Accommodation Assessment Scheme

Direct Tourism Services (a wholly owned subsidiary company of Shropshire Tourism) has been delivering its Accommodation Assessment Scheme since April 2009 and we have now expanded our offer to provide Walker Friendly, Cyclist Friendly and Pet Friendly Awards too: Click here for information.

Although you don't have to be graded to be promoted by Shropshire Tourism, many businesses find having a quality grading helps them secure more clients (56% of visitors use the star rating scheme as a basis for selecting a property).

We have been thrilled with the positive feedback received from our members who have been assessed by us, but don't just take our word for it.......

Direct Tourism Services logo

'I felt very relaxed with the assessor, I was impressed with the assessors attitude and respect for what I offer quests' - Julie Hale, Woodview B&B

'The whole assessment service was efficiently organised and I received a very fair and competent assessment' - Elizabeth Hatchell, Croft Cottage B&B

'I appreciated the friendliness, help and advice given' - Liana Chilton, Mortimer Cottage

Use the quick links below to find out more about:

Benefits  |   Tariff  |   Quality Standards  |   Friendly Schemes  |   FAQs

If you hold a current grading

If you apply for assessment with Direct Tourism Services, your assessment visit will take place within four weeks of the date of your last inspection visit with the national scheme and we will recognise your existing grading up until this time. So if your last visit (by QIT or the AA) was in November then Direct Tourism Services would make an appointment to view your property around then. Future renewal dates would then be 12 months from your last assessment visit by us.

If you do not have a current grading or have lapsed

You can apply for assessment with Direct Tourism Services, we aim to deliver the whole process within four weeks of receiving your completed application.

Apply for assessment here (PDF)

Click here for a full list of terms and conditions of participation (PDF)

Additional Recognition

If you already have a valid inspection with a national body such as Quality in Tourism, the AA or other approved organisations, Shropshire Tourism will continue to recognise it. So if you just wish to have recognition from Direct Tourism Services as well, you can apply to Direct Tourism Services for additional recognition under this scheme for an administrative fee of just £35.

Apply Here

Benefits

Why choose the Direct Tourism Services Scheme?

There will be several key areas of difference between this scheme and other national schemes:

  • It is locally run with locally recruited experienced tourism professionals who have all received extensive training. This will make the new scheme quicker and more responsive, and more cost effective.
  • It links into other business support services available in Shropshire and the West Midlands and offers more direct support to businesses.
  • It has a clear process regarding gradings and assessments and a much simpler fee structure.
  • It has a transparent complaints procedure that will benefit both visitors and operators.
  • It is more accountable to the visitors as well as the tourism associations and marketing organisations in Shropshire.
  • It will be delivered throughout the year and renewal fee dates will be 12 months from your actual assessment date, not the beginning of each financial year.
  • Any profit generated from this scheme will be used to promote Shropshire and for the benefit of the tourism industry in Shropshire.
  • The scheme will recognise all properties that hold a valid assessment grading already.
  • It will use the same star and designator system currently used by the national scheme.
  • It will work to the same national standards as the harmonised scheme and give specific routes to market for all participants.

Tariff

Tariff for Guest Accommodation Assessment

Number of Bedrooms Fee (ex. VAT) VAT at 20% Total (inc. VAT)
1-3 Bedrooms £145.00 £29.00 £174.00
4-6 Bedrooms £165.00 £33.00 £198.00
7-10 Bedrooms £185.00 £37.00 £222.00
11-15 Bedrooms £225.00 £45.00 £270.00
16-20 Bedrooms £245.00 £49.00 £294.00

Tariff for Self Catering Accommodation Assessment

Fee per unit breakdown:

Number of Units Fee (ex. VAT) VAT at 20% Total (inc. VAT)
1 Unit £130.00 £26.00 £156.00
2-6 Units £55.00 per additional unit £11.00 £66.00
7-11 Units £55.00 per additional unit £11.00 £66.00
12+ Units £55.00 per additional unit £11.00 £66.00

E.g. Fee for 3 units: 156 + (2 x 66 = 132) = £288 (inc. VAT)

Prices based on all properties being on a single site.
Grading of guest accommodation and self-catering units on the same site, will require 2 applications.

Tariff for Friendly Schemes - Walker, Cyclist & Pet

The assessment fee for each friendly scheme will need to be paid at the same time as your annual accommodation assessment fee. There are discounts for participating in 2 or more of the friendly schemes.

1 x Friendly Scheme - £30.00 (inc. VAT)
2 x Friendly Schemes -£50.00 (inc. VAT)
3 x Friendly Schemes - £75.00 (inc. VAT)

Designator Information

Designator Description
B&B Private house providing accommodation in normally no more than 3 bedrooms (however exceptions can be made) and run by the owner.
Guest House Accommodation run on a more commercial basis than B&B and normally offering more services. May have staff as well as the owner. Usually accommodate more than 6 guests.
Farmhouse A working farm or smallholding offering B&B or Guest House accommodation.
Inn Fully licensed accommodation providing evening meals and with a bar which is usually open to non residents.
Restaurant with Rooms Destination restaurant with very high standards and overnight accommodation in a maximum of 12 bedrooms. Restaurant is the main business, open to non-residents with restaurant service at least 5 nights a week. Liquor licence required.
Guest Accommodation Any establishment that meets the minimum entry requirements.
Self Catering Accommodation with its own kitchen and bathroom.

Please Note:

In the event of not meeting the minimum requirements and therefore needing a reassessment visit (to ensure compliance), there will be a charge of 50% of the original assessment fee.

Recognition

If you have a current valid accreditation you can apply to be recognised under this scheme for an administration fee of £35.00 (inc. VAT).

Please click here to download the prices in a printable PDF format.

Quality Standards

Stars with Designators will be awarded based on compliance with the following assessment criteria:

  • Statutory Requirements;
  • Cleanliness and Housekeeping;
  • Hospitality, Welcome, Service and Competency;
  • Exterior and Interior fixtures and fittings; bedrooms, bathrooms and general areas;
  • Breakfast and Dinner (if applicable).

As with other Inspection Schemes, stars will be awarded from a minimum of one, to a maximum of five, dependent on satisfactory compliance with these criteria. The Direct Tourism Services criteria will be comparable to the standards of current inspection bodies, but the exact weighting may vary slightly across certain areas.

You can learn more about our minimum requirements and how we determine our percentage scores by downloading our full Quality Standards for Guest Accommodation and Self Catering Accommodation here.

Should the operator disagree with the grading awarded or feel that the assessment has not been conducted fairly, Direct Tourism Services has a clear Appeals Procedure.

Shropshire Tourism Friendly Schemes

These schemes highlight operators that provide facilities or services to welcome certain visitor groups, they provide another route to reach these bespoke markets to help you grow your business.

The assessment fee for each friendly scheme will need to be paid at the same time as your annual accommodation assessment fee. There are discounts for participating in 2 or more of the friendly schemes.

1 x Friendly Scheme - £30.00 (inc. VAT)
2 x Friendly Schemes -£50.00 (inc. VAT)
3 x Friendly Schemes - £75.00 (inc. VAT)

Pet Friendly

Taking pets away when enjoying a break is an increasing trend. In response to customers who do not wish to be parted from their pets, the Pet Friendly Scheme will give pet owners (dog, cat or bird owners) the confidence that they are booking quality accommodation that meets their and their pet's particular needs, and where their pets will be made to feel genuinely welcome.

Walker Friendly

Walking is an increasingly popular activity while on a short break or holiday. Shropshire has over 3,500 miles of rights of way with a quarter of the county designated as the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Walker Friendly Scheme will give walkers the confidence that they are booking accommodation that meets their specific needs.

Cyclist Friendly

Cycling is an increasingly popular way of taking a holiday in the UK and experiencing the countryside. The Cyclist Friendly Scheme will give cyclists the confidence that they are booking accommodation that meets their specific needs and has the facilities they require.

To download the checklists please click on the relevant link:

Walker Friendly  |   Cyclist Friendly  |   Pet Friendly

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are Direct Tourism Services?

Direct Tourism Services are a wholly owned subsidiary company of Shropshire Tourism (UK) Ltd.

2. Where is the Direct Tourism Services Scheme recognised?

The scheme is fully recognised by Shropshire Tourism and Tourism Associations within Shropshire. Nationally, it is recognised by Farm Stay UK.

It is hoped that in due course we will also obtain recognition from Visit England.

3. Why should I choose the Direct Tourism Services scheme over other schemes?

We are local. Any money spent with us goes back into Shropshire for the benefit of our Shropshire Tourism members and destination marketing for the county. Our assessors are locally recruited with a wealth of experience in Shropshire's tourism industry and have empathy with accommodation providers. You will receive a personal, professional and helpful advisory service.

You will find our rates extremely competitive.

Click to see more in our benefits section.

4. I already have a valid inspection. What additional benefits does my business get from being recognised by this scheme?

It will be marketed locally and will be more accountable, we believe visitors will respond favourably to it.

5. I don't have a valid inspection. Why should I become accredited at all?

Shropshire operates a 100% grading policy for accommodation wishing to advertise in Shropshire Tourism and other countywide tourism association brochures and websites. We have a duty of care to visitors and have to ensure that properties we advertise are up to scratch.

You can also expand your market. Many visitors will not stay in accommodation that hasn't been accredited.

You can become a member of Shropshire Tourism if you are accredited. Find out how membership can benefit you by clicking here.

6. When do I pay?

Our scheme will allow you to apply for assessment from the date of your last visit by the AA or Quality in Tourism and this will then become your renewal date for the future. We aim to deliver assessments within four weeks of the renewal date. For example, if your last visit was in November, this will become your new renewal date.

7. What does my fee cover?

Everything except external signage, but this is not compulsory. You will receive a certificate with your grading alongside a detailed assessment report as part of your assessment. To keep costs down, external signs or plaques are extra. If you require them, we have arranged a very competitive rate with a local supplier.

8. How long will the assessment take?

The actual visit should take no longer than 2 to 3 hours but it obviously depends on the size of your accommodation. As we won't be staying overnight we will be checking every room.

We aim to complete the entire assessment and grading process within four weeks of receiving your completed application form and payment (or, if you have an existing grading, within four weeks of your renewal date).

Once an application is received in the office, a member of our assessment team will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit you.

Get Assessed application form (PDF)

What the stars mean

On assessment you will be awarded a star rating with appropriate designator in line with the national scheme.

The star grading system with designators seek to inform visitors, about differing levels of accommodation facilities and services on offer within Shropshire before they book, so that you know what to expect when you arrive.

Gradings made easy chart

Complaints

In the event of any visitor staying in an accommodation property assessed by Direct Tourism Services having a complaint, the following procedure will be applied.

Complaints Procedure (PDF)

For information on places to stay in Shropshire visit www.shropshiretourism.co.uk/accommodation

Contact Us

If you have any enquiries about the Direct Tourism Services assessment scheme, please contact us.