Hospitality Assured Caribbean

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the process and how it can help your business

The first stage in becoming Hospitality Assured is to obtain a copy of the Technical Brief which gives a succinct summary of the programme. If you then wish to implement the Standard you will need to purchase the Introduction Pack. Further advice and help can be obtained from Hospitality Assured Advisors/Coaches who are approved by the CTO to undertake advisory work in respect of the Service Excellence Standard. They are independent of the CTO and will charge for their services at a rate approved by the CTO.

Assessors are chosen for their broad business background, and many specialize in working with organizations in the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Sector and Customer Service area. The quality of their work is managed by an independent Assessment Body. The independent Assessment Body will endeavor to allocate appropriate assessors to organizations. Organizations can request specific assessors, subject to assessor availability for re-assessments. The Assessment Body will attempt to meet these preferences. After 3 assessments it is advised that a new assessor is introduced to the organization to ensure assessment impartiality

The cost of the Introduction Pack is US$100.00. The assessment is charged at a national daily rate, but the size of your organization will dictate how many days an assessment may take. Once an organization chart has been received, an accurate costing for your assessment can be provided. All assessment costs are made clear to you before the assessment begins. Expenses incurred by the assessor are kept to a minimum. Advisors daily rates are available from the CTO and in certain circumstances funding might be available to businesses to access the services of an Advisor at a subsidized rate.

This depends very much on what kind of changes you need to make, and how quickly you can put them into practice. The flexible nature of the Standard means that it can be used by organizations of all types and sizes. It may be realistic to expect that an organization could achieve Hospitality Assured status within 6-12 months however this will vary depending on the changes needed with your organization. Some organizations have been ready for assessment in less time than this, others have taken in excess of 24 months.

Should you require further advice and support when working towards the Standard, approved Advisors can provide team workshops, and information to help you and your team to understand the requirements in the Standard and prepare for external assessment. Check with the CTO to find out about local Advisors operating in your country

Yes, if the assessor feels further work needs to be done to meet the minimum requirements they will give detailed feedback, which will help you make the necessary changes required to gain the accreditation. A follow up visit usually takes place within three months of the initial assessment to measure the changes that have taken place. Alternatively you maybe asked to send in addition documentation and records to demonstrate compliance to the criteria. Accreditation will not be awarded until the Organization has met the minimum requirements.

If your Organization has merged since achieving Hospitality Assured status please send us a new organization chart and your correct contact information. The scope/cost for assessment may need to change for your next assessment based upon the information we receive from you.

Once your Organization has achieved Hospitality Assured status you will receive a plaque and certificate. You can also purchase additional Hospitality Assured plaques and certificates and use our logo on your website, company literature and stationary. For further information please contact the CTO.

Only Organizations that have been recognized as Hospitality Assured can display the Hospitality Assured and Caribbean logos. If you have achieved the Hospitality Assured Standard and would like a copy of the logos, please contact the CTO.

As long as you are Hospitality Assured, you may broadcast this fact, provided the message is honest, legal and decent, through all your normal channels of communication including company stationery, sales literature, advertising (not forgetting staff recruitment) and website. The Hospitality Assured logo is in several versions according to the quality and format required by your suppliers.

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If the logo is printed in color, please adhere to color reference pantone green 357. The Caribbean logo is available according to the quality and format required by your suppliers.

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Your next assessment date will typically be two years from the anniversary date of your original assessment. The organization will receive a reminder approximately three months in advance of the due date for re-assessment, along with the assessment cost and then you will be contacted by the CTO to confirm whether the business wishes to proceed with re-assessment. If re-assessment is sanctioned, the Assessment Body will contact the organization to agree a convenient date of visit by the assessor or assessment team.

Yes, Hospitality Assured is the only recognized Standard in the Hospitality Industry and meets the requirements of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) business excellence model. Therefore good practices that you need to follow to become Hospitality Assured dovetail well with other quality standards, such as ISO 9000. Many Hospitality Assured organizations use the achievement of the Standard to apply and win a host of Tourism, Hospitality and Customer and Business awards.

Hospitality Assured is the quality standard created by the Institute of Hospitality, specifically for
customer facing businesses. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has been awarded a license
to operate Hospitality Assured Caribbean.

With Hospitality Assured Caribbean, your route to business and service excellence will follow world-class processes, customer service standards and employee engagement best practices. The quality standard was created to bring professionalism and quality into
the service economy and support organisations in implementing the best standards of business
practice and service to their customers.

We work predominantly with the Tourism, Hospitality and Travel sectors. Any hospitality, leisure, tourism,
travel or service-oriented organisation is eligible for Hospitality Assured certification, be they large or small,
single or multi-operational. The standard is applicable to any business that has a responsibility to deliver a
service to a third party whether the service is paid for or free at the point of delivery.

The aim is to improve processes, operational efficiency and colleague satisfaction, culminating in a wide range
of outcomes that can include higher profitability, process enhancements, cost savings, an improvement in
reputation, increased customer loyalty and improved customer feedback outcomes.

The nine steps of the Hospitality Assured process are:
• Market & Customer Research
• Customer Service Excellence and Organisational Culture
• Strategy & Leadership
• Managing your Operation
• Management and Optimisation of Resources
• Employee Engagement & Learning
• Evaluation of Performance
• Service Recovery
• Continuous Improvement

Organisations wishing to receive support during their Hospitality Assured journey can request the help of an independent, approved Hospitality Assured Business Advisor.

Hospitality Assured Business Advisors are trained to support the implementation of Hospitality Assured and carry out a range of support activities. They will help the organisation to recognize its own strengths and point out areas for improvement.

The Business Advisor can also help the organisation to complete the Self-Review Pack in preparation for external assessment.

An Assessor is assigned to your organisation to assess it against the 9 steps within the Hospitality Assured
Standard for Business and Service Excellence to ensure that it meets all the criteria and requirements for

The length of time it takes for your organisation to present itself for external assessment will depend on what is already in place in the organisation and what remains to be done. The flexible nature of the Standard means
that it can be used by organisations of all types and sizes.

Typically, it takes an organisation between 3-9 months
to be ready for external assessment. The exact timing can be determined by your organisation working in
consultation with the Business Advisor.

When your organisation is ready for external assessment, CTO will
make the necessary arrangements for the Assessor’s visit.

You will need to consider when it best suits the business to carry out the on-site assessment, which can take
between one and five days depending on the size of the business, the number of employees and units
undertaking the assessment.

Your organisation will be assessed against Hospitality Assured’s 9 steps. Initially, in collaboration with your 
approved Hospitality Assured Assessor, several employees and sites (where there are multi-site operations) 
will be selected for interview and a visit plan created. Before visits are made, you will complete and submit 
a Self-Review Pack and accompanying evidence. 

Assessment visits are conducted efficiently and unobtrusively without hindering business operations. Self-assessment, online tools, desktop reviews, site visits, observations, discussions with leaders and teams from 
all levels of the organisational chart are all utilised to gain a realistic picture of performance.  

A report outlining findings is then produced to highlight key strengths, areas for improvement, the scores for the 9 
steps and confirmation of the level of certification. Once minimum requirements are met, a 
recommendation is made to the Institute of Hospitality for certification with the Hospitality Assured 

Yes, if the Assessor feels further work needs to be done to meet the minimum requirements, detailed feedback
will be given that will help you make the necessary changes required to gain the certification. A follow up visit usually takes place within three months of the initial assessment to measure the changes that have taken place.

Alternatively, you may be asked to provide additional documentation and records to demonstrate compliance
to the criteria. Certification will not be awarded until the organisation has met the minimum requirements.

• Certification Status – awarded to organisations that achieve at least 50% in all 9 steps and an overall
score of 60% or above.
• Hospitality Assured Premier – awarded to high performing organisations that achieve 75% or above in
all of the steps.
• Hospitality Assured World Class – awarded to organisations that achieve 80% or above in all of the
steps, which confirms an exceptional commitment to quality and excellence.

After your main initial certification, you will be reassessed every two years towards recertification. You can request an Interim Review at the end of the first year and an approved Hospitality Assured Assessor would be provided to support this activity. Interim Reviews typically take a day and will be charged at the same day rate as a standard assessment. An Interim Review is not a mandatory requirement but is encouraged as it can assist your organisation in determining what improvements and results have been achieved during the first year of certification and what are left to be achieved in the final year, before the organisation’s next assessment. 

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) acts as a first point of contact for organisations and provides support
for all facets of the Hospitality Assured journey, which may involve introductory presentations on the
Hospitality Assured Standard, appointing approved Hospitality Assured Business Advisors and Assessors to
organisations, monitoring organisation progress and receiving applications for assessment.

Please note that every organisation is different, and our approach is based on us having a better understanding
of your organisation, which we undertake firstly through requesting that you complete and submit a Hospitality Assured Application Form.

The fees and the time frames will depend upon the information you provide on the
application form, including size and diversity of your business, number of staff as well as your approach to certification, including your need for a Hospitality Assured Business Advisor.