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Key Schemes

16th Jul 2021

Key Schemes

It is up to each venue how they manage access to their Changing Places toilet.

Some venues choose to keep the Changing Places toilet unlocked. Other venues may keep it locked and ask visitors to obtain a key from reception to use the facility.

A number of venues use a key scheme – where people who have joined up to the scheme have independent access to the Changing Places toilet via a key. This may be a well-established key scheme like the RADAR National Key Scheme (NKS) or a key scheme that the venue or local authority has set up themselves.


Benefits of a key scheme:

  • It is a way to counter vandalism and misuse
  • It can remove the need for an attendant which can reduce costs

If a key scheme has been set up for using the Changing Places toilet(s) in a particular area then you can add in safeguards by asking people signing up to the scheme to self-declare competence to use the equipment (see our legal factsheet for more information).

If a local key scheme is set up, it would need to be clear how people visiting from outside the area could access the facility.

RADAR National Key Scheme (NKS)

RADAR would ideally like all providers of accessible toilets to be able to keep their toilets unlocked. However in reality many have to lock them to stop misuse and damage.

If accessible toilets for disabled people do have to be locked, providers are asked to join the scheme, which involves fitting standard locks to their toilets and making keys available to disabled people. This has now been adopted by over 400 local authorities and a number of other organisations.

Purchasing a RADAR NKS key allows access to all public toilets throughout the country which have joined up to the scheme.

  • RADAR publishes an annual National Key Scheme Guide and the full list of toilets fitted with the NKS lock is updated on the Direct Enquiries website.
  • You can also get further information about the RADAR National Key Scheme here.

How to get a RADAR Key

You should be able to obtain a RADAR NKS key by contacting an Access Officer at your local authority.

For those who are unable to obtain an NKS key in their own locality, RADAR supplies keys at a small charge.