Technical Specification

This section provides:

  • advice on defining accessibility in the Technical Specification,
  • advice on what type of evidence of conformance to ask the supplier to provide,
  • sample Solicitation Language to use in the Technical Speficiation,
  • links to sample templates for suppliers to declare conformity with EN 301 549 "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”.

Use the Accessibility Requirements Generator to quickly define the Functional Performance Statements or Functional Accessibility Requirements for use in your procurement as either Technical Specifications or as Award Criteria.

Defining accessibility in the Technical Specification

EN 301 549 provides two main resources for procuring accessible ICTs.  These are:

  1. a list of 11 high-level Functional Performance Statements that describe the needs of the widest range of users when using ICT products, services or documentation,
  2. a comprehensive set of testable Functional Accessibility Requirements  related to the Functional Performance Statements.

1. Using the Functional Performance Statements

The Functional Performance Statements are contained in clause 4.2 of EN 301 549

A procuring authority may not know the type of technology it wishes to procure. Instead it may have a set of business needs or requirements (e.g. a CRM system). These may be met in a variety of ways through the provision of a mix of products and services. In this instance the procuring body may use the Functional Performance Statements in the Call for Tenders and leave it to the supplier to identify which of the accessibility requirements it will show conformance with in order to prove that it meets the functional performance statements.  

2. Using the appropriate Functional Accessibility Requirements

Using the appropriate Functional Accessibility Requirements in clauses 5 to 13 of EN 301 549.

Where the procuring body knows at the time of writing a Call for Tenders the type of technology it wishes to procure, e.g. a monitor, printer, laptop or computer, it may choose one of pre-packaged sets of requirements from the list provided in the section on Commonly Procured ICTs in the Accessibility Requirements Generator.

Where a pre-packaged set of requirements are not available, the procuring authority may choose the relevant Functional Accessibiltiy Requirements using the Accessibility Requirements Generator.

3. Using both the Statements and the Requirements

Where procuring the development of a product or service, both options above can be applied. In this case the statements or the requirements do not appear in a Call for Tenders as Technical Specifications or Award Criteria. They are included in the description of what is going to be developed, which for obvious reasons does not exist at the time of tendering and hence cannot be considered during the evaluation of tenders. This description is commonly used to form part of the contract.

Choosing which type of declaration of conformity to request

Conformance with the Functional Performance Statements shall be considered as conformity with EN 301 549. Suppliers can declare they have met all of the applicable testable Functional Accessibility Requirements that support the Functional Performance Statements

As in all procurements, it is vital that when defining the mandatory technical specifications, that the procuring body considers which is the most appropriate form of evidence to request so it can be satisfied that these mandatory minimum compliance criteria are met. For advice on how to determine appropriate forms of evidence with respect to accessibility, read Conformity assessment and attestations.

Where the Technical Specification states that all of the Functional Performance Statements set out in clause 4.2 of EN 301 549 shall be met, a supplier shall be asked to identify how the user needs expressed in these high-level Functional Performance Statements are met for each ICT product and service to be supplied.  

Where the procuring body decides to require a declaration of conformity with EN 301 549 as evidence, suppliers can do this in three ways:

    1. They can declare that they have met the user needs expressed in the functional performance statements and provide the necessary additional evidence to support this claim. This evidence could include the results of user trials, evidence from previous installations of similar ICT, or any other evidence that the supplier believes supports their assertion.
    2. They can declare that they have met all of the applicable testable requirements that appear in clauses 5 to 13 of the EN. These requirements specify a minimum, but testable, set of requirements that support the functional performance statements. ICT that meets these requirements is deemed to have met a level of accessibility consistent with the functional performance statements that describe the user needs.
    3. They can declare how many of the testable requirements which appear in clauses 5 to 13 of the EN they have met. If they have not met all of the testable requirements, they can provide additional evidence to show how they have fully met the user needs that are addressed by the testable requirements that they have not met.

      Sample text for use as Solicitation Language for the Technical Specification

      The following text is provided for informational purposes only. Use the Accessibility Requirements Generator to create a customised Solicitation Language for the product or service you wish to procure.

      Example 1 - when using the Functional Performance Statements:

      Download: Sample text for use of Functional Performance Statements as Solicitation Language in the Technical Specification (RTF)

      Solicitation language - Functional Performance Statements: The offered solution shall meet the Functional Performance Statements in EN 501 549 "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe", available at http://mandate376.nomensa.com.

      Verification: Any of the following means of proof will be accepted:

      • Accredited third part certification - a certificate with content compliant with Annex B.5 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552 “Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of  ICT products and services in Europe”, and issued by a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
      • A test report from a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European parliament and of the Council.
      • A Supplier's Declaration of Conformity - compliant with Annex B.2 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A First Party Declaration, compliant with Annex B.1 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A technical dossier of the manufacturer of the offered Desktop and portable computers.

      Note 1: The statement of conformity should be compliant with clause C1 of EN 301 549, i.e. the statement of conformity should have a form that:

      • makes clear whether there is compliance with all the applicable requirements or whether there is only compliance with some requirements;
      • notes the sampling and assessment techniques used to evaluate the ICT;
      • notes whether equivalent accessible functionality exists in places where non-compliance was found;
      • notes whether equivalent means were used that achieve the outcome envisioned, where technical non-compliance was found.

      Note 2: "Technical dossier" is a term used in EU procurement directives. A technical dossier could be a product sheet or a technical description. This dossier shall be issued by the manufacturer and must not be produced specifically for the tender in question.

      Example 2 - when using the Functional Accessibility Requirements:

      Download: Sample text for use Functional Assessibility Requirements as Solicitation Requirements for the Technical Specification (RFT)

      Solicitation language - Functional Accessibility Requirements: The offered solution shall meet clauses [list of relevant clauses] from EN 501 549 "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe", available at http://mandate376.nomensa.com.

      Verification: Any of the following means of proof will be accepted:

      • Accredited third part certification - a certificate with content compliant with Annex B.5 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552 “Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of  ICT products and services in Europe”, and issued by a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
      • A test report from a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European parliament and of the Council.
      • A Supplier's Declaration of Conformity - compliant with Annex B.2 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A First Party Declaration, compliant with Annex B.1 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A technical dossier of the manufacturer of the offered Desktop and portable computers.

      Note 1: The statement of conformity should be compliant with clause C1 of EN 301 549, i.e. the statement of conformity should have a form that:

      • makes clear whether there is compliance with all the applicable requirements or whether there is only compliance with some requirements;
      • notes the sampling and assessment techniques used to evaluate the ICT;
      • notes whether equivalent accessible functionality exists in places where non-compliance was found;
      • notes whether equivalent means were used that achieve the outcome envisioned, where technical non-compliance was found.

      Note 2: "Technical dossier" is a term used in EU procurement directives. A technical dossier could be a product sheet or a technical description. This dossier shall be issued by the manufacturer and must not be produced specifically for the tender in question.

      Example 3 - when using Functional Accessibility Requirements for procuring multiple products/services:

      Specification: Hardware and software components of the offered solution, which are intended to be used by persons, shall meet clauses 5-13 of EN 301 549. The supplier shall clearly state which clauses are determined to be applicable.

      Verification: Any of the following means of proof will be accepted:

      • Accredited third part certification - a certificate with content compliant with Annex B.5 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552 “Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of  ICT products and services in Europe”, and issued by a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
      • A test report from a conformity assessment body, accredited in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European parliament and of the Council.
      • A Supplier's Declaration of Conformity - compliant with Annex B.2 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A First Party Declaration, compliant with Annex B.1 in CEN/CLC/ETSI/TR 101 552.
      • A technical dossier of the manufacturer of the offered Desktop and portable computers.

      Note 1: The statement of conformity should be compliant with clause C1 of EN 301 549, i.e. the statement of conformity should have a form that:

      • makes clear whether there is compliance with all the applicable requirements or whether there is only compliance with some requirements;
      • notes the sampling and assessment techniques used to evaluate the ICT;
      • notes whether equivalent accessible functionality exists in places where non-compliance was found;
      • notes whether equivalent means were used that achieve the outcome envisioned, where technical non-compliance was found.

      Note 2: "Technical dossier" is a term used in EU procurement directives. A technical dossier could be a product sheet or a technical description. This dossier shall be issued by the manufacturer and must not be produced specifically for the tender in question.

      Use the Accessibility Requirements Generator to create a customised Solicitation Language for the product or service you wish to procure.

      Sample templates for suppliers to declare conformity with EN 301 549

      See Conformity assessment and attestations for more advice on declarations of conformity.