In Northern Ireland, all tourist accommodation must be certified by Tourism NI to ensure minimum standards of service and quality are met. For more information, see tourist accommodation certification.
Whilst accommodation providers must have a Tourism NI certificate, the Tourist Accommodation Quality Grading Scheme is voluntary.
The scheme uses a five-star rating system and is designed to give visitors a clear idea of the standards they can expect for:
For details on what each star rating means, see Tourism Quality Grading Scheme and five-star rating system.
To recieve your star rating you must meet nationally recognised standards of customer care and quality.
The assessment criteria will be different for different types of accommodation. Entry requirements for hostels will vary greatly from entry requirements for B&Bs and hotels.
Your star rating will depend on the quality scores you receive in your Quality Grading Assessment. The assessment will be carried out by the Tourism NI Quality Assessors. You will be award a rating between one to five stars.
The assessment will focus on the quality of your premises and the visitor experience you provide. It will be carried out once a year. The assessment is separate from the statutory certification inspection.
For serviced accommodation premises there will be an initial mystery overnight stay. The assessor will not tell you they are an assessor. You will fins this out the next morning when the assessor will take you through the assessment process and criteria.
The assessor will give you their notes and advice on possible improvement during the initial consultation. An assessment report and a Quality Grading Certificate and plaque will follow by post within 15 working days.
When you apply to be assessed under the Quality Grading Scheme, you will incur an assessment fee appropriate to your accommodation category.