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administrator@assc.co.uk
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ASSC Committed to QualityASSC Quality Assurance

A commitment to Quality is at the heart of our organisation and underpins all the activities that we undertake and those of our membership. All members of ASSC who wish to list a property on EmbraceScotland (our customer facing website) or take advantage of our influential social media marketing must commit to Continued Professional Development and sign up to our Code of Conduct.

In addition, to further demonstrate this commitment they must participate in either or both of the following quality assurance schemes:

  • Be graded under a Quality Assurance (QA) scheme that is approved by the ASSC and complies with the Common Standard (current qualifying schemes are operated by VisitScotland or Cottages4You)
  • Participate in the ASSC Committed to Quality (CTQ) initiative

The aims of ASSC’s Committed to Quality Initiative

CTQ has two primary aims

  • To ensure the quality of members’ properties and customer service
  • To encourage members to continue to develop and improve their business practices through Continued Professional Development

Benefits of QA and CTQ

A traditional QA grading provides guests with the reassurance that properties have been inspected by a trained QA advisor.  Members also find the grading visit extremely useful, both to ensure that properties are maintained to a high standard as well as the valuable information that the QA advisor can offer.   QA is a valuable business benchmark for members and still the ASSC’s preferred measure of quality.

The ASSC still highly recommends that members subscribe to a QA scheme.  The TNS Scottish Self-catering Occupancy Survey demonstrates that graded properties show significantly higher occupancy levels than those which are not graded.

CTQ Criteria

In order to achieve the CTQ status, members must comply with all of the following:

1.  Participate in a recognised online review system providing independent guest feedback

  • Review sites must be independent, and reviews must be submitted directly by guests. (In other words, not comments received by the owner/manager, added to their own website themselves.)
  • Reviews must be publicly available and either linked to or embedded in the member’s EmbraceScotland property page. Examples of review sites include TripAdvisor.com, MyCottageHoliday.co.uk, UpFrontReviews.com, Feefo.com.  Similar sites can be proposed at any time and are likely to be accepted if they meet the above criteria.
  • All properties that are promoted via any EmbraceScotland marketing channel are available for reviews on the chosen review site(s)
  • Properties must have at least 3 reviews placed in the previous 12 months

2.  A commitment to engage in continuing professional development (CPD) and stay up-to-date with visitor trends by demonstrating participation in some or all of the following:

  • Attending local, national or online tourism events, such as the ASSC Annual Conference.
    A list of relevant events will be maintained in the members area of ASSC.co.uk
  • Undertaking relevant training.
    The ASSC aims to provide several online training sessions throughout the year as well as listing other training opportunities
  • Participating or networking with relevant local or national groups.
    For example local tourism groups, Chambers of Commerce

It should be noted that as from February 2018, all marketing members of ASSC (not just those who have signed up for ASSC CTQ) will be required to undertake CPD.

3.  Members are required to make an annual declaration confirming their Commitment to Quality. 

  • From February 2018 this Commitment to Quality and Continuing Professional Development will be enshrined in the Members Operating Agreement along with the Code of Practice which updates and builds on the ASSC’s original Quality Charter.

ASSC Verification

The ASSC will be responsible for awarding and verifying CTQ status.  It will carry out a programme to audit a randomised selection of members every year to check that reviews are current and available for all properties.

The ASSC will provide support to help members qualify for the criteria.

If a member is found not to have qualified, either at the time of the annual declaration or at any other time during the year, then they will have their CTQ status suspended or withdrawn and their properties will be suspended or removed from EmbraceScotland marketing. As membership of the ASSC also binds members to this commitment a members’ subscription would be at risk with the ultimate sanction of expulsion from the cooperative.

Costs

The CTQ scheme comes at no additional cost to members. There are costs association with VisitScotland’s QA scheme. These change from time to time but you can check current fee levels and further information on the scheme here.

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