British Geological Survey Accessibility Statement

BGS policy

This statement applies to content published on the domain. We want as many people as possible to be able to use and understand our website.

Our accessibility commitment includes making sure that our website visitors can:

  • easily understand our web pages by making the content as simple as possible
  • zoom in up to 500% on a webpage without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

How accessible is this website?

The majority of the BGS website is accessible, however some parts of our website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • PDF documents and older content may not be fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some older videos may not feature captions
  • many videos are embedded from YouTube and may feature labelling from YouTube itself, which could be incorrect or not sufficiently descriptive – you can visit the BGS YouTube channel to see more of our videos
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • some links do not have discernible text
  • maps displaying borehole information cannot be interacted with using the keyboard

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format, email the web team ( Please remember to include the web address of the content (specific URL).

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you find any accessibility issues beyond those listed on this page, please report any problems to the web team (

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing the Public sector bodies (websites and mobile applications) (No.2) accessibility regulations 2018.

If you make a complaint and you’re not happy with how we respond, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

BGS is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public sector bodies (websites and mobile applications) (No. 2) accessibility regulations 2018.

We aim to conform with all of the Level A and Level AA success criteria detailed in the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, wherever possible. We have detailed any non-compliances and exemptions that we are aware of below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Not all frames have title attributes. This does not fulfil 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Frames) and 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value (Frames). We plan to rectify this by December 2021.

Some links do not have discernible text. This does not fulfil 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) and 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Link). We plan to rectify this by December 2021.

Disproportionate burden – PDFs and other documents

Many of our PDFs and other document types may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

We are often required to publish documents quickly to the website and plan to retrospectively publish an accessible version once one is available. We will be working with suppliers and third parties to ensure that the accessibility of documents is planned for at creation.

Where documents are not in an accessible format, you can request an accessible version by emailing the web team (

We have assessed that fixing every document on would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

We believe that the benefit of assigning staff to immediately fix all documents on would not be justified, as the documents have a low level of usage.

Content that’s not within the scope of the regulations – PDFs and other documents

Some of our older PDFs and Microsoft Office documents may not meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be marked up so they are accessible to a screen reader. These include historic reports and case studies.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018. We do however aim to update the most used PDFs in the future.

Where possible any new PDFs or Microsoft Office documents we publish will meet accessibility standards. Where this is not possible, we will endeavour to make the information available in an accessible format. 

Content that’s not within the scope of the regulations – live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because this is exempt from meeting accessibility regulations – although a live automated captioning system may be utilised if available.  Where a recording of a live video is published after an event we will aim to provide captions.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are engaging with an external agency to conduct a user test of the accessibility of our website against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1. This includes a user test of leading screen reader software with the site, which has currently been tested using validation tools.

We are aiming to remove links without discernible text by December 2021.

We are aiming to ensure all frames have attribute titles by December 2021.

We are reviewing our website navigation to ensure this is better optimised for accessibility.

As we continue to develop the website and its content, we will audit and test the website for accessibility on a regular basis.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was reviewed on 28 July 2021.

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