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Press Release: ASSC Launches Code of Conduct for Traditional Self-Catering Sector

Created: September 14, 2017
Posted in: Press Release, Regulations, Self-catering Industry

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), the only trade body representing the sector in Scotland, has launched its new Code of Conduct, aimed at improving standards in the industry. The Code has been developed alongside a Scottish Government study and comes with a Policy Recommendation Paper which sets out how the vital self-catering sector in Scotland can be improved for customers, hosts, and all others involved. Both documents have been presented to the Expert Panel on the Collaborative Economy.

ASSC launched its Code of Conduct in association with the Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA), which has also developed a policy paper looking into improving working life for platform hosts. During the process of drafting both the policy document and the Code of Conduct, ASSC and STAA worked together in close collaboration, for the benefit of all parts of the industry.

Much care and attention has been paid to ensure that the ASSC’s Code of Conduct reflects the organisation’s core principles of quality, integrity, cleanliness, comfort, courtesy and efficiency in each of its points. The Code of Conduct is also particularly important as it will replace the ASSC’s current Charter and will be part of the Members Operating Agreement which all ASSC members are obliged to meet.

The Code of Conduct will address many of the emerging concerns about the collaborative economy and its perceived lack of regulation.  In city centres, the Code will clarify the responsibilities of short-term let operators, give guests confidence that a property is safe to stay in, and provide local authorities a robust tool to help tackle any problems.

In addition to the UK launch, the ASSC’s Code of Conduct will also receive a special European Launch when ASSC Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, travels to Brussels on September 14 to present it to the European Holiday Homes Association (EHHA) at its General Assembly.

ASSC Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, said:

“With the collaborative efforts of our friends at STAA, we have developed these rules and safeguards that will make life easier and clearer for everyone involved in the vital self-catering or short-term let sector here in Scotland.

“By abiding by our Code of Conduct, we as a trade body, hope to set the groundwork for positive change within our sector both now and into the future.”

STAA Chair, Merilee Karr, said: “It has been a pleasure for STAA to work closely with the ASSC in developing its Code of Conduct.

 “By collaborating, we have produced a range of commitments and policy recommendations that will ensure self-catered and short-term lets are managed to high, professional standards to support the responsible growth of this important industry for the Scottish economy.

“We look forward to collaborating with ASSC in the future to continue to drive the highest standards of professionalism in the industry.”

Riddell Graham, VisitScotland Director of Partnerships, said: “The self-catering sector is an important part of tourism in Scotland, contributing hundreds of millions of pounds to the economy every year.

“VisitScotland has long recognised the importance of reassuring visitors about quality and safety standards in accommodation and of providing a quality visitor experience.

“We already support this through our well-established Quality Assurance star rating schemes.

“We welcome the work of ASSC and STAA to create pragmatic and unambiguous guidelines and policy which will clarify the responsibilities of tourism businesses and give visitors confidence and peace of mind when booking self-catering accommodation.”

To download the ASSC and STAA’s Codes of Conduct and Policy Recommendation Paper click here.

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