Self Sustainability

The accessibility certification model will be operated independently from government, driven by market supply and demand.  To accomplish this, the model must be self-sustaining over the long term to ensure it has multiple revenue stream and maintains its independence.

Desired Outcomes

Recommended revenue streams that will ensure certification remains low cost for business

Phase 1 Findings

Financial and administrative self-sustainability

The certification model would not be led by government. Further, the model would be evolving and flexible to different sectors, business types, and regional contexts. The certifier’s ability to secure adequate financial resources and provide administrative support will be critical to maintaining such a model over the short, medium, and long term. How much is adequate will depend on whether the role of the certifying body is to educate or to administer, whether the model is owned by a centralized body or crowd-sourced, and so on.

Ensuring the model is attractive to businesses and the community

The certification model would need to be low cost and easily accessible to small and medium enterprises as well as non-profit sector providers. The certification model should have the potential to be transportable and scalable in other jurisdictions. Finally, any funds allocated to the certification model should be used for initiatives that benefit the accessibility and business communities, rather than individual organizations.

Additional Context for Phase 2 Discussion

The accessibility certification model may draw on existing cost-recovery or non-profit operating models, including:

  • Fees for certification, wherein a business may pay to apply for or receive certification (for example, LEED, Better Business Bureau, or Excellence Canada)
  • Fees for services, where the certifying body may charge for advertising or other services
  • Membership, where members pay dues to receive certain services (for example, the U.S. Green Building Council)
  • Gifts or donations, where major gifts, campaigns, and sponsorship accounts for the bulk of funding
  • Investor model, where individuals and organizations invest funds in the program, whether regionally or nationally
  • National network, where individuals and organizations provide funding that is shared among regional locations
  • Public or grant funding, where government agencies or foundations provide start-up, seed, or continuous financing (for example, a grant) to support programming

Two promising vehicles from the for-profit world may also apply:

  • Loan financing and equity capital (for example, credit unions, social finance investors, foundations)
  • Outcomes financing or pay-for-performance (for example, social impact bonds)

Depending on the level of partnership or collaboration, different programs give varying degrees of visibility to partners or investors

  • For example, Star Quality partners with Tourism BC and several major hotel chains which are then prominently featured on the accreditation website
  • The Disability Confident Campaign in the UK lists their partners and supporters on the website

Additional Parameters

  • The certification model will need the capacity to evolve and adapt to different contexts and jurisdictions
  • The certification model should remain low-cost to businesses of all types and sizes

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