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Toilet Audit Tool

Sustainability Issue 7
Potential Users: Urban Design Professionals
Local Authorities, Community
When to use: Throughout the Urban Design Decision-Making Process

Related Tools: Inclusive Toilet Hierarchy, Toilet Case Studies, Toilet Design Templates, Toilet User Personas, Toilet User Surveys
For more information, contact Julienne Hanson.


Example with good colour contrast. (Bichard 2005) VivaCity 2020The toilet audit tool was developed by and for the research, in collaboration with Vin Goodwin a National Registered Access Auditor, to collect data on the accessible provision that was currently available. The tool is based on the design of the unisex corner accessible cubicle described in Approved Document M (ADM) of the Building Regulations 2004.

This unisex corner accessible cubicle represents current ‘best practice’. It is based on research conducted with disabled people’s representatives (Feeney, 2003). If its recommendations are followed, the resulting cubicle should be accessible to wheelchair users and convenient for people with reduced mobility or other impairments. All the recommended dimensions for the cubicle are critical and have to be followed if the toilet is to be accessible. For example, if the height of the WC pan is not as recommended in the guidance, a wheelchair user may not be able to transfer from the chair to the toilet seat. If the distance between the toilet pan and the hand wash basin is too great, it may not be possible for someone seated on the toilet to clean themselves after using the toilet. If a fixture like the colostomy shelf is not provided, it will be difficult for anyone with a colostomy to clean their stoma and change their colostomy bag.

The tool can be used by:
  • User groups, to identify critical design details such as the size of the cubicle as well as the inclusion and placement of fixtures and fittings.
  • Accessible toilet providers, to assess the provision and pinpoint any areas that may need attention.
  • Architects and designers, as a checklist of key dimensions, and fixtures and fittings that should be included when considering accessible provision and their placement.
  • Building facilities managers to assess if facilities meet minimum access standards.
To use the audit tool you will need:
  • A tape measure
  • A copy of the audit sheet (Microsoft Word document, 3.5mb)
  • A pen or pencil
  • A camera to record the layout of facilities (not essential but may be useful as an aide memoire)
All the recommended minimum dimensions and measurements are given on the audit sheet. These should be checked in situ and any discrepancies between reality and that recommended should be noted. There is also a diagram of the basic layout of the accessible cubicle that can be used as a guide or to amend to show where the real layout differs from that recommended in the guidance.

During this research into away from home toilet provision, we allowed for up to a 10mm discrepancy between the ideal and the real layout, when considering if the toilet met the guidelines or not. For example, some facilities had horizontal grab rails fitted at 670mm or 690mm (see section 4, grab rail heights, of the audit tool). This was 10mm under or over the recommended measurement but was considered sufficiently close to the 680mm recommendation and therefore to have followed guidance.

ToolsHouseClick here to access the Toilet Audit Tool. (Microsoft Word document, 3.5mb)
ToolsHouseClick here for instructions for the Toilet Audit Tool.
ToolsHouseClick here for key statistics from Accessible Toilet Audits of 101 facilities in England.

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