Businesses that design, fit out, own or operate a building must consider accessibility for users with disabilities and long or short-term injury. At Perito, our experienced specialists provide expert advice to businesses and building owners.
This can range from access auditing your existing premises and recommendations for how you can make small and economical adjustments, through to inclusive design consulting and assessments and improvements to larger premises. We also implement development schemes to help businesses meet the legislation's access requirements and legal obligations for staff and visitors.
Building accessibility for owners and occupiers is often viewed as complicated and costly to put in place. However, at Perito, we utilise our extensive commercial property background to develop economical solutions that suit your business needs and budget. In many instances, we can help you become more accessible to all through small changes – which could cost nothing at all – yet enable you to access new customers and grow your organisation.
An Access Audit is a survey of a premises to review its current fit out in the context of its use, its construction and configuration, as well as any management tools in place to appraise current accessibility for all types of potential users. The report produced following the inspection will advise on how accessible the premises are and offer a range of approaches to improve access credentials which can vary from simple furniture layout changes, management tools and processes, as well as larger alterations to the property. We provide budget costs within our reports for recommended adjustments and improvements to the premises. The report can be tailored to consider any specific requirements you may have, such as:
When planning works to refurbish, fit out, or construct new premises, access for all hasn’t always been the first item on the agenda. Increasingly, with ever evolving legislative and regulatory requirements, the need to consider access for potential users has raised awareness, but not always early enough to avoid late changes and additional costs later in the project. A Plan Appraisal will assess your proposals early on and comment on compliance and offer recommendations for alternative or additional requirements to consider. When captured early in the design stage, often very simple changes made before you have committed any funds will ensure that any essential inclusions are incorporated to plans and budgets.
Access Statements are generally required by a Local Planning Authority as part of a Planning Application submission. The best way to be sure that your Access Statement meets the Local Authority requirements and relates accurately to your plans is to ensure an access specialist provides a statement to accompany your application. Within this, we can ensure that your scheme or project is accurately detailed, references the correct and relevant legislation, guidelines and regulations in the context of the proposals, and is presented in a format which the Planning Authority will accept.
This service was developed in response to a client’s request about whether Perito could take over the management of the access audits right across a busy portfolio of properties that their organisation had. This was because the organisation lacked the staffing and expertise to efficiently get all the sites audited. This service involves Perito communicating with the individual properties to gain access, managing the reporting and MI as well as producing the necessary audit reports so that all your sites can be audited in a timely and cost-effective manner. Many organisations struggle to find the time or resource to get their property portfolio accessible. With this service, Perito can assist by providing the framework for your portfolio to be completed quickly and pragmatically. We are also happy to provide the Portfolio Management service even if you have an incumbent supplier or inhouse team.
In addition, we can help with your forward planning and provide advice on future opportunities to economically make improvements to your properties as a part of your ongoing maintenance and cyclical refurbishment work. This ensures you have an idea on what to do and when, and budget to help you collect funds in advance to stay ahead of evolving legislation and best practice.
Full Access Audit for Commercial Serviced Office Premises
Perito was engaged to undertake a full access audit of the client’s existing premises, a 1930’s high street shopfront unit converted to office use, set out the over ground and basement levels within a busy location, and report on how accessible they were and what improvements could be made with very limited budget and resources.
Following a discussion with our client to understand their business, aspirations for accessibility and constraints (leased premises which would require permission for major changes, limited budget and a fully occupied premises), we inspected the premises, utilising modern technology and specialist equipment, to establish their current level of accessibility and statutory compliance, and assessed where economical, straightforward changes could offer improvement whilst they were operating.
Perito provided a comprehensive report setting out the current level of compliance and access and offered suggestions and budget costs for low spend changes, which in many cases were free or only a few pounds to implement, as well as a realistic view on the practicality and cost involved in more significant changes. We also advised on how accessibility could be improved by a management plan for the team at the property, to help provide accessible premises where alteration to the premises was not economically viable or possible.
Plan Appraisal for Commercial Fit Out Project
Perito was engaged to advise our client on access improvements which could be reasonably achieved for a commercial office fit out of an historic, Grade II Listed Building. The need to consider the historic nature of the property as well as the constraints of working with a listed building required a balanced approach to recommend viable improvements which could be sympathetically implemented within the fabric and our clients design aesthetic.
Perito provided a short and concise report and recommendation setting out options available to comply with the legislation as applicable. With our advice, the client was able to adopt numerous zero additional cost adjustments and consider a range of low-cost alternatives to their existing proposals to create a welcoming and accessible office for all potential staff.
"As a business owner I am interested in making sure my facilities are as accessible to my clients as possible. I wasn’t sure on where to start but Perito have been great in making the complex law straightforward and they provided me with a nice report. I was pleased that a lot of the suggestions were really practical and easy to sort out by my regular maintenance team and cost almost nothing to implement. The Perito inspection team were very discreet and courteous. Thanks Perito!"
Disability Confident Committed
The disability confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled peoples representatives.
The disability confident scheme has three levels that have been designed to support businesses like Perito on the Disability Confident journey. All employers must complete each level before moving onto the next one.
RICS delivers confidence through respected global standards, adopted and enforced by over 134,000 qualified and trainee professionals across the built and natural environment.
The Access Association
The Access Association is a national network of individuals who are passionate about access and inclusive design.
In 1991 a group of dedicated local authority professionals came together to form the Access Officers Association. Over time the membership grew nationwide and opened its doors to anyone with an interest in access and inclusion and became The Access Association.
"Perito Ltd performed an Access Audit for our South Essex Construction Training Academy branch in Basildon. We were really pleased with the report, it focused on what we could achieve by breaking down the actions so we really understood what the tasks were. We also used the report in our new funding model for The Advice Store. It was very useful to have all the information laid out so clearly." - SECTA - Southend on Sea Council
"We’d like to thank James and his team for their professional approach, seamless dealings with us and satisfactory outcome for this survey.
The Perito team has added value in ways we hadn’t expected. In that it has enabled us to understand the costs associated with the works which we have and will use to good effect in our future planning and strategy. We are a charity and as such have to manage our funds wisely. Perito’s practical approach and their ability to recommend changes that had little or no cost as well as the larger more costly changes, has meant we are able to improve our Branch within our limited budget. Highly recommend." - Samaritans Plymouth Branch
"As a business owner I am interested in making sure my facilities are as accessible to my clients as possible. I wasn't sure where to start but Perito have been great in making the complex law straightforward and they provided me with a nice report. I was pleased that a lot of the suggestions were really practical and easy to sort out by my regular maintenance team and cost almost nothing to implement. The Perito inspection team were very discreet and courteous. Thanks Perito!" - Ikandu Ltd