Read the latest Visit England assessment report for our Peak District Holiday Cottages – see what the experts say…
Download the 2020 Visit England Report for Wheeldon Trees Farm Holiday Cottages
HOW DOES THE TOURIST BOARD QUALITY GRADING SCHEME WORK?
There are three elements to the process that results in a quality grade or rating.
Step 1 – A Tourist Board Assessor quality scores each cottage,
Step 2 – The Assessor then checks that certain elements of the cottage meet what’s called “Sectional Qualifiers” in terms of quality.
Step 3 – Finally the Assessor checks that the facility requirements, appropriate to the Star rating, are present.
STEP 1: Each inspection visit begins with a Quality Assessor carrying out a subjective, qualitative assessment of every aspect of each cottage, starting with the Exterior of the building, including the grounds and any parking, before assessing the entire interior.
Essentially, a numerical score is given to every aspect assessed and that score equates to a quality level description.
A scale of 1 to 5 is used, so if something is of ‘Excellent’ to ‘Exceptional’ quality, it gets a top score of 5, and if something is of ‘Very Good’ to ‘Excellent’ quality, it gets a score of 4. In order to remove any bias, Tourist Board Assessors are rigorously trained and follow set guidelines and instructions. The different points value signify ascending levels of quality like this:
Excellent to Exceptional quality – 5 points
Very Good to Excellent quality – 4 points
Good to Very Good quality – 3 points
Fair to Good quality – 2 points
Acceptable quality – 1 point
Once a report form is completed and scores have all been allocated, they are totaled, and a percentage score for the quality of the whole cottage is calculated. By looking at the Star banding percentage range, the Quality Assessor gets an initial indication of what the overall Star rating might be:
||Overall % required
||Cleanliness must be
||34% – 47%
||48% – 59%
||60% – 74%
||75% – 86%
Before that final result is determined however, there are two further steps.
STEP 2: The Quality Assessor checks the form for consistency of quality – under what is called “Sectional Qualifiers”. The purpose of this is to ensure that one aspect of a cottage has not artificially driven up the overall percentage mark because it is of a higher quality than other parts of the property. Research has shown that the quality of certain aspects of a property is particularly important to guests.
If the qualities of these fall below guests’ expectation then they will be disappointed. It is therefore very important that the quality of these critical areas match the overall grade of the property. The key areas are: Cleanliness, Living and Dining Areas, Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Kitchens.
If, for example, the overall percentage at Step 1 falls within the 4 Star band (75% to 86%), the percentage score for each of these five areas must also fall within the 4 Star band – however special importance attached to “cleanliness” which has its own banding percentages.
The same process applies to all levels. If the individual quality score for any of these five areas falls below the overall grade indicated at Step 1 then the final grade awarded will be lowered accordingly. For example, following the previous example, if the Bathrooms achieved a score of 62% only, then this would mean the property as a whole could only achieve 3 Stars.
STEP 3: Finally, a check must be made to ensure that any additional facilities required at a particular Star level are present, as well as ensuring that the facilities standards applicable to all Star-rating levels are there for guests.