In order to become and remain a member of the ISCF, all members must commit to the core principles of quality, cleanliness, comfort, courtesy and efficiency embodied in this Charter.
Members of the ISCF promise to provide accommodation which meets, and preferably exceeds, Fáilte Ireland’s Welcome Standard. While we would encourage all members’ properties to be approved by Fáilte Ireland, it is no longer a pre-requisite for membership of ISCF. All members need to observe the following standards;
Prior to booking and arrival;
- A true and clear description of what is offered.
- An efficient booking system and administration, including visibility of Terms of Let and Cancellation Policy.
- A clear and transparent pricing strategy consistent with standards of service and accommodation provided.
- Clear travel directions and arrival guidance.
- A warm welcome.
- Comfortable, clean, pleasing and inviting accommodation, ensuring all facilities, beds, bedding and soft furnishings match the standards described in any promotional material.
- Every endeavour to ensure everything is in working order, or a repair is in hand within a realistic time-frame.
- As much information as possible in the accommodation, but with the minimum of “Dos” and “Don’ts”.
- A good supply of local tourism (and emergency) information, including contact details for the owner/manager.
During the visitor stay
- An adequate and safe water supply.
- More than adequate space heating for all times of year.
- Sensitive attention to safety and security for guests.
- Compliance with appropriate Fire and Building regulations and up to date public liability insurance.
- A willingness to resolve any problems highlighted by guests.
- To address any problem highlighted by the guest or maintenance staff relating to the property or with customer care.
- To deal with any complaints in a prompt, efficient and courteous manner.
- Members strive to achieve Excellence
Members Strive to Achieve Excellence
All Members seek to provide an excellent service. Examples of good practice are:
- Listening to their guests and using visitor feedback forms in the accommodation.
- Assisting guests and enquirers with suggestions for things to do in the area, and recommending other good quality accommodation, including that belonging to ISCF members, when fully booked.
- Attending and participating in relevant tourism seminars, meetings and keeping up to date with Irish tourism trends.
- Sharing best practice with fellow ISCF members.
- Keeping in contact with previous customers.
To list on LetsGoSelfCatering ISCF’s marketing website, all members must commit to one of the following two quality assurance schemes;
1. Failte Ireland Quality Assurance Scheme
The National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) aims to provide consumers with easily identifiable symbols and standards of service that they can trust. Working with you, Failte Ireland will ensure that those standards meet consumer expectations, help your marketing efforts, and support your product development.
***** EXCEPTIONAL, WORLD CLASS
*** VERY GOOD
Welcome Standard GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE
2. ISCF Quality Assurance Scheme – Committed to Quality Scheme CTQ
In January 2016 the ISCF adopted a new Charter, which extends the scope of our LetsGoSelfCatering marketing. This move reflects changes in the domestic and international marketplaces for self-catering ownership and marketing. The aim is to include more of our members in our marketing, and to enable more businesses to join the ISCF, to support the Federation and enjoy the benefits.
Aims of ISCF CTQ Scheme
- To ensure the quality of members’ properties and customer service.
- To encourage members to continue to develop and improve their business practices.
In order to achieve the CTQ status, members must comply with all of the following:
1. Participate in a recognised online review system providing independent feedback
- Review sites must be independent, and reviews must be submitted directly by guests. (Not comments received by the owner/manager, added to their own website themselves.)
- Reviews must be publicly available and either linked to or embedded in the member’s LetsGoSelfCatering property page. Examples of review sites include com, UpFront Reviews, Review Platform, Vivo review. Similar sites can be proposed at any time and are likely to be accepted if they meet the above criteria.
- All properties that are promoted via any LetsGoSelfCatering marketing channel are available for reviews on the chosen review site(s)
- Properties must have at least 3 reviews placed in the previous 12 months
2. Commitment to engage in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and stay up-to-date with visitor trends by demonstrating participation in some or all of the following:
- Attending local, national or online tourism events, such as the ISCF Annual Conference. A list of relevant events will be maintained in the members area of ISCF.ie
- Undertaking relevant training. The ISCF aims to provide several online training sessions throughout the year as well as listing other meetings and workshops and other training opportunities.
- Participating or networking with relevant local or national groups, for example local tourism groups, Chambers of Commerce.
- Maintaining a log of CPD and being able to demonstrate at least 4 hours of such activities per year.
In some cases the property manager would be the relevant person to undergo CPD. Remote owners can also participate in online training or webinars quite easily.
3. Members are required to sign an annual declaration confirming their Commitment to Quality.
- The annual declaration will require members to provide details of the review sites that they participate in as well as the CPD they have undertaken in the past 12 months.
4. Members are required to show proof of their Public Liability insurance.
The ISCF will be responsible for awarding and verifying CTQ status and will ensure annual declarations are received prior to renewal of membership. It will carry out a programme to audit a randomised selection of members every year, including:
- Checks to ensure that reviews are current and available for all properties
- CPD submitted is valid and relevant to the sector
The ISCF will provide support to help members qualify for the criteria. If a member is found not to have qualified, either at the time of the annual declaration or at any other time during the year, then they will have their CTQ status suspended or withdrawn and their properties will be suspended or removed from LetsGoSelfCatering marketing.
We have decided to pilot the CTQ scheme in the 2016/17 subscription year at no additional cost to members. During this year we will monitor and assess the ongoing costs of administering the CTQ scheme and we will report to the 2016 AGM. It will be for the full membership to decide on the way forward. As CTQ does not include property inspections, we anticipate that it will be possible to offer it sustainably at considerably lower cost than Failte Ireland and other such schemes.
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