25th June 2009

Accommodation Assessment Scheme Success

We've received an excellent response from members to the launch in April of Shropshire's new accommodation assessment scheme, with one member receiving the maximum 5 stars

The Accommodation Assessment Scheme provides accommodation businesses in Shropshire with a cost-effective, alternative option to national assessment schemes.

Over 25 members have so far been assessed with an increasing number of new enquiries being received on a daily basis.  The scheme is primarily aimed at tourism businesses that don't need to or wouldn't benefit from joining a national inspection scheme.  Additionally, if your membership of a national scheme has lapsed, you can join our scheme now.

Initially, the scheme is open to self-catering and guest accommodation members, but we plan to extend into other accommodation sectors in due course.

One very happy member (and Bentley the Labrador!) Mrs Elizabeth Hatchell, who runs Croft Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Hope Bagot, near Ludlow, has been awarded 4 stars under the new Accommodation Assessment Scheme for Shropshire.

Croft Cottage has been established for 11 years and was one of the first businesses to be assessed under the new Accommodation Assessment scheme.

As soon as Direct Tourism Services received Elizabeth's application, Sandra Marsh, one of 4 locally recruited assessors, all of whom have worked in the tourism industry in Shropshire for many years, called Elizabeth to arrange a date and time for her assessment to take place, within 4 weeks of receiving her application. In the meantime, Elizabeth read the Quality Standards and made sure her property met all of the minimum requirements - did she have a fire risk assessment, for example? (she did!)

The assessment took place on 7th April, when Sandra arrived to assess Croft Cottage. Sandra explained "We look at a number of areas when we assess a property. Firstly, it has to meet all of the minimum requirements for cleanliness, hospitality, and so on. We then make a quality assessment and award scores which determine what star grading the property receives. In the case of Croft Cottage the quality throughout was very good. It is a very comfortable B&B in a beautiful area and received a 4 star grading".

When Sandra finished her assessment and uploaded the report, Direct Tourism Services sent the assessment report and certificate to Elizabeth, awarding 4 stars.

Commenting on the assessment, Elizabeth said "I decided to join the scheme because it offered a cost effective alternative to the national schemes, particularly as I only have a small Bed & Breakfast. The whole assessment service was efficiently organised and I received a very fair and competent assessment. I would definitely recommend the scheme to other accommodation providers in Shropshire".

If you want to find out more about the scheme and how to take part, give us a call on 01743 462462 or visit www.stmem.com/assessments


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