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26 April 2015


Changing places standards

Changing Places facilities need to meet a certain standard to be registered on our website. This is to ensure that any facility advertised as a Changing Places toilet meets the needs and expectations of the people who use them as well as their carers.

Read our practical guide here for full criteria details.

When the Changing Places campaign was launched in 2006 the standard minimum size for a Changing Places toilet was 7m2. Much progress has been made and lessons learned since then. Feedback from users, carers, architects and commissioners have led us to reflect on our initial criteria.

For advice on health and safety and legal matters, please refer to our legal factsheet on this website.

In February 2009, the British Standard 8300:2009, which includes Changing Places toilets, came into practice. In light of this best practice and the feedback we have received, the Changing Places consortium has now reviewed its own Changing Places standard. 


All Changing Places facilities will now have to fulfil the Changing Places criteria as outlined below to be recognised and registered as a Changing Places toilet on this website from 1st June 2013. Toilets already on the website by that date will continue to be identified as Changing Places toilets under the old requirements. 

The Changing Places consortium appreciates that meeting the 12m2 (3m x 4m) size criteria of the new standard may be difficult in, for example, a listed building that cannot be altered. We would recommend that you consult with us before you start planning any renovations or adaptations in buildings such as these. Facilities which do not provide all the featuresin the Changing Places Standard section below, or alternative layouts, may not be identified as a Changing Places toilet on our website. However, they may still be of benefit to disabled people and their carers, and as such information regarding these facilities may be included on the website.

All new-builds must follow the 12m2 (3m x4m) guidelines to be registered as a Changing Places toilet on our website from 1st June 2013 onwards.


Where you have not yet started planning for your Changing Places toilet, we would urge you to follow the size guidelines of 12m2 (3m x 4m) starting today.


Specialist equipment needed in a Changing Places toilet Requirements to meet the Changing Places standard
A height adjustable, adult sized changing bench

The changing bench must be a minimum length of 1.8m

The bench must be height-adjustable

The bench can be either free-standing or wall mounted.

A tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist

A track hoist system (either wall or ceiling mounted) is preferable, providing access to the toilet, washbasin, changing bench and open space to transfer

Adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers

The changing places facility must be 3m x 4m or the equivalent floor space of 12m2, with a minimum ceiling height of 2.4m

A centrally placed toilet with space either side for the carers

A peninsular toilet must be provided. Standard manual toilet or automatic wash-and-dry toilet (not a requirement of Changing Places)

A screen or curtain to allow the disabled person and carer some privacy

A dignity screen/curtain should be provided 

Wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench 

Wide tear off paper roll must be provided 

A large waste bin for disposable pads 

A large waste bin for disposable pads must be provided 

A non-slip floor 

 A non-slip floor must be provided


A hydraulic/manual or power-operated height-adjustable washbasin should be considered for provision 

Shower/floor drain

A shower/floor drain should be installed in specific relevant types of managed buildings such as leisure centres, travel hubs or for specific projects. A shower is not required for all Changing Places toilets.


Please remember, that in addition to the specialist equipment needed in a Changing Places toilet, the other standard features of an accessible toilet, such as an emergency alarm and grab rails must also be provided.

Information on standard features needed in an accessible toilet is published in Approved Document M (England), Document T (Scotland), Document R (Northern Ireland).

Changing Places toilets should be installed in addition to standard accessible toilets for independent use and should not replace these facilities.

Changing Places facilities must be accessible to the public.

Remember, your planned toilet is unique. Good planning and advice will help you:


choose the best equipment

• ensure that it meets your community’s needs

• ensure that you achieve the most practical or user-friendly layout of equipment and facilities

The Changing Places Standard is based on the BS8300:2009; however, the standard requirements above should not be regarded as a substitute for information included in the British Standard. For further details about what is included in the BS8300:2009, please visit the British Standard website.


For health and safety reasons slings should not be provided. For further advice on health and safety and legal matters, please refer to our legal factsheet on this website.


An example of a 12m2 layout can be found in the Sports England Accessible Sports Facilities Guidance 2010. Page 42.


Download a checklist of features required in a Changing Places toilets.

Copyright 2013 Changing Places