CAP Worldwide has invited experts and stakeholders from across the extended stay industry and accreditation bodies to debate how to standardise the sector. The first meeting of the Serviced Apartment Forum for Assessment and Accreditation (SAFFAA) will take place in January 2020 in London.
Jo Layton, director of CAP Worldwide, is calling for a “consistent global approach to accreditation for serviced apartments and corporate accommodation alternatives”, with the goal of suppliers and operators being able to “wear their accreditation and assessment badges with pride – helping agents and bookers to identify the safest, most secure and sustainable options”. The hashtag #WearTheBadgeSA will also form a part of the forum’s campaign.
Spaces have already been taken at the table by David Wood, chief executive and director of Global Secure Accreditation (GSA), which manages and maintains an independent global standard for hotel security; and Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism (QT) – an independent hospitality accreditation body, and the Primary Authority in the UK for Tourism, (a BEIS initiative approved by the Secretary of State). Primary Authority covers Environmental Health, Fire Safety and Trading Standards underpinning the Safe, Clean and Legal (SCL) QT scheme.
Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism, which assesses properties under SCL quality star rating schemes designed to recognise innovation and agency accreditation, said: “Over the last few years, industry standards have eroded for a number of reasons including the pure speed of innovation and industry growth alongside accreditation processes based on standards that are prescriptive and way out of date, a system that at best isn’t transparent and at worst represent a conflict of interest; unfortunately the guest is the one to suffer”.
Layton added: “As professionals in the extended stay market, agents are expected to provide access to ‘safe and secure, clean and legal’ accommodation every day, some of which have been externally accredited and some personally accredited by the internal supply management teams of the agents.
“At CAP, we’ve turned ‘being concerned’ about health, safety, security and environmental matters into ‘a commitment’ to ask the industry to come together and agnostically drive forward global external accreditation processes, whether through recognised associations, independent companies, city, national and regional tourist boards or government ministries. This will ensure the best outcome for the corporate buyers and end-users.”