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European Certification Standard

The European Certification Standard (ECS) is a unique and comprehensive methodology designed by ECF to assess the quality of cycle routes. It can be used to survey and assess the quality of national/regional routes, and to certify EuroVelo routes if the criteria are met. It can help set up national standards where they do not exist and harmonise the different regulations in the European states.

See the new ECS leaflet for a general introduction to the methodology, and consult the Quality criteria for long-distance cycle routes manual for an overview of ECS quality criteria.

Are you looking to hire EuroVelo Route Inspectors for an ECS survey? The list of up-to-date EuroVelo Route Inspectors who can be contacted for survey work is available here.

What is ECS?

ECS logo
European Certification Standard Logo
  • A unique and comprehensive methodology designed to assess the quality of EuroVelo and other cycle routes.
  • A flexible tool, applicable at European scale, fitting different contexts and levels of development:
    • ECS as a planning tool – minimum requirements to develop a quality cycle route
    • ECS as an assessment tool – evaluating the quality of existing cycle routes and planning improvements
    • ECS as a communication tool – confirming the high quality of a EuroVelo route through the EuroVelo Certification label, based on ECS methodology

Advantages and specificities of ECS

  • The ECS methodology is based on a physical survey by bicycle: focused on the user’s perspective.
  • ECS is a clear methodology, easy to adapt to the specific needs of the organisation requesting the survey (either focusing on certain aspects of the cycle route such as the location of signs, the level of traffic, etc., or doing a more general assessment of the route's conditions).
  • ECS was developed at European scale, facilitating the comparison of the route's quality with other countries/regions/etc., and providing a high potential reach for European users.
  • Possibility of mutualising future developments and improvements of the methodology at European level (reducing the costs for innovations), through European projects, partnerships, etc.

Main objectives of ECS

  • Improving the quality of all cycle routes
    • Detailed GIS database of route parameters
    • Critical issues identified
    • Flexibility to focus on different user groups
    • Motivation for decision makers to invest in solutions
    • Findings summarised in Route Evaluation Report & Action Plana

  • Providing a quality label for EuroVelo route sections
    • EuroVelo Certification: available for EuroVelo sections of min. 300 km
    • Promotion tool
    • Good incentive for cycle tourists

Who can use ECS?

Every year, ECS organises trainings for individuals to become EuroVelo Route Inspectors. EuroVelo Route Inspectors are entitled to use the ECS methodology, i.e. they can survey cycle routes with the ECS app, access survey data and use it to produce visualisations, charts, Route Evaluation Reports, Action Plans, etc.

Additionally, a wide variety of stakeholders can request services from EuroVelo Route Inspectors:

  • Cycle route managers (of EuroVelo or other cycle routes)
  • Infrastructure authorities
  • EU funded projects managers
  • National EuroVelo Coordination Centres
  • Etc.

Surveying of the route is performed with the ECS app, which requires the purchase of a three-year license directly from ECF (see "Financial overview" below).

More information on EuroVelo Route Inspectors' trainings is available on this page.

Please subscribe to the EuroVelo Newsletter to be informed of upcoming ECS news and developments. If you have specific questions, please send an email to [email protected].

The following list contains the contact details of the official European Route Inspectors who agreed to be named on this website:

List of Official EuroVelo Route Inspectors

N.B.: Only those Official Route Inspectors who have requested to be displayed on are available here. If you want to update this information, to be added or removed, please contact [email protected].

ECS app

ECS app homescreen

EuroVelo Route Inspectors use an app specifically designed to evaluate long-distance cycle routes: the European Certification Standard app. With the ECS application, data can be collected offline in the field, using an Android phone with a functioning GPS system.

The ECS application for surveying the route has been newly updated from 2019 to 2021 in collaboration with Cartographia. It is a tool to improve the collection of data, which is uploaded from the field with the app and can then be analysed on the desktop. This app has been designed for Android devices only.

EuroVelo Route Inspectors receive the link to download this app when taking the Route Inspectors Training.

What results can you get from using ECS?

  • Detailed GIS data about a cycle route (useful for quality communications).
  • Identification of improvement needs and an action plan with investment priorities.
  • Required for EuroVelo Certification label.

ECS in the route development process

The European Certification Standard can be used in different stages of the route development:

  • Planning of the route: Identify a viable corridor with a strong theme
  • Route survey: Identify strong and weak points of the route
  • Action plan: Plan and prioritise actions to ensure consistent quality
  • Certification: Verify the results of implemented actions
  • Certified route: Periodically check the quality of the product

In case several route variants are being surveyed in the process of identifying a viable corridor for a EuroVelo route, the ECF preference generally goes for the more direct routes, unless there are strong reasons to choose otherwise (e.g. too much elevation change, traffic or bad surface quality on the most direct corridor). More information is available in the Handbook for Route Inspectors.


For a summary of the main aspects of ECS, download the promotional ECS leaflet and feel free to circulate it among stakeholders who might be interested in this methodology.

For a quick introduction to basic principles and criteria of the ECS, see the Quality criteria for long-distance cycle routes, set out in the ECS manual, published within the EuroVelo manual series for a broader public.

A thorough explanation of the categories and criteria for monitoring the quality level of EuroVelo routes and assessing any long-distance cycle route according to the ECS methodology is available in the European Certification Standard Handbook for Route Inspectors, last updated in December 2021. This "long manual" is shared with trained EuroVelo Route Inspectors and relevant partners. Please get in touch with the EuroVelo Management Team via [email protected] if you would like to request more information.