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Information in documents is not easy for people to find and is difficult to use on a mobile device.

Compared with content on a webpage, information published in a document is harder to find, use and maintain. More importantly, new Accessibility legislation (opens new window) require us to ensure all documents are accessible to screen readers.

Our Accessibility statement outlines in more detail our position on what we are doing to make the website more accessible.

Guidelines for documents

In order for a document to be added, it must meet a specific purpose which means it needs to be published in document format.

We will publish documents if they meet the following criteria

  • documents where there is a legal obligation to provide the documents in a PDF or Word format on the website 
  • filenames require meaningful headings
  • the file size limit is 5Mb
  • create accessible documents with the appropriate tags
  • document owners have accepted or rejected track changes

We try to avoid publishing documents   

  • which contain information that people would expect to find on a page
  • that duplicate content found elsewhere
  • which contain information that is likely to go out of date
  • that are hosted on a third party website or produced by an external organisation 
  • that are intended to be promotional material, for example, posters and leaflets that have been designed for professional printing

What are the issues with PDF's

  • They do not change size to fit the browser
  • They're not designed for reading on screens
  • They cause difficulties for navigation and orientation
  • They can be hard for some users to access
  • They're less likely to be kept up to date
  • They're hard to reuse
  • It's harder to track their use

For these reasons, wherever possible, we work with services to find alternatives to adding PDFs and other documents to the website.

How documents are presented

By default when a document is uploaded to a webpage the content management system will automatically display the document type and the file size.


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