What is RGAA 3?

There has been an increased level of legislative and regulatory activity around the world about digital accessibility,

More than 12 million French citizens are affected by disability. ‘Référentiel Générale d’Accessibilité pour les Administrations’ or ‘Reference Document for the Improvement of Accessibility’ (RGAA 3) is the certification standard for public web sites in France. It defines the evaluation process and requirements to determine whether a website is accessible.

The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are the basis for RGAA 3.


How is RGAA 3 Evolving?

In 2005, Article 47 for equal rights and opportunities, participation, and citizenship of people with disabilities was passed in France.

Public websites such as research, towns, services, and the French central government websites were mandated to become accessible per RGAA2 in 2011 and 2012.

RGAA was updated into Version 2.2 in April 2015, where new technologies, such as Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) and HTML5 were considered.

Version 3.0 of the RGAA contains updates on the approach followed to determine compliance. It also includes technical updates that considers the evolutions of HTML.

The inclusion of unit tests, which define how to determine compliance with each requirement, is an interesting addition in the RGAA. It ensures that conformance with the standard can be tested through the execution of a series of unit tests on a site.


Businesses That Need to Comply with RGAA 3

  • All sites funded by the public sector and businesses earning more than 250 million euros in annual revenue in France (three-year average).
  • Businesses need to make websites, mobile apps, and other online services that have been localized for France accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Online businesses are expected to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, Levels A and AA, or ETSI/EN 301 549 v.2.1.2 (2018-08).
  • Businesses are expected to satisfy several other testing, notification, training, and documentation requirements in addition to meeting this accessibility requirement.
  • All websites created on or after October 1, 2019, are subject to the RGAA 3. The compliance obligations will become effective for software, mobile apps, and other online services on July 1, 2021.


What is the Cost of Non-Compliance?

Depending on the nature of the damage suffered, an aggrieved user may request for compensation from the judge or mediation from the Rights Defender.

Towards administrative sanctions, within six months of a demand raised by the competent authority, the Minister for ‘Persons with Disabilities’ will publish the name of that service as a non-conforming communication service, unless already corrected.


Learn More

To learn more about RGAA 3, click here -> RGAA 3