Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba
VisitScotland / PRImaging

Helping you meet and exceed visitor expectations

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance (QA) is the name we give to our official grading system for tourism businesses and all our associated schemes. Our Stars help you offer visitors reassurance and enable them to make informed choices. It’s more than just the "Stars on the door", QA shows you care about providing a quality experience.

Why should you join our Quality Assurance Scheme?

  • Consumer confidence

    QA empowers visitors to make informed choices and provides consumer confidence. It gives reassurance to guests that your property is independently assessed and offers high standards.  Now more than ever visitors need that extra reassurance – and QA can provide that.

  • Internationally recognised

    Our well-established awards are familiar and trusted by visitors to Scotland. International visitors are more likely to look for this reassurance – especially when visiting for the first time. Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are more likely to consider working with or booking with a QA member.

  • Be found first users often base their search on “the Stars”. QA member listings are, on average, almost three times more likely to receive visitor referrals.

  • Benchmark your performance

    Make informed business decisions through tailored insight from our experienced team. Identify where training or investment can make the biggest difference.

  • A tool for growth

    Being a QA member can help you to grow your business and can help get access to loans or funding. Some councils ask for evidence that a QA visit can provide. 

How do I get a Quality Assurance membership?

Before application

  1. 1

    Review the guidance and criteria

    Take a look at our Quality Assurance criteria for your type of business, so you are aware what our team will be looking for when assessing your business. Don’t worry if you’re not sure you can meet all the requirements, we can offer you guidance that’s right for your business.

    Review the guidance and criteria for your business type
  2. 2

    Check our schedule of conditions

    Our schedule of conditions contain useful guidelines that should be read and understood before you apply.

    Read our schedule of conditions for accommodation providers. 

    Read our schedule of conditions for visitor attractions.

  3. 3

    View participation fees

    Our annual fees for Quality Assurance Scheme membership vary depending on the type and size of your business. They range from around £52 +VAT for a small hostel to around £1,500 +VAT for a large accommodation provider with 100 rooms. 

    Find our full range of Quality Assurance Scheme fees in the following download:

    VisitScotland 2023/24 QA fees

    Published March 2023

    QA fees for the current scheme year

  4. 4

    Contact us if you have any queries

    If you have any queries, our team can help provide advice on what will work best for you. Get in touch with us at

After application

  1. 1

    Get your welcome call

    Once you've signed up, you’ll receive a welcome call from our Quality Assurance team. They will talk you through the process of how your first live grading visit will work before we visit you in person. You'll also have the chance to ask us any questions you might have.

    We want to help you reach your desired Star Award as early as possible. This is a chance for us to offer some advice and give you a bespoke written report to help you on your way.

    We will also provide you with your Awaiting Grading logo which you can use straight away. This way, you won’t need to wait for us to visit before offering your visitors some reassurance that you care about providing a quality experience.

    Using the logo can help reassure visitors. It demonstrates that you want to be transparent about the level of your offering. It will also show that your business will be held accountable to national standards.

  2. 2

    The visit

    One of our Quality and Tourism Advisors (QTAs) will schedule a live grading visit. Depending on what type of business you are, this may take the form of an incognito visit.

    At the end of the grading visit, the QTA will provide you with feedback and advice about their experience. This is a valuable opportunity to learn about the visitor journey your business is offering. It is also a chance to gain insights on any plans you have for future development.

  3. 3

    Your award

    Following your grading visit, you will receive confirmation of your Star Rating by email. along with a detailed report containing tailored advice and guidance.

    We will also provide you with an award plaque and electronic logos so that you can shout about your new Quality Assurance Award.

    Read more about how to make the most of your award.

Frequently asked questions

Still not sure if QA is for you?

We recognise that for some businesses joining the Quality Assurance Scheme will be a new experience and maybe even a little daunting.

If you’re not quite at the point of making that leap – don’t worry, we’re here to help you!

Whatever your concerns, we are committed to working with you, so that you can start to enjoy the benefits of Quality Assurance.


Would you like a call from one of our dedicated Quality Assurance team? We are always happy to try and answer any queries you might have.

Email to arrange a convenient time for us to get in touch.

Perhaps your business is brand new, or undergoing major redevelopment. Maybe you'd like some pointers before your business is fully assessed for a Star Rating? In which case you can find out more on our Advisory Service page.

Related links