Here we've tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from venues installing Changing Places toilets.
If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please get in touch.
If you're an individual or family who use Changing Places toilets, check out our FAQs for users page
Q: What about access and security? Does the Changing Places toilet need to be kept locked?
A: The decision about security is one for the venue installing the CP toilet. After undertaking a risk assessment some venues prefer open access, some use a RADAR key, some give access via an information point or staff member, some have membership schemes which offer greater security. See our Security and Access page and also our Signage page.
Q: How is this kind of toilet different from a standard accessible toilet? Why do you need both?
A: Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities cannot use standard accessible toilets. They need support from one or two carers to use the toilet or to have their continence pad changed. Standard accessible toilets do not provide changing benches or hoists. Most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their daughter or son on a toilet floor.
Changing Places toilets are different to standard disabled toilets with extra features and more space to meet these needs. Each Changing Places toilet provides:
The right equipment:
- a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
- a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible
- adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
- a centrally placed toilet with room either side for the carers
- a screen or curtain to allow the disabled person and carer some privacy
A safe and clean environment:
- wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- a large waste bin for disposable pads
- a non-slip floor
A: Estimated equipment costs for a Changing Places toilet are between £12,000 - £17,000 including VAT. Equipment costs will vary depending on the specific equipment chosen.
We are not able to estimate a total cost for the whole Changing Places installation because other costs involved will vary depending on the venue. For example:
- building costs if structural changes need to be made to an existing building
- maintenance costs
- security costs
It is cheaper to include Changing Places toilets at the planning and design stage as this will remove the need for structural changes to an existing building.
Changing bench - Height adjustable wall mounted changing bench (with side safety rail)
£2,500 approximately. VAT. Installation charges may apply
Mobile height adjustable changing bench (with side safety rail) Hydraulic (manual version) £2,000 - £4,000 approximately. VAT. Carriage charge/delivery may apply
Hoist - X/Y tracking hoist including track, motor and installation £3,000 approximately. This must be based on individual assessment of the fittings required to meet the structural requirements of the building. Alternative fittings may increase costs. Motor to accommodate higher weight limits may incur higher costs.
Grab rails - Drop down grab rails. 2 rails - wall mounted £80 - £120 approximately. VAT. Installation charges may apply
Height adjustable wash hand basin - You may also like to consider installing a height adjustable wash hand basin (this is not essential for a Changing Places toilet).
Height adjustable wash hand basin on horizontal track - Hydraulic mechanism 2 metre track Includes basin, flexihose and mono mixer tap. £1,200 approximately. VAT. Installation charges may apply
VAT relief for disabled people
There is VAT relief available for individuals or certain types of charities for installing sanitary facilities. Check with HMRC for more information on VAT relief for charities and disabled people.
Q: How do I get a Radar key?
A: You can also get further information about the RADAR National Key Scheme on the RADAR website. Users should be able to obtain a RADAR NKS key by contacting an Access Officer at their local authority. For those who are unable to obtain an NKS key in their own locality, RADAR supplies keys at a small charge. To order an NKS key from RADAR: telephone RADAR on 020 7250 3222 or email
Q: Who is responsible for Changing Places toilets?
A: The organisation / venue installing the Changing Places toilet is responsible for its upkeep. The Changing Places toilet must be fully accessible and properly signposted within the venue, and all staff must be aware of its location and how to access it.
Q: Do you register rooms with corner toilets?
A: A Changing Places toilet should have room either side for carers (a peninsular toilet). British standard BS:8300 recommends a minimum space of 1 metre between the nearest wall and the centre of the toilet. There are some older registered Changing Places toilets that do have corner toilets, but this doesn't meet the current recommended standard. If you have any doubt, please email or call us at the Changing Places consortium to discuss any specifications in more detail.
If your toilet doesn't meet all the criteria to be a registered Changing Places toilet but does have some of the features, such as a changing bench, please do let us know - we may be able to list it on our Other Changing Facilities page.
Q: Are showers compulsory in a Changing Places toilet?
A: No. British Standard BS:8300 includes a shower in its Changing Places information and this is recommended, especially in certain settings such as a sports centre or swimming pool. However it is not compulsory for a Changing Places toilet to have a shower in order to be registered on the Changing Places website. If installing a shower be aware that you will require appropriate floor drainage as waste water from a shower trolley may contain faecal matter.
Q: What is Section 106 funding?
A: The following information regards Section 106 agreements and potential
funding via local authorities to provide Changing Places toilets (England and Wales only):
The local council authority can enter into a Section 106 agreement, otherwise known as a 'planning obligation', with a developer where it is necessary to provide contributions to offset negative impacts caused by construction and development. Examples of contributions range from the provision of affordable homes and new open space to funding of school places or employment training schemes. Contributions could also include the provision of Changing Places toilets. The developer can either implement these or make payments to the council for them to be carried out. All Section 106 agreements must be relevant to the development they relate to. The council and planning applicants can use the Section 106 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to guide negotiations for Section 106 planning contributions. Contributions may be required before planning permission can be granted.
Members of the public have the opportunity to be involved in Section 106 planning obligations and make representations to the planning authority for each planning application. Representations often include suggestions by members of the public for projects which may mitigate the impact of a new development on an area. Residents or businesses living and working adjacent to a development site will receive a letter at the start of the planning application process detailing who they can contactif they wish to make representations.
Example: A developer constructing 30 new flats will be required to pay Section 106 planning obligations for infrastructure to support the new residents living in the development. The authority will seek to secure a number of planning obligations including:
- Payments towards new school places
- Additional health facilities
- Improvements to the streetscape
- Improvements to the open space
- Public transport improvements
Read the government guidance here
Q: How do I find out more about possible funding for Changing Places toilets?
A: To find out if there are sources of funding available to help you pay for the cost of installing a toilet, visit our Funding page
Q: Is it possible to hire a Changing Places toilet for a specific event?
A: Yes it is possible to hire a mobile Changing Places toilet unit. Visit ourMobile Changing Places page
Q: How can I register my new Changing Places toilet on the Changing Places map?
A: If you've installed a new Changing Places toilet, please register it with us as soon as possible. The easiest way to register is online, or contact us if you need an offline version of the registration form.