Historic PDF conversion

About this assessment

This assessment relates to PDF documents no longer in active use only. We are fully committed to making all active documentation fully accessible, as HTML web pages or accessible PDFs, and hope to have completed this process by the end of July 2021.

As part of this process we identified the documents on our site which get the highest use (active only) and recreated them as accessible PDFs or HTML web pages.


The benefits of making these PDFs into accessible HTML or accessible PDFS formats would be:

  • Historical materials would be more accessible to all users
  • Historical materials would be more easily searchable and indexable


Our assessment of the burden of making these PDFs into accessible HTML formats is that:

  • there are hundreds of historic documents created by the organisation
  • each document would require a number of hours of work to be recreated in a fully accessible version (estimated based on extensive experience of converting the active documents at between 2 and 30 hours per document, depending on length and complexity, plus any required sign-off)
  • many of the documents are published as part of our statutory duties and publishing a new version requires detailed checking, a formal sign-off process, and submitting a new official version to the Governing Body
  • many of the documents contain complex elements which are difficult to retrospectively convert, such as detailed tables, graphs, and diagrams

Other factors relevant to our decision are:

  • The interest in many of the documents across our site is low – few people access them
  • The documents do meet accessibility requirements for a large number of users, although some groups will find them disproportionately difficult
  • Of the documents we are proposing would represent a disproportionate burden, requests for additionally accessible versions are rare. Although, if a request was ever made, we would always adhere to


Where documents are no longer in active use, or no longer being updated, there is a high cost in terms of employee hours to convert. These documents are part of the public record, but no longer represent the current position, and interest is limited.

Here at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, we will, as ever continue to respond to requests for our publications in different formats on a case-by-case basis, so accessible versions are available on demand, with a short lead-time.

We consider that the costs of converting older documents where there is little evidence of demand and would be a poor use of limited staff time, and would represent a disproportionate burden on the organisation in terms of cost.

Assessment date: 24 September 2020
Progress Updated: 26 March 2021