From today all accommodation and food businesses in England can apply to the schemes directly through VisitEngland Assessment Services as well as through local destination management organisations.
VisitEngland has also refreshed the criteria for the Entry Level and Taste schemes, bringing them up-to-date with current legal requirements and simplifying the process of gaining accreditation.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:
“Opening up these accreditation schemes to all accommodation and food businesses across England from restaurants and pubs to B&Bs and caravan parks, will boost the tourism industry, and benefit the economy, as more customers are reassured by the official stamp of quality and safety that the schemes provide.”
The Entry Level scheme provides accreditation to any type of accommodation business from serviced to self-catering and guarantees compliance with legal obligations along with basic levels of cleanliness and safety. The scheme sits alongside VisitEngland’s star-rated accommodation quality schemes, providing a more basic accreditation at a lower price point, as well as the option to move up to a full star rating. Entry Level participants get benefits such as a certificate and logo.
The Taste scheme is open to any business offering food, including catering within other businesses, such as a cafe in a hotel or visitor attraction. The scheme assesses against statutory requirements, the physical dining experience, staff and food and drink. There are two levels of accreditation – a Taste Accolade, for those passing the criteria with a score of 60-79% and a Taste Gold Accolade, for those achieving a high pass of 80%+. There is also a Local Food Accolade, available to any business using and promoting local ingredients and suppliers, nominated by assessors. All direct Taste scheme participants will enjoy benefits such as a listing on the VisitEngland Assessment Services website, a VisitEngland logo and a certificate.
In areas where a local scheme is still in effect, for both Taste and Entry Level, the destination or other local organisation will have the opportunity to continue operating the scheme, with local badging instead of VisitEngland branding.
For more information about either scheme or to apply, contact VisitEngland Assessment Services directly on 01256 491111 or email VisitEnglandAssessmentServices@theAA.com.