The BITV-Test

The BIK BITV-Test has been used extensively to evaluate the accessibility of mainly public sector and NGO websites. It is increasingly used also to evaluate commercial websites and web applications.

Currently, the BIK BITV-Test is offered by 19 organisations in the BIK Prüfverbund (companies trained to provide the BIK BITV-Test).

The individual BITV test steps (in German) can be found on the German website. There, you also find a detailed description of the BITV test procedure (in German).

The BITV-Test often helps evaluating selected pages, processes or components during development, providing feedback to developers, designers and editors with detailed information about changes needed in order to meet the accessibility requirements laid down in the European Norm, EN 3012 549.

The use of BITV-Test for conformance claims

When the evaluating organisation (a member of BIK Prüfverbund) defines an independent and representative page sample, the BITV-test can be used to assess conformance to BITV 2.0 (and in turn, to EN 301 549) of the web content tested. The conformance claim is limited to the actual pages tested and valid only at the time of testing. For the rest of pages, only an assumption of conformance can be made. There may also be other applicable aspects required by the EN, such as the accessibility of PDF documents, that cannot be evaluated as part of the BITV-Test and must be checked independenty. Also, the BITV regulation goes beyond the EN in mandating versions in simple language and sign language explaining the purpose, navigation options and accessibility of the site. BITV-Test does not include the evaluation of such content, which requires specialist skills.

Basis and limits of the test procedure

The test procedure broadly follows the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) 1.0 (which we took part in developing between 2012 and 2014) and is based on the requirements for web content defined in the EN 301 549, Chapter 9 (web).

It is important to realise that a BITV-Test can only provide an accessibility snapshot. It does not cover the intelligibility and usability of content - or only to the extent that usability aspects are reflected in the requirements tested against.

Every BITV test receives a thorough quality assurance by an independent expert. Tester and quality assurer do not belong to the same organisation.

BITV self-assessment

The BITV self-assessment is a web-based tool for web developers who want to stick to the requirements of the BITV-Test developed by BIK. A questionnaire with test steps allows users to assess the accessibility of the website tested.