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Route Appraisal or Access Audit? What are the differences and which approach best suits your needs?

Recently we have been asked about the difference between Route Appraisals and Access Audits and which would best suit our client’s needs. In order to offer assistance on this matter we have decided to put together this short article to guide you in the right direction of when and where a Route Appraisal or an Access Audit is required.

It is easy to confuse a Route Appraisal with an Disability Access Audit as they do overlap in certain areas and do consider some of the same details in their execution. Generally speaking an Access Audit is a complete accessibility review of the built environment, including building management, and rates the existing building against given criteria (e.g. TGD Part M) for usability and accessibility. A Route Appraisal is a much more simplified version where the main positive and negative accessibility features of specific aspects of the built environment are assessed.

An Access Audit, as recommended by the NDA, should be carried out every 3 years or less. This would assess the conditions and usability of the whole building, (based on current best practice – TGD M 2010) producing a full report with items for future considerations. A Route Appraisal, on the other hand, may assess the approach and/or circulation routes, including associated ancillary facilities, associated with the building or area of concern.For instance; if you were holding a seminar in a hotel conference centre and had an attendee with a disability you might engage a Route Appraisal to assess whether that conference centre and ancillary facilities would be suitable for all attendees. A complete audit of the hotel, staff facilities, bedrooms etc would not be necessary as it is only the conference centre and its access which is of concern.

The services provided by the two assessments will differ. The following outlines the type of services you can expect:

Route Appraisal

Access Audit

If you require further information on Route Appraisals or Access Audits, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 4151285 or e-mail [email protected]