Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme

Application guidance and case studies about the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme.

The Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme aims to improve disabled people’s access to the transport system.

The scheme provides a framework that operators can use to make their services more accessible to disabled people. It also offers operators the opportunity to earn accreditations that acknowledge and celebrate their work.

Under the banner of the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme, participant operators will be part of a community. By putting disabled passengers at the heart of their service provision, this community will play a leading role in creating a more accessible transport system for all.

As one of the Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Strategy commitments, the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme is part of the government’s ambition to ensure equal access to the transport system by 2030 (with physical assistance if infrastructure remains a barrier).

Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme video

Accreditation cycles

The Department for Transport will administer the Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme in accreditation cycles, each of which will include a deadline for applications and a date by which applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application.

Eligibility criteria

The scheme is open to:

  • local and scheduled bus and coach operators that provide services that start and end in England (operators will apply at licence-holder level)
  • train operating companies that provide services which start and end in England (including Network Rail)
  • airport operators in England
  • airline operators that provide services to or from England
  • ferry and cruise operators that provide services to or from England
  • port operators in England

After 3 accreditation cycles, the department will review the progress of the scheme and engage with operators that are not currently eligible to consider how they might be involved in the future.

Read more about the scheme’s eligibility criteria in our terms, conditions and eligibility criteria guidance.

Accredited bodies

Earning an accreditation

Case studies

These case studies contain a range of examples of steps that operators have taken to improve accessibility.

For more information, please contact

REAL training programme

The REAL disability equality training programme has been created on behalf of the Department for Transport to improve the sector’s confidence and skills in delivering inclusive journeys for disabled passengers.

This training package is underpinned by 2 important values: respect and empathy, and promotes 2 important actions: ask and listen.

The modules in the REAL training programme have been developed with the engagement of transport sector professionals and people with lived experience of disability. They provide the basis for a comprehensive programme across 5 transport modes. Alongside core modules to be used in any programme for any mode, audience-specific materials for each of the 5 modes are also available.

Training managers can use the materials to put together a range of agendas, from induction briefings on disability to whole-day programmes and refresher interventions.

Updates to this page

Published 24 February 2020
Last updated 3 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. List of accredited bodies added.

  2. New application accreditation cycle announced. Applications must be submitted by 1 October 2021.

  3. Added training modules for the REAL training programme.

  4. Update to an extension to the deadline for the first Inclusive Transport Leaders Scheme accreditation cycle.

  5. First published.