ICAP-BE Frequently Asked Questions

Why the need for a certified accessibility consultant? 
Will the program certify individuals or companies? 
Why should I choose a GAATES ICAP-BE consultant for my project team/organization? 
What does it cost to engage an ICAP-BE professional?
Does IAAP or G3ict endorse or warrant the work of ICAP-BE consultants?
Why should I get certified – what will it do for me? 
Do I need to have formal training to be certified? 
What are the core domains that the certification will cover? 
Does IAAP provide training in the Built Environment, as a path towards earning and renewing certification? 
Are there any prerequisites to be eligible for certification? 
How are program applicants evaluated? 
How can I send examples of work if they are bound by confidentiality by the client? 
The questionnaire is based on ISO standards but these are not applied in my country. Will this underestimate my technical knowledge?
Is this a course? Where is it held? 
How long does it take to complete the certification process? 
Do I need to be a member of IAAP? 
How do I know what certification level to apply for? 
Where are the interviews held? 
Is the information available in accessible or alternate formats?
How will my private information be protected? 
Is the ICAP-BE Program available in multiple languages? 
I can’t pay by credit card or use PayPal in my country, are there other ways to pay? 
Does IAAP certify professionals working in the field of ICT/AT? 
Does GAATES certify the accessibility of buildings and facilities? 
What about ethics and professional conduct? 
Who is on the Expert Panel? 
How do I appeal a decision made by the ICAP-BE Expert Panel or lodge a formal complaint regarding this program? 

Why the need for a certified accessibility consultant? 

The ICAP-BE Program fills the global need to identify and classify through certification, the wide range of knowledge, experience and expertise among people who work in the field of accessible design and accessibility consulting. 

International and national accessibility codes and standards, and disability rights legislation, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are complex. It is imperative that designers, architects, engineers, builders, consumers, policy developers etc. are able to identify national and international professionals in the field of accessibility with the appropriate level of knowledge and skill for their projects. 

Will the program certify individuals or companies? 

The program is intended to certify individuals and will assess their credentials, examples of work, responses to an on-line quiz, and an interview with an expert panel. 

Why should I choose a GAATES ICAP-BE consultant for my project team/organization? 

The GAATES ICAP-BE Program recognizes that there are various levels of professional knowledge and experience; and also various levels of projects in size and complexity. Our goal is to provide a certified choice to all consumers, whether they are individuals, professionals in the design field, or public and private organizations who are seeking professional accessibility and universal design services. 

Evaluated by our Expert Panel, consumers will have the assurance that they are selecting a qualified individual for their project at a level appropriate for their project needs. 

What does it cost to engage an ICAP-BE professional? 

The cost of hiring a GAATES ICAP-BE accessibility professional may vary from country to country. Costs may also vary according to the consultant's certification level and other professional qualifications, in addition to the complexity and size of the project. 

While the certificant registry is provided to assist clients in finding an appropriate ICAP-BE Professional, any and all contractual agreements remain between the parties and are exclusive of IAAP or G3ict. 

Does IAAP or G3ict endorse or warrant the work of ICAP-BE consultants? 

All accessibility consultants included in the certificant registry have demonstrated the capabilities to achieve a specific level of ICAP-BE certification based on previous experience and, in some cases, education. They have also been interviewed and directly assessed by our assembled Expert Panel. In order to maintain their credentials in this regard, a triennial recertification process is followed to ensure their continued development of skills and knowledge in the industry. Certified consultants are also obliged to follow G3ict’s Code of Ethics in carrying out their work. 

IAAP and G3ict does not explicitly endorse nor warrant the professionalism of the certificant’s on-going endeavors. You are encouraged to communicate directly with selected database members to request more information on their specific services and request current client references if necessary. 

Why should I get certified – what will it do for me? 

Certification demonstrates your knowledge and experience. The credentials also improve your marketability to potential clients. Having an internationally recognized certification in your field of expertise and the support of a internationally recognized professional association, provides global recognition of your skills in the design and assessment of facilities - underscoring your value to project teams and development projects around the world. 

Do I need to have formal training to be certified? 

Currently, there are no mandatory training requirements or courses that lead directly to ICAP-BE Certification and inclusion in the consultant database. While several certified consultants do have formal education, the ICAP-BE program is flexible about how applicants have acquired the requisite skills and knowledge to achieve certification. 

The program has been developed with a wide variety of professional and experiential backgrounds in mind. We recognize that globally there is a variety of professions, occupations, and backgrounds providing excellent results as accessibility professionals. Though our detailed screening and evaluation we are able to provide options to organizations seeking qualified personnel. 

What are the core domains that the certification will cover? 

The certification process will cover a number of areas that will evaluate your qualification as an accessibility professional. This includes your credentials and examples of work in the accessibility of the built environment. It also includes a questionnaire based on international accessibility standards, local standards, disability awareness and the principles of Universal Design along with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Your knowledge in these areas will be further validated with reference checks and an interview with an Expert Panel. 

Since transitioning the program to IAAP, a taskforce of global accessibility professionals has been assembled to streamline and scale the program.  This will be accomplished through establishing a Body of Knowledge and putting in place proctored exams for Levels 1 and 2.  Level 3 applicants will be required to pass the Level 2 exam and present a portfolio of work to the ICAP-BE Expert Panel. 

Does IAAP provide training in the Built Environment, as a path towards earning and renewing certification? 

As the international association of accessibility professionals, IAAP is committed to promoting training and the ongoing development of the skills of certified professionals. 

IAAP currently offers an online courses in the Design of Public Spaces, created in collaboration with the Province of Ontario government and based on the requirements of Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) legislation. The course consists of an e-learning program that will aid applicants in gaining some of the knowledge necessary to apply for a higher certification level and is an approved CAEC within the certification program. 

For more information about this course please refer to the ICAP-BE Overview page or contact IAAP’s program manager: tshipman@accessibilityassociation.org.

It is IAAP’s intention to build out webinars and additional training that will be recognized as approved training under the program.  Please stay tuned for further details. 

Are there any prerequisites to be eligible for certification? 

Yes there are several. For a complete description of the requirements of each certification level, please review details on our website. 

How are program applicants evaluated? 

The evaluation is based on the applicant’s: 

  • documentation of credentials
  • references
  • completed on-line quiz based on International Codes and Standards such as ISO 21542 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), national and local standard and code knowledge, and the principles of Universal Design
  • interview with our Expert Panel. 

How can I send examples of work if they are bound by confidentiality by the client? 

If possible, send copies of reports without identifying the location or name. 

Clients may also be assured of our strict privacy policies. Documents are only shared with the Program Manager and Expert Panel. In the case of an appeal request, work may be seen by the Certificaton Committee and/or members of the GAATES Global Leadership Council as arbitrator but we hold all information in the strictest confidence. 

The questionnaire is based on ISO standards but these are not applied in my country. Will this underestimate my technical knowledge? 

Thorough knowledge of comparable standards could still reflect a very positive score. 

Is this a course? Where is it held? 

It is important to note that this is strictly a certification program that evaluates your existing knowledge, credentials and experience. It is not an educational program, there are no directly associated courses to earn certification. 

How long does it take to complete the certification process? 

Applicants will need to compile details of their background, credentials (up to 4 project examples depending on the certification level being applied for), and optional documents such as client references, presentation material, published articles, and details of their educational activities. Once submitted, there is also an approximate ½ hour interview with our expert panel. Time to complete the process will depend on how readily available documentation is. The program is also divided into four quarters throughout the year when the Expert Panel convenes to conduct the interviews. Depending on the completeness of your application materials you may be ready for the current quarter or carried over to the next one. 

Do I need to be a member of IAAP? 

You do not need to be a member of IAAP but you will receive a discount on the application fees if you sign up for membership which includes several other membership benefits. 

How do I know what certification level to apply for? 

Please review the details of the certification levels, they contain specific details on the types of experience and knowledge that are required for each level. 

Where are the interviews held? 

The certification process and interviews are completed online to accommodate both our international applicants and the international Expert Panel. Applicants submit their credentials via links provided by our Program Coordinator. The interview with the Expert Panel will take place via Zoom or other mutually agreed to online platform. If this is not a suitable option for your region, please let us know at time of applicant and we will work with you to ensure a successful connection and interview process. 

Is the information available in accessible or alternate formats? 

The application process has been reviewed and confirmed for accessibility. Should alternate formats be required we can review options with individual applicants and determine the best solution. Should any issues be noted with accessibility we will immediately review and correct the process accordingly. 

How will my private information be protected? 

Your privacy is very important to us and we will not disclose or sell any information that you provide to use without your explicit permission, following international best practices and US-base laws regarding privacy. 

As part of the application process, your information will be reviewed by IAAP’s Program Manager and Expert Panel. In cases of appeals either the Certification Committee or GAATES Global Leadership Council will be provided relevant information for evaluation, who will continue to hold your privacy in the strictest confidence. 

Once you have successfully completed the certification process, your credentials and contact information will be included in our registry of ICAP-BE professionals. This information will be available to potential clients as a membership benefit both for the certificant and organizations seeking accessibility services.  You may opt-out of this portion of the program at any time without cost or penalty. 

If you require specific details of how your information will be protected please contact IAAP’s Program Manager.  

Is the ICAP-BE Program available in multiple languages? 

At this time the program is offered in English. The next phase of program development is to translate details into as many languages as possible and source Expert Panel members that are able to converse in languages as per applicant demand. As a non-profit IAAP has limited funds to compensate at private sector hourly rates for the expertise required. Should you, or someone that you know, be interested in assisting this program in this capacity, as a translator or as an Expert Panel member, please contact IAAP’s Program Manager directly. 

I can’t pay by credit card or use PayPal in my country, are there other ways to pay? 

Please contact IAAP’s Program Manager to make alternate payment arrangements. 

Does IAAP certify professionals working in the field of ICT/AT? 

The ICAP - BE program is designed to certify individual consultants specializing in accessibility and Universal Design of the built environment. While issues such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and transportation are key elements that deserve special attention, they are addressed in this certification program only to the extent of their importance as part of the broader built environment. 

IAAP currently offers WAS certification in additional to its foundational CPACC certification.  A taskforce is currently engaged to develop a Document Accessibility Specialist certification, planned for release Q4 2020. 

Does GAATES certify the accessibility of buildings and facilities? 

While IAAP does not currently offer a certification program for buildings and facilities, our network of Subject Manager Exerts and Country Representatives can be contracted to provide assistance in achieving requirements of other nationally and internationally recognized programs. If you need to have a building certified, please contact IAAP’s Program Manager directly with your request. 

What about ethics and professional conduct? 

All IAAP ICAP-BE certificants are required to adhere to a Code of Ethics. 

Who is on the Expert Panel? 

A complete listing of current and past members of the ICAP-BE Expert Panel page.

If you wish to take part in the ICAP-BE program as a member of our Expert Panel please contact IAAP’s Program Manager with a copy of your CV for consideration. 

How do I appeal a decision made by the ICAP-BE Expert Panel or lodge a formal complaint regarding this program? 

Applicants that believe their credentials have not been evaluated fairly, if they do not agree with the findings of the ICAP-BE Expert Panel, or they have a complaint regarding any aspect of the program, are welcome to have their concerns reviewed and addressed by the IAAP’s Certification Committee and/or GAATES Global Leadership Council. 

IAAP’s Certification Committee and GAATES GLC, themselves recognized as leading professionals in accessible ICT and Built Environments, are independent of the evaluation and day-to-day management processes of the ICAP-BE Program. 

The Committee and/or GLC will review appeals submitted at regularly scheduled meetings (approximately once per quarter). If necessary the Committee will determine if a direct discussion with the applicant is required and schedule time within two weeks of the Committee meeting. The Chair of the Certification Committee and/or GAATES GLC will also discuss details with the Chair of the Expert Panel to ensure that all aspects of the situation are reviewed and taken into consideration. 

All details provided and information received as a result of the investigation by the Certification Committee and/or GAATES GLC will be reviewed and its decision considered final. 

To initiate a formal appeal or to register a complaint with the Certification Committee and/or GAATES GLC, please send details in writing to tshipman@accessibilityassociation.org outlining the reasons you feel an appeal is necessary, referencing the specific areas as outlined in the notification letter to close out your application process.  You will receive confirmation that your request has been received and timing confirmed of when your request will be reviewed by the Committee. 


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