Gradings and Assessments
Visit Cornwall members providing holiday accommodation are required to meet one of the following standards:
a) National Quality Assessment Scheme - (Visit England) (The AA)
b) Visit Cornwall Recognised Inspection Scheme
c) Visit Cornwall Partner Inspection Schemes
d) Visit Cornwall Accommodation Charter
Visit Cornwall fully supports both the National Quality Assessment Scheme run nationally by The AA for both The AA and Visit England, as well as the Visit Cornwall Recognised Inspection Scheme. We recommend that businesses adopt either the national or local scheme as they provide a valued independent view and assessment of your business. This independent view can bring a real insight and excellent advice to assist you with running and developing your business. They also provide an award to use on your website, promotional materials as well as your business.
However, we do recognise that for some businesses there may not be the business based justification for using these schemes and, in these circumstances, Visit Cornwall is willing to consider allowing these businesses into membership, advertise/promote them and engage with them on other related Visit Cornwall activities.
Businesses that wish to use this non-assessed approach can apply to Visit Cornwall providing they are willing to comply with and sign the Charter as shown below (PDF).
National Quality Assessment Schemes (NQAS) - for Providers of Visitor Accommodation
Who does it?
VisitEngland, VisitScotland, Visit Wales, Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the AA carry out Quality Assessment in Britain. They all use the same extremely rigorous criteria and make reliable and impartial assessments.
How is accommodation graded?
The 1-5 star rating system covers all kinds of accommodation from campsites, to B&Bs to city-centre hotels, all offering different levels of facilities and services. For this reason, specific types of accommodation need to be assessed in a different way. For example, a hotel would need to offer room service to achieve a 3-star rating, but this would not be a requirement for a B&B.
If an establishment offers the facilities required at a certain level, it must also achieve the quality score. For all accommodation types, the number of stars gives you an indication of the general quality of the furnishings, decor and ambience. The more stars awarded - the higher the level of quality. The assessors stay overnight as a 'mystery guest' in all B&Bs and hotels to give them an opportunity to test aspects of the guest experience such as the welcome, the comfort of the bed, the food and the cleanliness.
VisitEngland & AA (from 1st April 2017 the AA has been appointed to run VisitEngland’s quality assessment and star rating scheme)
Visit Cornwall Recognised Inspection Scheme (VCRIS)
The Visit Cornwall Recognised Local Inspection Scheme allows any business that does not wish to participate in the NQAS to be inspected to ensure they meet minimum standards based on the Visit England entry level scheme to make sure that all premises are legal, safe, clean and green.
The local schemes are not an assessment of quality but enable businesses to prove that they meet the minimum standards of legislation, fire risk assessments, accessibility, cleanliness, and engage and participate in Visit Cornwall and Tourist Information Centre activities. Inspections also include an online presence assessment to ensure a full and fair reflection of the offering is provided together with a complaints resolution process.
Visit Cornwall Partner Inspection Schemes
We also accept accommodation with a current inspection carried out by English Country Cottages, Cottages4You, Alastair Sawdays, Classic Cottages and Approved Family Friendly.
Visit Cornwall Accommodation Charter
If your accommodation is not currently assessed by any of the above you must agree and accept the Visit Cornwall Accommodation Charter to become part of our membership and enjoy the related benefits.