About WAS Certification

WAS Frequently Asked Questions  |  Prepare for the WAS Exam
Maintaining Certification


About the Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) Credential

With the adoption of WCAG 2.0 in many countries, there is an increased demand for web developers, designers and other professionals with knowledge of web accessibility standards and guidelines. With this growth comes the need for an objectively verified level of expertise. The Web Accessibility Specialist exam will provide individuals and employers with the ability to assess web accessibility competence.

The Technical-level credential is intended for accessibility professionals who are expected to evaluate the accessibility of existing content or objects according to published technical standards and guidelines, and provide detailed remediation recommendations.  They are expected to know and use the relevant technologies, not merely be aware of them. 

Who should take the WAS Exam?

The WAS is the ideal credential for intermediate (3-5 years' experience) professionals who function in one of many team roles related to accessible web solutions. The WAS is ideal for people who design, develop, implement, evaluate, or manage accessible web-based content, projects, and services. The WAS is not focused on writing code, but rather the ability to recognize and identify issues in programmatic content, ability to explain what is missing or incorrect, understand usability and testing practices, along with contextual understanding of the impact on the end-user. This exam is not intended for beginners or those without regular hands-on experience or exposure to these elements of web accessibility.

Knowledge of HTML programming alone will not provide the background necessary to successfully achieve the WAS credential. Hands-on experience and knowledge of programmatic code elements, WCAG 2.0 standards, and contextual implications for end users of assistive technology are all required. Please review the WAS Content Outline and WAS Body of Knowledge to ensure that your experience matches these requirements before registering for this exam.

  • Accessibility professionals in the areas of web design, development, and programming, whose job requires in-depth knowledge of ICT accessibility standards and regulations.
  • Web project managers, designers, developers, and programmers
  • User experience designers and testers
  • Technical quality assurance (QA) professionals, QA teams and evaluators
  • Accessibility and compliance teams and managers
  • Web content managers and administrators
  • Project, program, and senior ICT managers overseeing initiatives or organizations that focus on web accessibility as a key component of their work.

Details are now available on the WAS content outline.  The WAS Body of Knowledge and additional materials are available at Prepare for the WAS exam.

Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA)

Individuals who pass the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) and the Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) exams are eligible to carry a higher level credential called the Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA).  

WAS Frequently Asked Questions and Exam Fees

IAAP Logo IconJoin IAAP Today

What will make our profession strong is having you as a member. Regardless of your knowledge level in accessibility, we all play a role in growing this profession. Help guide us to being a great professional association serving our diverse needs.

IAAP Connections IconGet Engaged

Through use of IAAP Connections, you can join an existing discussion or even start your own. You can also blog, upload resources to libraries and join some of our committees.

Get involved today.
Make IAAP a strong community.