Find out what the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) means for you and your organisation.

Are you compliant? What changes will you need to make to the way you manage communications? If people with special communication needs use your services – you must be compliant.

This microsite will take you through the AIS guidance. It will demonstrate how the changes you make in your processes will deliver positive differences to these service-users.


A patient’s experience of NHS provider services must be positive to encourage the patient to continue to use the service.

Do NHS service providers make it easy for everyone to access information about their services?


The Accessible Information Standard recommends a specific and consistent approach towards identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting information and communication needs of patients, service users, carers and parents (from now on referred to as ‘service-users’) that relate to sensory or learning impairments.

It is of particular relevance to those with varying levels of blindness, deafness or people with learning disabilities (including aphasia or a mental health condition affecting their ability to communicate).

The Standard applies to service providers across the NHS and adult social care. It is intended to improve quality and safety of care received by service users who have additional information and communication needs. The changes recommended will help increase their ability to access services and participate in autonomous decision-making about their health, care and wellbeing.

Commissioners of NHS and publicly-funded adult social care must also observe and promote the Standard. Their responsibility is to ensure that contracts, frameworks and performance-management arrangements with provider bodies enable them to meet the Standard’s requirements.

Take the Test

Accessible Information
Standard Module

There are 20 questions with multiple choice answers - your challenge is to get 20 out of 20!

Click here to access


The five basic steps

There are five basic steps making up the Accessible Information Standard:

  1. Ask: identify if an individual has any communication/information needs relating to a disability or sensory loss.
  2. Record: record these needs in a clear, unambiguous and standardised way; electronically or using paper records (administrative systems or documents).
  3. Alert/flag/highlight: ensure recorded needs are ’highly visible’.  Whenever a service user’s records are accessed by other staff members, they should be prompted to take action to communicate appropriately with the service user.
  4. Share: include information about a service user’s communication needs as part of existing data sharing processes and in accordance with existing information governance frameworks.
  5. Act: take steps to ensure the service user receives information they can access and are able to understand, because it has been delivered in the way that was requested.

Read the full AIS guidance here