Skip to main content

General Conditions

General Conditions

  1. WACA is solely liable for the contractually specified services that are provided in compliance with the generally accepted rules (state of the art). WACA assumes no liability for the correctness of the laws, guidelines and standards on which orders are based.
  2. The test sample, the audit and the data provided by the Customer form the basis of the contract. Therefore, the Customer undertakes to notify WACA immediately of any changes with regard to these data.
  3. Based on the information provided by the Customer and the content of the initial consultation, a quotation is issued to the Customer. Quotations are, unless otherwise agreed in writing, subject to change and not binding. A mutually binding contract only comes into effect upon the Customer’s receipt of the written order confirmation. 
  4. The audit is carried out in accordance with the international W3C guidelines (WCAG) in conformity level AA. The certificate is awarded based on the up-to-dateness of the website at the date of the audit or post-audit. Any changes and updates made after this date are not part of the audit and are thus excluded from the certificate.
  5. The following contents or functions of the website are excluded from the audit: see exclusion criteria or levels.

Duration of the contractual relationship

  1. The contractual relationship between the Customer and WACA begins on the date of signing the contract and terminates at the end of the validity period of the certificate. 
  2. The certificate in the respective level is valid for 3 years from the date of the audit or post-audit.
  3. The Customer may request re-certification prior to expiry of the certificate. If this new audit is positive, the contract is extended for another 3 years.

Terms of payment

Once the Customer has submitted their website via the online submission portal, the certification fee is due. The HGBS GmbH as processing body for WACA certifications issues the invoice. 

Selection and qualification of auditors

Having qualified auditors is an essential condition for the correct application of the methodology. Auditors are well versed with the basics of HTML programming and current concepts of accessible web design. They are also familiar with the audit procedure, including the audit methodology, and they are able to reliably perform all steps of the audit. The WACA Advisory Board follows a fixed procedure when selecting qualified auditors. Auditors are only accepted upon successful completion of a qualification (such as “Certified WebAccessibility Expert” of the Austrian Economic Chambers WKO).

Harmonisation of the audits

In order for audit results to be comparable and repeatable, auditors must evaluate the different components in a similar way. To achieve this, a WCAG-compliant audit methodology was developed. The results and audit reports of previous audits can be consulted to show auditors how to correctly interpret and apply the various audit steps in practice. Past audit reports thus serve as reference points and auditors have full access to completed audits.

Quality assurance

Quality assurance is an important component of the WACA certification process and part of each audit. WACA’s Advisory Board guarantees a high level of quality by performing random checks to ensure that audits comply with the audit methodology and are in line previous assessment practices. Identifying and correcting errors in performing an audit reveals individual qualification needs. Discrepancies in the assessment of an audit often also show a general need for discussion within the team of auditors, for example when evaluating new or complex techniques. As a final step of quality assurance, the certification body TÜV Austria also reviews the audit results before issuing a WACA certificate.

Defining the test object

The test object is a website and refers to a single URL with all sub-pages. Any other URLs that are integrated on this website or link to another URL are excluded from the scope of the audit. The definition of the test object is made in agreement with the Customer. It is important to clarify which sub-pages and areas generally fall within the scope of the web offer to be audited. The scope of the test object must be clearly defined and traceable.
Note: The definition of the test object differs from the sample selection (test sample and random sample). A representative sample selection is made by the auditor for the defined test object. The Customer is only involved in defining the test object but not in selecting the specific sites to be audited.

Other exclusion criteria are:

  • Websites that are not in German and/or English
  • PDFs
  • EPUB
  • 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 basic core functionalities of the site 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