8.8: Follow-Up Audits
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Purpose of Audit
The final type of audit to be introduced here is a Follow-Up Audit, which occurs some time after the initial Template, General, or Detailed Audits have been issued. After the site’s developers have gone through the audit to understand the issues and the steps needed to address accessibility problems, you will likely want to arrange a time to answer any questions that arise. Once their questions are answered, developers will go ahead and fix the issues in your report and will likely want a Follow-Up Audit to confirm that the fixes have successfully removed the barriers identified and that no new barriers have been introduced.
Often just a single Follow-Up Audit is required, though there may be a need for multiple audits. When estimating time required for questions and the follow-up review(s), an hour or two is usually enough for questions and a follow-up or two adds about 20% to the cost of the project.
Process of Audit
As the reviewer, start a new audit with a fresh copy of the audit template and go through the issues identified in the initial audit report, confirming that each has been addressed. While confirming, watch out for any new issues that may have been introduced. Document any remaining or new issues in the Follow-Up Audit report.
Assuming the outcome of the Follow-Up Audit confirms that all of the issues identified in the initial audit report have been addressed, you may choose to issue a conformance claim; this might include a conformance seal, either those issued by the W3C or perhaps your own company seal. Refer to the “WCAG 2.0 Conformance Levels” in unit 2 for additional details on issuing conformance claims.
Publicly posting conformance claims is optional and not posting a claim does not in any way affect conformance. Many organizations choose not to make public claims. They should still, however, provide documentation on the accessibility features found on the site and describe their goal to reach and maintain Level AA conformance.