Tactile Standards & Guides

There are two main publications covering the application of Tactile Indicators in Australia:

AS/NZS 1428.4.1:2009 – Design for Access and Mobility – Part 4.1: Tactile Ground Surface Indicators.

Clicking here will offer a PDF download of a DRAFT copy of the standard - updating the 2002 version to the current 2009 version. All main principles are the same as the current standard. However, if you want a current official copy, it is available from the Standards Australia Store for $223.32 AUD.

Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) – National Construction Code.

Clicking here will take you to the ABCB website - Vol 1, Part D3, Access for people with a disability (requires free registration). Scrolling almost to the bottom of the page, you will see section D3.8 Tactile Indicators - this (and the exemptions in section D3.4) are the only reference to Tactile Indicators in this extensive three volume code. These two sections are paraphrased at the bottom of this page, on our website.

Comprehensive information is available from the following online resources:

Australian Government - Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002

Clicking here will offer a PDF download of the most recent review of the Australian Government - Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport - Relevant sections are 5.2, 6.2 & 11.2 (Table 15, Part18). Clicking here will take you to the Australian Government website where the document can also be downloaded along with additional information.

Australian Human Rights Commission & Vision Australia

Clicking here will take you to the Australian Human Rights Commission - Disability Standards & Guidelines Page. Clicking here will take you to Vision Australia's - Mobility Resources and Advocacy page.

The basic principles of AS/NZS 1428.4.1:2009 – Design for access and mobility


IMPORTANT: the following information is based on TacPro’s 30-year experience in working with tactile ground surface indicators, consultation with various stakeholders and the practical application of the national standards and building codes relating to them. We cannot, however, be responsible for your interpretation of our material. It’s also worth noting that building and civil infrastructure inspectors / certifiers can interpret the standards and codes differently; even staff from the same office can have differing views. If there is any doubt about the requirement for, or application of tactile indicators on your project, we advise seeking clarification from your inspector / certifier (in writing) as early as possible. This can save a great deal of time and grief at the end of your project (tactile indicators are a finishing trade) and can, in the worst case, delay the issuing of critical certifications allowing the facility to be used.


ABCB National Construction Code

NCC 2016, Complete Series
“The series is a uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures throughout Australia.”
Volume 1 is relevant to the requirements for Tactile Indicators and in particular the following excerpt:


ACCESS AND EGRESS | PART D3 ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY
D3.8 Tactile indicators

(a) For a building required to be accessible, tactile ground surface indicators must be provided to warn people who are blind or have a vision impairment that they are approaching —

  1. a stairway, other than a fire-isolated stairway; and

  2. an escalator; and

  3. a passenger conveyor or moving walk; and

  4. a ramp other than a fire-isolated ramp, step ramp, kerb ramp or swimming pool ramp; and

(b) Tactile ground surface indicators required by (a) must comply with sections 1 and 2 of AS/NZS 1428.4.1.
(c) A hostel for the aged, nursing home for the aged, a residential aged care building Class 3 accommodation for the aged, Class 9a health-care building or a Class 9c building need not comply with (a) (i) and (iv) if handrails incorporating a raised dome button in accordance with the requirements for stairway handrails in AS 1428.1 are provided to warn people who are blind or have a vision impairment that they are approaching a stairway or ramp.
Note that TGSI's are not required on enclosed landings between flights of stairs where no other entrance/exit leads onto/off the landing. The specifications for TGSIs are contained in sections 1 and 2 of AS 1428.4.1.

D3.4 Exemptions

The following areas are not required to be accessible:
(a) An area where access would be inappropriate because of the particular purpose for which the area is used.
(b) An area that would pose a health or safety risk for people with a disability.
(c) Any path of travel providing access only to an area exempted by (a) or (b).