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Visit Scotland | Alba

How do we determine your Star rating?

The Quality Assurance Grading Visit comprises of an assessment of the quality of the entire guest experience. It takes into account every point of interaction guests will have when engaging with your business.  

There are two main aspects which are assessed: 

  • the appropriate levels of quality must score in line with the Star rating awarded
  • all minimum entry requirements need to be in place (this includes confirmation of compliance with all applicable statutory obligations)

1. What do the Star ratings mean?

Our Star ratings are represented by 1 to 5 stars

  • 5 Star - reflects an exceptional standard, with an overall percentage score of 85% to 100%
  • 4 Star - reflects an excellent standard, with an overall percentage score of 70% to 84%
  • 3 Star - reflects a very good standard, with an overall percentage score of 55% to 69%
  • 2 Star - reflects a good standard, with an overall percentage score of 47% to 54%
  • 1 Star - reflects an acceptable standard, with an overall percentage score of 30% to 46%

2. How we score quality

A potential 47 elements are assessed depending on the nature of the business.  A score from 0 to 5 is awarded for each element. This will result in an overall percentage score that will place your establishment within one of five grading bands.

However, it is not simply the overall percentage score that determines the final award.

If any of the 47 potential elements assessed scores zero this will result in no award being confirmed. Please note, where any element is not applicable, no assessment will be made and there will be no penalty for not providing any of these facilities or services.

In addition, a small serviced accommodation provider must score a minimum of three in any element relating to cleanliness for an award to be confirmed.

For any award, there are also five key areas that must meet a minimum percentage score for the final award that is confirmed.

The key areas are:

  • cleanliness
  • hospitality and friendliness
  • bedrooms
  • bathrooms
  • food

 

If any of the five key areas score below the band of the overall percentage, it is the lower award that will be confirmed.

The overall percentage and the five key area minimum percentage scores required for each Star rating are shown in the following table.

 

1 Star 

2 Star 

3 Star 

4 Star 

5 Star 

Overall 

30% 

47% 

55% 

70% 

85% 

Cleanliness 

65% 

65% 

65% 

75% 

90% 

Hospitality and friendliness 

40% 

50% 

65% 

75% 

90% 

Bedrooms 

30% 

47% 

55% 

70% 

85% 

Bathrooms 

30% 

47% 

55% 

70% 

85% 

Food 

30% 

47% 

55% 

70% 

85% 

3. Areas and elements scored

5. Gold Star awards

These awards recognise establishments within the Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme that strive to exceed customer expectations.

Determining factors will include current QA scores (particularly hospitality and service), QA scoring history and customer feedback.  

There is no need to apply separately for a Gold Star award – every business is considered for these through their QA membership.

To achieve a Gold Star award, a business must:  

  • demonstrate outstanding hospitality and customer care delivered over an extended period of time 

  • significantly exceed levels of hospitality and service expected at their Star rating

  • provide an extensive and high quality selection of food in line with the principles of our Taste Our Best food scheme

  • meet expectations of their award in all other areas (bedrooms, bathrooms etc.)

  • show an element of "wow factor" in what they do in line with their Star rating

  • demonstrate innovation and a clear anticipation of guests needs 

  • show a clear commitment towards inclusive and responsible tourism

  • demonstrate a positive and professional approach to customer feedback

Proposed Gold Star awards require confirmation by our quality review committee and may involve a second incognito assessment visit to confirm eligibility for an award. It is unlikely that a business would achieve a Gold Star award in its first year of operation.

 

The minimum Gold Star percentage requirements at each Star rating are shown in the following table. These are only guidelines and as already mentioned there are many other elements to achieving a Gold Star award.

  

1 Star 

2 Star 

3 Star 

4 Star 

5 Star 

Overall

56% 

60% 

74% 

85% 

93% 

Cleanliness 

75% 

75% 

75% 

90% 

95% 

Hospitality and friendliness 

75% 

75% 

75% 

90% 

95% 

Service and efficiency  

75% 

75% 

75% 

90% 

95% 

Food 

70% 

70% 

70% 

80% 

90% 

Bedrooms 

46% 

53% 

66% 

77% 

88% 

Bathrooms 

46% 

53% 

66% 

76% 

86% 

Public areas 

46% 

53% 

66% 

80% 

90% 

Dining areas 

46% 

53% 

66% 

80% 

90% 

6. Minimum entry requirements for a Star rating

Read our detailed minimum entry requirements to be considered for a Star rating as a small serviced accommodation provider. You can also browse additional requirements for higher Star ratings where applicable.

Browse the minimum entry requirements for a Star rating
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