The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) has unveiled plans to promote its Quality Assurance (QA) programme beyond members and direct to customers.

The QA programme will provide the serviced apartment sector with an official set of standards – similar to the star rating used by hotels.

Over the past year independent assessors have visited nearly all of ASAP member’s properties and provided each one with a standard. This means that from November all members who have achieved the ASAP QA accreditation will be able to display the approved ‘kitemark’ to its customers.

A list of the criteria that apartments are marked against to achieve the accreditation can be found here.

ASAP managing director James Foice said the organisation’s aim is to create an internationally recognised serviced apartment standard that answers the question “how do I know what I am buying?”

“Members recognise the importance of legal and statutory obligations, health and safety and that any property is accurately and appropriately marketed, and this provides a high-level of confidence for guests booking a serviced apartment,” said Foice.

Foice said that he had been in discussions with a number of agents wishing to support the accreditation scheme by only offering ASAP-accredited apartments to their clients.

“We encourage agents, and indeed all other channels in this fast-growing sector, who wish to work with quality assured ASAP operators to contact us, as our long term aim is to make ASAP QA the ‘kitemark’ for the wider serviced apartment sector in the UK and beyond,” Foice added.

The initiative was welcomed by SACO apartments managing director Stephen Hanton who said it’s important properties are assessed by external agencies.

“We know our operational standards are high, but we strongly believe in having this confirmed through external agencies to independently assess and confirm we are doing a great job,” said Hanton.

“We were quick to support the ASAP with their new initiative and will continue to take a proactive stance to promote the scheme with all our apartment partners on the SACO global network.’’

ASAP also said they will meet on October 15 to “discuss how to differentiate the different quality bandings within the scheme.

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