Inspection and Grading

Shropshire operates a 100% inspection only policy. This means that all accommodation properties advertised through: Shropshire Tourism publications and web sites, and those publications and web sites produced and operated by the Tourist Associations will only allow inspected properties to be included.

This policy helps re-assure the visitor as to the quality of accommodation on offer in Shropshire and helps us all discharge our duty of care obligations to the visitor. Inspections have to be carried out by an approved independent inspections company operating a recognised inspection scheme. For many this will be the harmonised inspection schemes operated by Direct Tourism Services, the AA, Visit Britain or Visit Wales. For others, particularly in the self catering sectors, organisations like Blakes/English Country Cottages, the Caravan & Camping Club etc may be preferred. (If in doubt or if you are in need of help do not hesitate contact us and we shall advise.)

For new establishments or those that wish to re-join membership a pending inspection system operates that will allow these establishments 12 months entry and inclusion prior to their full grading being confirmed.

Direct Tourism Services

From April 2009 Direct Tourism Services has been delivering its new Accommodation Assessment Scheme on behalf of Shropshire Tourism. Initially the scheme is open to Self Catering and Guest Accommodation, however there are plans to extend into other sectors in due course.

Working to the same national standards as Quality in Tourism, the AA and other Visit Britain approved organisations this scheme will be locally delivered and managed.

You will need to be a member of Shropshire Tourism to be eligible for our Assessment Scheme. If you aren't already a member then go to for full details on how to join and what other services and benefits you will get (besides eligibility for our assessment scheme of course). We will guide you through the application and assessment process to ensure that you are represented and promoted to your full potential.

For more information about the Direct Tourism Services Assessment Scheme, please click here.

Visit Britain/Quality In Tourism (QIT)

VisitBritain only promotes quality-assessed accommodation through its full range of marketing activity. Properties can be quality-assessed by VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Wales Tourist Board and the AA.

As many members may already know the new national inspection scheme for Visit Britain is now being operated by QIT and the regional tourist board no longer has responsibility for this activity. QIT are based in Broadway and operate the same harmonised scheme as the AA. VisitBritain and Quality In Tourism (QIT) are also looking at introducing a three year stepping stones scheme to encourage more properties currently outside the scheme to join.

Common Standards For The Rating Of Serviced Accommodation

It has been agreed that stars will be used as the rating symbol for both Hotels and Guest Accommodation and that accommodation will be assessed against criteria appropriate to the style of operation.

The decision to use stars was taken in the knowledge that all 'Hotels' would in future be rated under the Hotel Common Standard. The use of stars also brings this sytle of accommodation in line with other accommodation rating schemes for self-catering, caravan parks and hostels.

Budget Hotels, which provide standardised quality across their individual portfolios, will be assessed against specific criteria but will not be star rated.

Inspection Agencies:

Direct Tourism ServicesDirect Tourism Services

Grove House,
8 St Julian's Friars,

Tel: 01743 261919
Fax: 01743 261929


Quality in Tourism logo Quality in Tourism (QIT)

Farncombe House
WR12 7LJ

Tel: 0845 300 6996
Fax: 01386 854 319


The AA logo AA

AA Hotel Services
Automobile Association Developments Ltd
Fanum House
RG21 4EA

Tel: 01256 844455
Fax:01256 491647

Blakes/English country Cottages Blakes/English Country Cottages

Spring Mill
BB94 0AA

Tel: 0870 220 0844

On-line application form

Caravan & Camping Club Caravan & Camping Club

The Camping and Caravanning Club
1 Riverview Court
1 Castlegate
West Yorkshire
LS22 6LE

Tel: 08701 287240

Click here for more contact details

Welsh Tourist Board logoVisit Wales

Wales Tourist Board
Brunel House
2 Fitzalan Road
CF24 0UY

Tel: 01654 702584



If you have any other suggestions as to who may be considered as appropriate inspection agencies or need advice please do contact us.


The government is currently considering the introduction of a new "Fitness for Purpose" scheme. Although no real details have yet come out the gist is that local authorities will become responsible for all aspects of environmental health, fire and health and safety of all accommodation providers – whether they are part of a current scheme or not, this is likely to include even those properties who are currently exempt for fire certification under the 6 bed rule. Watch this space for more information.