ADVANCE - Audit and Certification Scheme

By Pavlina Dravecka / Updated: 17 Feb 2015

ADVANCE is co-funded by the European Commission through the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme. It helps cities and municipalities to implement and improve the quality of their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and policies through the ADVANCE Audit process.

The ADVANCE Audit offers a systematic approach to identifying potential areas for improvement of a city's SUMP. It compares cities’ mobility planning practices to an ideal sustainable urban mobility planning process. The definition of an ideal planning process is based on the guidelines 'Developing and implementing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan', prepared as part of a European Commission initiated project.

Each city will receive the ADVANCE Certificate as a proof for having correctly applied the ADVANCE Audit process and a sign for an authority's commitment to sustainable urban mobility planning.

How long does the ADVANCE Audit take and who is involved?

The entire audit process takes about four to six months. The process consists of five different steps, in which the city's representatives, internal stakeholders and an external auditor (the ADVANCE Auditor) work together. These key actors are represented in the ADVANCE working group and meet formally four times during the audit process.

ADVANCE Audit process step by step


What are the main tools to conduct the ADVANCE Audit?

The main tool is the self-assessment questionnaire, filled in by each member of the ADVANCE working group. In addition, the ADVANCE Auditor is responsible for collecting and analysing relevant planning documents, assessing the cities baseline situation using checklists, as well as getting an impression about the mobility situation during a site visit. The completed questionnaire and the auditor's findings are then discussed in the working group. Ultimately, it is the aim of the audit process to reach consensus on the relative strengths and weaknesses of current planning practices and to establish a prioritised list of actions that would improve a city's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and mobility policies.

What is the status of ADVANCE?

There is now a full working version of the ADVANCE Audit available. In December 2012, the project trained 18 ADVANCE Auditors. Currently, these auditors conduct ADVANCE Audits in nine European cities: Szczecin (PL), Terrassa (ES), Zilina (SK), Ploiesti (RO), Agioi – Anargyroi and Kamatero (GR), Malmö (SE), Judenburg (AT), Maribor (SI) and Schaerbeek (Brussels Region -BE).

The final output of an ADVANCE Audit is an action plan containing concrete recommendations on how to improve mobility planning. In Zilina, for example, the local action plan contains the following recommendations: establishment of a Mobility Forum; introduction of new cycling routes; and the provision of a feedback platform for citizens.

Further results from Zilina and other cities will be available in September 2013. The experiences gained during these audits will be used by the project to further refine the ADVANCE Audit before publishing the final version in September 2013.

Where can I find more information?

The prototype of the ADVANCE Audit and a detailed description of the process are available on the ADVANCE web site.

Are you interested to become an ADVANCE Auditor?

ADVANCE will conduct a series of national training seminars between October and December 2013. If you are interested in attending, or require more information about dates and locations, details are available here.

Would you like to provide feedback on the ADVANCE Audit?

If you have any comments concerning the ADVANCE Audit, please send us your feedback via email to: We will be very happy to answer to it immediately.