The NIHR Research Design Service is closed to new requests from 30 September 2023. We will continue to support our existing clients with existing projects up to 31 March 2024. If you have a question you can email us.
For support with any new project ideas please now contact the NIHR Research Support Service.

Accessibility Statement

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is a public organisation, and as a result requires websites and applications that are part of the domain to meet certain accessibility criteria where possible. The Research Design Service (RDS) is part of the NIHR and the RDS South West (RDS SW) is one of several regional services around the country making up the national RDS.

This accessibility statement applies to the NIHR RDS South West website, This website is run by the NIHR RDS South West and this statement explains how we meet Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) explained

To make sure that our website is accessible, we follow the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1. WCAG is a universally accepted standard for measuring the accessibility of a website and it uses a scale A, AA and AAA to rate the accessibility of content.

We are committed to making sure, where possible, that its content meets AA compliance. AA compliance means people who have a disability should be able to access the majority of our content easily.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 23rd March 2022 and was carried out automatically using a web accessibility checker tool called WAVE. Any errors identified by WAVE align with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) failures. Manual testing was also carried out to ensure optimal accessibility. Any new webpages, content and resources will be tested using both automatic and manual methods.

How accessible this website is

We have worked to make this website as accessible as possible and believe that we fully meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 AA standards.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

We have ensured essential information on how users can access our service is provided in an accessible format. Accessible methods to access our service are also provided.

PDFs and other documents

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under our control. For example, we do not plan to fix PDF documents of presentations where the content was not produced by us.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other content published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to fix PDF documents in our event archive. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

How to get information in an accessible format

If you have problems accessing information on this website, or would like any of our work in a more accessible format please email us details of your request to We will consider your request, and aim to respond within 5 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of the website. If you find any problems which aren't listed on this page, or think that we're not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, then please email with the details to let us know and help us improve.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).


This statement was prepared on 17th September 2020. It was last updated on 1st March 2023.