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Visit Scotland | Alba

Quality Assurance Scheme

Helping tourism businesses set the bar

The exceptional standards of Scotland’s tourism industry are world-renowned and we’re committed to helping keep it that way. Our position as Scotland’s national tourism organisation means we’re in an ideal place to help businesses develop these standards to the highest level possible and have a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting visitors.

Quality Assurance is the name we give to our official grading system for tourism businesses and all our associated schemes.

Why join our Quality Assurance Scheme?

  • Internationally recognised

    Our well-established awards are familiar and trusted by visitors to Scotland

  • Promote your business

    Once you've been graded, you can promote your award in your own marketing activity with a variety of signs and logos

  • Benchmark your performance

    Our experienced team of Quality & Tourism Advisors (QTA) can help you to find the areas of your business where training or investment can make the biggest difference

  • A tool for growth

    Your award could help you to grow your business, in support of a loan application or business plan

  • Affordable

    A small fee gains you admission to our Quality Assurance Scheme for a year

How to join our Quality Assurance scheme

Our official grading scheme

Joining is easy, but there are a few things you should check before you apply.

  1. 1

    Make sure you match the criteria

    Please ensure you review our Quality Assurance Criteria for your type of business , so you are aware of what the advisors will be looking for when doing your grading. Don’t worry if you’re not sure if you can meet the requirements. We can offer you guidance on what you can do to fit the bill.

  2. 2

    Participation fees

    There is currently no charge to join our Quality Assurance scheme in 2021.

    Our normal annual fees for the scheme vary depending on your type of business and its size. They range from around £53 for a small hostel to around £1,427 for a large accommodation provider with 100 rooms. Indicative fees, based on 2020 fees, are included below for information.

    VisitScotland QA fees

    Published February 2021

    Indicative cost for reference only

  3. 3

    Optional advisory visit

    If you're not sure that you'll meet the criteria, or would like some pointers before your business is assessed for the scheme, you might be interested in an advisory visit

  4. 4

    Join the scheme

    Contact our Customer Services team for more information or to join the scheme. Please make sure you agree to our schedule of conditions.

    Accommodation and Visitor Attractions - schedule of conditions

    Published August 2016

    Full description of the schedule of conditions for accommodation providers and visitor attractions participating in our Quality Assurance Scheme

  5. 5

    Visit from our assessor and ongoing service

    Due to current restrictions all QA visits are suspended, but we will furnish new applicants with an “Awaiting Grading” logo which can be used straight away.  The use of this logo can help reassure visitors because it demonstrates that you want your business to be transparent in terms of its quality offering and that you are being held accountable to national standards. 

    In response to the recently announced programme of Scottish Government Covid-19 funds to be administered by VisitScotland, we are shifting our focus for the next weeks to prioritising the delivery of this support for industry. As a result, the Quality and Tourism Advisor team is currently redeployed to supporting this process.

    While our regular live visit programme will not proceed this year, and once funding priorities are completed, our QA team will continue to provide advice and guidance to businesses online and over the phone.  We would love to talk with you about how to prepare for your first grading visit and how to deliver the desired quality of experience for your target visitor.

Criteria for the Quality Assurance Scheme

Read our Quality Assurance criteria for the whole range of business types, including: 

  • visitor attractions and experiences
  • hotels
  • B&Bs and guest houses
  • self-catering
  • holiday parks
  • hostels.