Green Accord – Exeter City Council

Bespoke, Ecommerce

Bespoke online application website for Exeter City Council accreditation

We were asked by Exeter City Council to create a bespoke online application process for small businesses to attain the Exeter City Council ‘Green Accord’ accreditation for good environmental practice.

Challenge

To build a system that gave due process to a specialised ‘work flow’ procedure for accreditation, which involved the user going through a set number of questions, taking payment and uploading supporting documents for evaluation.

We worked closely with designer Jonathan Alder of Alder and Alder whom Exeter City Council had engaged to develop the Green Accord logo and branding. We have worked with Jonathan many times and so the design relationship ran smoothly. The client brief was very clear, they needed a functional site design that delivered an easy-to-use application process that did not put off small businesses from trying for accreditation, but that also spoke clearly of ‘green issues’.

We met with the client several times to break down the work flow process into development areas. They had previously been using an old ‘Access’ system that needed modernising.

We starting building a bespoke application that took the user through the steps towards accreditation, giving potential scoring as you went along and taking payment. The second part of the process was the user then uploading supporting documented evidence that Exeter City Council could then assess and score appropriately. At every screen the user needed to know at what stage they were at in the overall process. The council auditor then examined the evidence, to ensure it met their evaluation criteria, and the user was informed if they had passed or failed. The system then had to allow unsuccessful applicants to submit new improved evidence to be audited. Successful applicants would then be issued with a Green Accord status, logo and certification they can then use in their business practice.

The website was built with a bespoke content management system, which included a bespoke administration area that only the council staff had access to, to audit all applications. We delivered full training for the Council administrative staff on use of the system.

Online Payment

We integrated SagePay into the website, so that the website can take payment from businesses as they progress through the accreditation process.

Solution

The council are so pleased to have issued over 200 successful companies with the Green Accord accreditation since the site was launched in March 2011, and the site is still going strong.