office for Nuclear Regulation scored highest, with 9 (out of 10) - they should be congratulated for taking the lead in this sector on accessibility.

As for the rest of the organisations in the INDEX:

  • 35% of organisations scored 5 or 6 (out of 10) for accessibility
  • 32% of organisations scored between 1 and 4 (out of 10) for accessibility
  • 28% of organisations scored zero for accessibility

In the event of 2 organisations being tied then the organisation who scored higher in the previous quarter’s INDEX is ranked higher.

Top ten websites

  1. Office for Students
  2. National Museums Liverpool
  3. Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland
  4. Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  5. Sinn Fein
  6. Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee
  7. Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists
  8. Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (Northern Ireland)
  9. Health and Safety Executive
  10. The Pensions Ombudsman

Five Most improved websites

  • Horserace Betting Levy Board
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • British Film Institute
  • The Legal Ombudsman
  • Sinn Fein

The full UK Government and Public Bodies Q4 2020 results can be found here: Sitemorse UK Government and Public Bodies INDEX

Your Just-in-time Training

Actions speak louder than words. We deliver relevant, short training videos with each action. These will enable you to understand what to do next and how to get on with it.