With this certificate, we aim for high quality. This is why a website must comply with the basic success criteria of the WCAG 2.1 in conformance level AA in order to be certified. Our auditors check strictly according to these criteria. A separate test method for the entire process was developed in advance. Separate grading criteria were defined for each WCAG success criterion.
The WACA certificate can be awarded in three different levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze. This allows for websites that do not meet WCAG's highest standards but have basic accessibility and do not exclude users from using the website to also be recognised. To qualify for the Silver or Bronze certificate, accessibility efforts must be clear and unambiguous. The characteristics and requirements of the three WACA levels are defined as follows:
- Website complies with the WCAG 2.1 in conformance level AA and meets all success criteria
- Website is fully accessible to all users (according to the WCAG)
- Website largely complies with the WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria
- All content is accessible to all users
- The basic functionality is fully accessible to all users
- Parts of the extended/optional functionality are cumbersome for some users, yet still accessible
- Website meets most of the success criteria of the WCAG 2.1 in conformance level AA
- The website’s basic functionality is fully accessible to all users
- Parts of the extended/optional functionality that are of little relevance for the use of the website are not accessible for a limited number of users
The WACA certificate in gold not only confirms conformity with the WCAG criteria, but also best possible accessibility for all users and best practice in implementation. However, accessibility should be a lived process in the organization and not just a one-off certification. Therefore, since TÜV Austria took over the certification body for WACA, additional criteria have been defined for achieving the WACA Gold level:
- Additional random testing of the test sample by other auditors in order to get a larger perspective and differentiated evaluation.
- Responsible role for a digital accessibility officer in the organization must be named.
- Strategic accessibility statement is to be presented, how digital accessibility is anchored in the work processes of the organization.
- Outlook for regular staff training for website editors and those responsible.
Exclusion criteria of the audit:
- Websites that are not in German and/or English
- Apps for mobile applications
- Live broadcast time-based media
- Content that is only available to a closed group of people and not to the general public (extranets, intranets)
- External third-party content that was neither financed nor developed by the website operator and is therefore not subject to their control (such as Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, other Iframes and widgets, ...) as follows:
- Third-party content that you cannot interact with (such as Facebook tracking pixels) is excluded from the certification process.
- Third-party content that does not provide a basic core functionality is excluded from the certification process.
- Third-party content that provides additional information and is essential to users needs to provide an alternative.
- If a website consists largely of third-party content, certification will be rejected and the application will not be accepted. The website is not auditable.
- Online maps and map services, though these must provide an accessible alternative
- Google Captcha (ReCaptcha V2): valid only for the Silver and Bronze level