National Tourism Accreditation Framework

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Dec 13, 2013 (3 years and 3 months ago)

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1


National Tourism

Accreditation Framework

GUIDELINES FOR APPLI
CANTS

VERSION
2
.0

Australian Tourism

Accreditation
, Rating and Certification

Program
s
,

and
Large Tourism Organisations

















2



MESSAGE FROM THE TQCA CHAIR

Australia needs to meet and exceed the expectations that domestic and international tourism marketing
creates, by delivering on quality tourism experiences. The National Tourism Accreditation Framework
(NTAF)
,
marketed as T
-
QUAL Accreditation,
provides an opportunity to enhance recognition of, and ensure
greater consumer confidence in, Australia’s diverse range of quality tourism products and services.

Sustainable and capable tourism businesses that are members
of T
-
QUAL endorsed accreditation

pro
grams or Large Tourism O
rganisations recognised by the NTAF, will be able to display the T
-
QUAL
Tick. This will enable consumers to quickly recognise, engage with, and have continued confidence in

T
-
QUAL branded produc
ts and services.

T
-
QUAL Accreditation

will raise standards in quality across all types of tourism businesses in Australia by
connecting the consumer with quality products and experiences that continually meet their expectations.
This is vital to the streng
th and long
-
term sustainability of the industry.

As the Chair of the Tourism Quality Council of Australia, I encourage all
P
rograms
and
Large Tourism
Organisations

that are committed to raising quality in the tourism industry to apply to be part of this

much
anticipated initiative.





Simon Currant

Chair, TQCA







3

HOW TO USE THESE GUIDELINES

If you are a
n Australian organisation that operates in a tourism or tourism
related industry and either runs an
accreditation
P
rogram
,

or
applies a Quality S
tandard

t
o its national
operations, and you
wish to apply for a licence

agree
ment

under the National Tourism Accreditation
Framework, these guidelines will help you determine your eligibility and explain the process.

It is pursuant
to the li
cence

that you are able to use the
T
-
QUAL Tick
.

You can contact the
TQCA

Secretariat in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism for further
information, via email at: ntaf@ret.gov.au

COMMON TERMS

Term

Explanation

Assessment Criteria

P
rinciples that
applicants

must ensure are addressed in the assessment
processes

for their Program or Quality Standard

Brand

The name, usually protected by a trade mark, attached to a
type of product ma
n-
ufactured by a particular company

Business Unit

An internal
element

or
segment

of a
n organisation or
company

representing a
specific
business function
. Also called
department
,
division
, or a
functional area

Franchisee

A
n individual who purchases
a franchise, the franchise bei
ng permission granted
by a business owner (the franchisor) to another person (the Franchisee) to ma
r-
ket the franchisor’s goods or services, along with

rights to use
the franchisor’s

trademarked name and business model to do business. The
F
ranchisee must
fo
llow certain rules and guidelines already established by the franchisor, and in
most cases the
F
ranchisee must pay an ongoing franchise royalty fee to the
franchis
or

Large Tourism
Organisation

An organisat
ion that operates nationally (
in
at least

3 Australian States or
Territories), in a tourism or to
urism related industry, that has a Q
uality
S
tandard
in place

that
is

applied to its
operations,
Business Units
and
,

where present,
extended to its
Related Business Entities

Licensee

An organisation granted a licence by the TQCA to use the
T
-
QUAL Tick


NTAF

National Tourism Accreditation Framework

NTAF Licence

A licence issued by the TQCA to use the
T
-
QUAL Tick

NTAF Annual
Statement

The NTAF

Annual Statement requires the information described in Schedule 3 of
the Master Licence, including information such as complaints handling, results of
any program or quality standard reviews an
d adherence to codes of conduct






4

NTAF Assessment
Criteria

The criteria outlined

in Section 12 of this document

Operator

A
n organisation
, individual or company

which is a member of a Program

Program

A scheme or program that accredits, rates or otherwise certifies the quality of
businesses or individuals
operating in a tourism or tourism related industry

in
Australia

Quality
S
tandard

Q
uality standards
, p
rocedures

or systems

that are
put in place by a
Large
Tou
r
ism Organisation

or an indus
try certifying body that ensure

the
Organisa
tion,
its

operations,

Business Units and
Related Business Entities,

meet the NTAF
assessment criteria (tourism, ongoing financial viability, governance and
administration, quality, assessment processes and verification) and
may
include
,
but is not limited to, ISO 9001:2008 cer
tification

Related Business
Entities

Franchisees
,

Subsidiaries
and related entities as defined in section 9 of the
Corporations Act 2001


RET

Commonwealth Department of Resources
,

Energy and Tourism

Statutory
Declaration

A statement
executed in accordance with the
Statutory Declarations Act 1959

which is
declared to be true in the presence of an authorised witness
qualified
according to the
list at Attachment A

of the Application Form

Subsidiar
y

A c
ompan
y

controlled by a holding or
parent company. Companies often
conduct their business operations through a corporate group structure consisting
of one or more wholly
-
owned subsidiaries.


Under this arrangement, the financial
condition of the parent company and its wholly owned subsidia
ries are reported
together in consolidated financial statements.


Despite this form of financial
reporting, a parent company is not obligated to pay creditors of the subsidiary in
the event of delay
in payment
or default by t
he subsidiary

TA

Tourism
Australia

TQCA

Tourism Quality Council of Australia

T
-
QUAL
Accreditation

Term used to describe the accreditation given to

a

Program or Large Tourism
Organisation

s

Quality Standard that has
qualified

to operate
under the NTAF




5

T
-
QUAL Tick

Also known as the
T
-
QUAL Mark, it is a

Certification
T
rade
M
ark which Tourism
Australia, on behalf of the Commonwealth, promote
s

and monitor
s



ABOUT
T
-
QUAL ACCREDITATION


1. WHAT IS
T
-
QUAL ACCREDITATION
?

T
-
QUAL Accreditation
,

also known as t
he National
Tourism Accreditation Framework (
NTAF
)
,

is a
nationally agreed approach by the tourism industry and governments that aims to ensure a quality
customer experience across the tourism

industry. It do
es

this

by:



Promoting and marketing the quality message to c
ustomers



Licensing

eligible

Australian organisations that operate in a tourism or tourism related
industry and either run
a

quality
P
rogram
,

or
apply

a Quality Standard

to their national
operations



Providing a framework for promoting and recognising

quality Australian tourism services



Demonstrating that Australia takes tourism seriously and is committed to

continuous
improvement



Bringing together diverse stakeholders from across a wide range of industry sectors



Providing a forum for discussion about
what quality means and how it can be achieved

As part of the commitment by the Australian Government to the NTAF, RET provides administrative and
policy
support. TA carries out the marketing program.

2.
T
-
QUAL ACCREDITATION

PRINCIPLES

T
-
QUAL Accreditation

will be:



Promoted and explained

nationally and internationally

to consumers



Accessible
to all tourism businesses, particularly small businesses



Highly visible
to consumers through
national and international
marketing



Credible
with a high level of integrity and
rigorous
standards to ensure consumer
confidence



Inclusive
of all types of qualified tourism related programs
and
l
arge

o
rganisations



Sustainable
and

flexible

enough to respond to the changing business environment



Improv
ed continuously

to raise standards in quality

3. WHAT ARE THE BENE
FITS OF
T
-
QUAL

ACCREDITATION?



International and national marketing by
TA

and State and Territory Tourism Organisations



Association with
the

nationally and internationally recognised
T
-
QUAL

Tick



A
ccess to a

sustainable market where consumers can be confident about the product on offer



Accreditation g
ives all Australians and international visitors a recognisable symbol of quality
and comfort that their expectations for a great value
-
for
-
money
tourism experience will be met



Preferential listing on parts of the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

(ATDW)

product

distribution network

for
O
perators

or Organisations that are

part of the ATDW




6



Access to a national
C
ustomer
F
eedback
M
anagement
S
ystem


4.

HOW CAN WE BE ASSURE
D THAT WE ARE JOININ
G A HIGH QUALITY PRO
GRAM?

T
-
QUAL Accreditation

achieves consistent quality through applying rigorous assessment criteria that have
been developed to cover a range of tourism accreditation
and quality
standards.
Applicants

are assessed
on criteria under the following categories: tourism, ongoing financial viability, governance and
administration, quality, assessment processes and verification.

5.
T
-
QUAL

CUSTOMER COMMITMENT

The
T
-
QUAL

customer commitment is to “
d
el
iver on the quality promise”.

Organisations

with a licence to use the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick

will have to
agree to a commitment

that

they, and

the
O
perators
,
or Related Business Entities
that they allow to carry the
T
ick

will adhere to this philosophy.

6. WHO
OVERSEE
S

T
-
QUAL ACCREDITATION
?

The Tourism Quality Council of Australia (TQCA) sets overall policy for
T
-
QUAL Accreditation

under the
direction of the Australian Government Minister for Tourism, and

State and Territory
Tourism Ministers.
Appointed by the Minister for Tourism, the TQCA is an independent body with strong industry membership.
The TQCA meets periodically to consider applications for
L
icence
s

to use the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick
.

The TQCA is
supported by RET and TA.

You ca
n find out more about the TQCA in the Governance Handbook on the RET website.

7. WHAT IS A LICENCE

AGREEMENT
?

T
-
QUAL
Accreditation

offers

Australian tourism organisations

the opportunity to apply for a licence to co
-
brand with
the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick

provided
that

they
:



Run a Program

that rate
s

or accredit
s

O
perators
;
or



Operate nationally and

apply
a Quality S
tandard to their operations,

Business Units and Related

Tourism Entities.

A successful applicant may be granted a
Master Licence

by the TQCA. The licence

al
low
s the

use
of
the
T
-
QUAL
Tick
administered by RET

on behalf of the
Australian Government

by:



A Program and its a
ccredited
individual tourism Operators



A
Large Tourism Organisation and its
operations, Business Units and
Related Business Entities
,
including
B
rands,
S
ubsidiaries
, Related Business Entities

and
F
ranchisees

that have the Quality
Standard applied to them
.

A licence to use th
e T
-
QUAL
Tick

means the
licensee

has the authority to allow
O
perators

or Related
Business Entities

(a third party
) that meet
the

Program’s assessment criteria or the Organisation’s Q
uality
S
tandards to display the
T
-
QUAL Tick
.


T
-
QUAL Accredited

P
rograms
and Large Tourism Organisations
who are accredited nevertheless
continue
to operate independently.

8. IS OUR
ORGANISATION

ELIGIBLE FOR A LICEN
CE?

Please check your Program or Large Tourism Organisation’s
Q
uality
S
tandards against the
assessment
criteria in Section 12 below
,
as t
he TQCA will assess all applicants against the
se
criteria.




7

9. IS THERE A LICENC
E FEE?

Initially an administration licence fee of $1500, including GST, will be
payable annually over a two year licence

by the Program or Large Tourism Organisation.

T
he TQCA

envisages

that
in the foreseeable future
,

a small fee per
O
perator
, Business Unit or R
elated
Business Entit
y

may

be charged to help fund future marketing campaigns.




8

APPLYING FOR A
N

NTAF

LICENCE

10. WHO CAN APPLY?

A
n organisation that operates
in a tourism or tourism related industry

in Australia and either:



Runs

a
scheme or program that accredits, rates or otherwise certifies the quality of
businesses or individuals



O
perates nationally

and
applies a Quality Standard to its operations
, Business Units and
Related Business Entities
, including brands, subsidiaries and
franchisees

Note: Individual tourism operators
not accredited under a Program
,

or Large Tourism Organisations without
an
eligible

Q
uality
S
tandard in
place
,

may not apply directly for a
NTAF

Licence
. I
nstead
these o
perators

and organi
s
ations

must
successfully apply to a State
,
Territory or industry program to achieve accreditation. If that
P
rogram has or obtains a
licence to use the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick
, the individual

accredited

O
perator can then also use the
T
-
QUAL
T
ick

once it has
entered into a sub
-
licen
ce with that Program
.

11. HOW DO
ORGANISATIONS
APPLY?

You can download the Application Form from the RET website. The form will step you through the
application process. It includes contact details if you have any questions.

12. WHAT ARE THE CRI
TERIA
APPLICANTS

WILL BE ASSESSED AGA
INST?

You will need to send copies of the supporting documents with your application as outlined in the
Assessment Criteria table below. You will also need to provide a statutory declaration indicating that the
documents prov
ided are true and accurate copies of the originals. This statutory declaration must be signed
and witnessed by a person listed in the application form. The shaded criteria are requirements for your
Operators
, operations, Business Units

or Related Business
Entities

that you wish to use the T
-
QUAL Tick
.

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Tourism


1.
Operate a Program

or

apply a Quality Standard

in a tourism or tourism
related industry recognised and approved by the TQCA (see Attachment
A of this document)

2.
Provide

a

clear description of the scope of products/services the
a
pplicant

accredits, or industry sector the
a
pplicant
operates in

3.
Prov
ide detail
s

of the
a
pplicant
’s

business
/
company

registration and
ABN
/ACN

details



Organisation

remains in the same
tourism or tourism related industry
recognised and approved by the
TQCA




9

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of current membership certificate or other document demonstrating operation within a relevant in
d
ustry




Copy of Constitution, Rules or Memorandum
and Articles
of Association
, or Articles


(
whichever is applicable
)






Copy of Australian Business Number Registration
/Australian Company Number Registration

where
relevant



Ongoing Financial Viability

4.
Demonstrate the
applicant
’s
ongoing financial viability, either:

a.
with a track record of at least 12 months operation; or

b.
as a start up Program

or Large Tourism Organisation
with
demonstrated linkages to the tourism industry and be able to
support your business
operations over the longer term



Continued financial viability i.e.
not insolvent, in liquidation or
bankrupt


Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Evidence of the length of time the

applicant

has been operating and its financial viability


For example
,
a letter from an accountant confirming financial viability is the preferred method,

however, this could also include certified financial statements



Copy of Business Plan for start up

a
pplicants



Details of senior positions


For example; this could include details regarding a Chair, Director/s, or Board members

Governance and administration

5.
Demonstrate
that
the
a
pplicant

has appropriate governance and
administrative structures and processes covering:

a.

record keeping

b.

control of the use of the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick

c.

assessment of general compliance, appeals processes and
disciplinary actions (that provide for natural justice)

d.

protection of confidentiality

e.

protection against anti competitive behavior

f.

conflicts of interest

g.

protection of personal information in accordance with

privacy laws



Verification process shows
appropriate governance and
administrative structure and
processe
s in all areas



Agrees to control the use of the
T
-
QUAL
T
ick in the application



Evidence that any previous
recommendations or requests for
improvement by the TQCA have
been met






10

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached
/Completed



Copy of policies, procedures, registers (e.g. conflict of interest register, confidentiality

declarations)



Question 5 b
) on the
a
pplication form

is
completed



6.
Agree to take required actions to ensure that

the
a
pplicant’s
information is
kept current on the NTAF Database

including
:



a
.
the Program’s accreditation status
for

all Operators
; or


b
. the Large Tourism Organisation’s

accreditation
status for

all
operations, Business Units or

Related Business Entities



The
Licensee’s

information
,
including

on all Operators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities
,

is
current with the NTAF Database
when verified (random checks)
against the membership list of all
Operators in the Program
,
operations, Busin
ess Units or
Related Business Entities
using
the T
-
QUAL Tick


Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

C
omplete



NTAF Application Form question 6 complete


7.
Agree to, and be capable of reporting against
,

the

Key Performance
Indicators



Reporting against Key
Performance Indicators included
in the NTAF Annual Statement

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Complete



NTAF
Application Form question 7 complete

Quality


8.
Have a complaints handling policy:

a.
including resolution facilitation; and

b.
reporting on numbers and outcomes (see sections 28
-
31 of the
Guidelines for Applicants)



Complaints handling policy and
processes readily available to all
via the
Licensee’
s
website



Changes to policy and processes
notified to TQCA as required from







11

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

time to time



Provide annual statistical
information summarising
complaints about the Program
and
its

Operators
, or the Large
Tourism

Organisation
, including
operations, Business Units or
Related Business E
ntities,

and
how they were resolved as part of
NTAF Annual Statement

Supporting documentation to be sent with the application and available for
review:

Att
ached




Copy of
a
pplicant’s
c
omplaints handling policy and procedures



9.
Have policies regarding continuous improvement and review, including a
mechanism for regular reviews and moderation/benchmarking



Results of reviews which
demonstrate
continuous
improvement and review
activiti
es provided as part of the
NTAF

Annual Statement

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of relevant
policy/ies


10.

Have

an e
stablish
ed

Code of Conduct which:

a)

ensures that accredited Operators
, operations, Business Units

or

Related Business Entities

formally agree to conduct themselves in
a way that protects the quality and enhances the reputation of the
Australian tourism industry

b)

reflec
ts the sector the
a
pplicant

represents or operates in

c)

has a commitment to the delivery of quality products


and services

d)

promotes a commitment to providing accurate information in
dealing with consumers and business partners, particularly with
advertising
material

e)

requires
Operators or Related Business Entities

to establish a
complaints handling procedure



Code of Conduct
continues to
m
e
ets the requirements
specified in

the criteria



Provide annual statistical
information on compliance with
the Code of
Conduct as part of
the NTAF Annual Statement






12

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of the Code of Conduct


Or

A
s a Large Tourism Organisation, have
an
established and
monitored

Q
uality
Standard

in place that meet
s

the NTAF criteria
that

appl
ies

to all

operations,

Business Units and

Related
Business Entities, including brands,
subsidiaries,

and
franchisees

that
would
use the T
-
QUAL Tick




Applies a Quality Standard

that
meet
s

the NTAF Assessment
Criteria



Provide annual statistical
info
rmation on compliance with
the Quality S
tandard

as part of
the NTAF Annual Statement.

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Atta
ched



Copy of the
Quality

S
tandards


Assessment Process

11.
Employ robust and defensible assessment processes which ensure that
quality principles/criteria are being met by participating Operators
,
operations,
Busin
ess Units, or Related Business E
ntities



Assessment processes are
documented, robust

and defensible

12.
Provide details of the
a
pplicant’s
assessment process and the method
used to ensure consistency and impartiality



Details of assessment process
and methodology published or
made available to O
perators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Atta
ched



Copy of Assessment policy or procedures


13.
Demonstrate that your Program

or
Q
uality
S
tandard

includes criteria
designed to ensure that all Operators
, operations,
Business Units or

Relate
d

Business Entities
, operating under the Program or Quality
Standard
:



Program a
ssessment
criteria

or
Quality Standard

that ensures the
ability to deliver a positive
customer experience and






13

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

a.

are able to ensure a positive customer experience particularly in:
levels of service; provis
ion of the product to the market; and
presentation of facilities; and

b.

are well managed, sustainable, have a complaints handling
process and dispute management system; are committed to
continuous improvement and the promotion of the NTAF

supports best practice
management, sustainability,
continuous improvement and
delivery on the customer quality
promise.

Supporting documentation to be sent

with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of Program Assessment Criteria

or Quality S
tandard




Copy of Assessment Policy and Procedures




Copy of Pro
-
forma Application Form
where relevant




Copy of Terms and Conditions for member participation
or
equivalent


14.
Show evidence that
your Program or Quality Standard

requires all
Operators
, operations, Business Units or

Related Business Entities

operating under the Program or Quality Standard

to

provide
:

a.

evidence of Business Registration and ABN

or ACN

details (where applicable)

b.

a description of the product or service offering



Membership list of all Operators

operations, Business Units or

Related Business Entities
,
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard,

is provided
quarterly and is correct as verified
(random checks)

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of up to date full membership list
or list of

operations, Business Units or

R
elated Business Entities


15.
Demonstrate that
your organisation requires
all Operators
, operations,
Business Units or Related Business Entities operating under the
Program or Quality
Standard, to

comply with applicable legal and
regulatory obligations including Compliance with all

Australia Consumer
Law
, consumer affairs and Occupation Health and Safety obligations



A signed declaration as part of
the NTAF Annual Statement is
provided to the Common
wealth



Exception report showing non
-
compliance and actions taken as
part of the NTAF Annual
Statement




14

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Evidence showing Operators
, operations, Business Units or
Related Business

Entities operating under
the Program or Quality Standard,

are required to comply with applicable legal and regulatory obligations




Evidence of how your

organisation

audits compliance with these requirements


16. Demonstrate that all
Operators
, operations, Business Units or Related
Business Entities operating under the Program or Quality Standard

are
required to agree to adhere to the Programs Code of Conduct
, Quality
Standard

or specified standard of practice



A signed declaration as
part of
the NTAF Annual Statement

17.
Demonstrate that all Operators
, operations, Business Units or Related
Business Entities operating under the Program or Quality Standard

are
required to hold all relevant licences



Report on number of Operators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities,
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard,

not complying
and actions taken as part of the
NTAF Annual Statement

18.
Demonstrate that it confirms all Operators
, operations, Business Units or
Re
lated Business Entities operating under the Program or Quality
Standard

hold all relevant insurances; includin
g public liability and
workers
compensation insurance

where applicable by law



Report on number of Operators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related

Business Entities,
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard,

not complying
and actions taken as part of the
NTAF Annual Statement

19.
Demonstrate that all Operators
, operations, Business Units or Related
Business Entities operating under the Progr
am or Quality Standard:


a.

Have customer service policies and procedures in place and have in
place a program to ensure that these are adhered to

b.

Have customer feedback and complaints policies

and procedures



Report on the number and % of
overall complaints
received and
handled as part of the NTAF
Annual Statement




15

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Customer feedback and complaints policies and procedures



Evidence showing Operators
, operations, Business

Units or Related Business Entities operating under the
Program or Quality Standard,

are required

to comply with codes of conduct and applicable legal and
regulatory

obligations



Evidence of how your
organisation
audits compliance with these requirements an
d policies for

enforcement of code compliance


20.
Demonstrate that it encourages all Operators
, operations, Business
Units or Related Business Entities operating under the Program or
Quality Standard

it accredits, certifies or rates to operate their
bus
inesses on an environmentally sound basis



A statement on any init
iatives
undertaken to

encourage

O
perators
, operations,
Business Units or Related
Business Entities operating under
the Program or Quality Standard,
to operate on an environmentally
sound
basis is provided as part of
the NTAF Annual Statement.

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Atta
ched



Evidence of encouragement

Verification

21.

Conduct rigorous assessment of participating Operators
, operations,
Business Units or Related Business Entities operating under the
Program or Quality Standard,
against the
Program’s

criteria
or the
Quality Standard
at the place where the experience is delivered:

a.

at least every two years

b.

more frequently and
as soon as practical where complaint statistics
indicate a potential quality problem

c.

using inspectors who are professional, appropriately trained and
qualified

d.

keep records of site inspections



Records kept on all site
inspections of Operators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard,
conducted



A signed declaration that all site
inspections were conducted in
accordance with the

Program’s

criteria

or the Large Tourism
Organisation’s

Quality Standard

as part of the NTAF Annual
Statement






16

To be eligible for a
n

NTAF

Licence, the
a
pplicant

must:

Key Performance indicators
(KPIs) used to determine if the

Licensee

is
meeting the criteria

Supporting documentation to be sent with application and available for review:

Attached



Copy of verification policy and procedures and sample
report


Exemptions

22. Exemptions may be granted
at the sole discretion of the TQCA

where it is deemed that
the applicant
meets
the
criterion

in another, but
equally

or more
effective way.


13. WHERE DO I SEND
THE COMPLETED APPLIC
ATION?

Once you have completed the form, please return
two copies of it
and any

supporting documentation to the
TQCA at:

TQCA Secretariat

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

GPO Box 1564

CANBERRA ACT 2601

If you have any questions please contact the TQCA secretariat via email at ntaf@ret.gov.au

14. WHO ASSESSES OUR

APP
LICATION AND WHEN?

The TQCA uses experienced, independent assessors who work to detailed guidelines when considering
applications for licensing of the
T
-
QUAL

Tick
.

Based on the assessor’s report, the TQCA considers the assessment report and makes one of
the
following decisions on the application:



Accepts it as it stands



Accepts it with conditions



Postpones a decision pending receipt of further information



Rejects the application with reasons given.

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as custo
dian of the
T
-
QUAL

Tick
, licenses the use of
the
Tick

by applicants approved by the TQCA.






17

15. WHAT IS THE ASSE
SSMENT PROCESS?

NTAF

Licence Application: assessment flowchart
































Y

Application received by
TQCA

Secretariat


N

N

Y

Y

N

Application allocated to
independent assessor


Assessor review
s

application


Assessor submits
recommendation to
TQCA


TQCA writes to applicant
re
garding

decision


Does
TQCA
accept

recommendation
?


Enough information?


Is application
complete?


Secretariat contacts
applicant for additional
information


Assessor contacts
applicant for further
information


TQCA discusses with
assessor




18

16. CAN WE CHECK ON
PROGRESS WITH OUR AP
PLICATION?

The TQCA Secretariat in RET will acknowledge receipt of your
application and advise on progress in a timely manner.

17. WHAT IF WE RECEI
VE AN ADVERSE DECISI
ON?

Where the TQCA makes an adverse decision, it will provide written reasons for the decision to

the applicant.

The a
pplicant may apply to the TQCA S
ecretariat for a review of the decision and may provide written
material for the TQCA to take into account.

A

review will be conducted and once the TQCA has made a decision agreeing with or varying the original
decision, the TQCA will provide written reasons for the decision to the applicant.

An applicant may complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman about an advers
e decision of the

review committee.

Judicial review under section 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 is available where an applicant considers there
to have been an error of law in the TQCA’s handling of an application.

18.WHAT DOES THE LIC
ENCE DO?

The TQCA ma
kes decisions on the eligibility for licensing
organisations operating an
accreditation P
rogram

or
Large Tourism Organiations with an

acceptable Quality Standard
. The TQCA communicates these
decisions to RET, which licences
the
a
pplicant

to grant or use th
e
T
-
QUAL

Tick

in relation to that
accreditation Program or Quality Standard
.

19. WHAT IS THE TERM

OF THE LICENCE?

The initial term of the licence is up to 2 years.

20. WHAT DOES THE LI
CENCE COVER?

The licence agreement covers all aspects of the licence

including: conditions for use, obligations, liabilities,
payments, record keeping, Trade Mark protection and termination.

We strongly suggest you have your legal advisers review the licence agreement before you go to the
trouble of applying to be sure you

will be happy signing it.

21. APPLICATION CHEC
KLIST



Do we meet the criteria requirements for a licence?



Have we completed every part of the application form?



Do we have all the required supporting documentation?







19

KEEPING OUR
NTAF

LICENCE

22. WILL OUR LI
CENCE BE RENEWED?

The TQCA will consider renewing your licence at the end of each two year term. You will receive a letter 3
months before your licence expires explaining the renewal process. You will need to continue to
demonstrate that your organisation

meets the NTAF assessment criteria at that point in time.

Ongoing monitoring of licensees involves:



annual reporting by licensees against Key Performance Indicators



site inspections and/or audit of
licensee

at least every 2 years by qualified TQCA
inspectors as appropriate



Tourism Australia monitoring of the use of the
T
-
QUAL

T
ick
.

23. WHO DO WE NEED T
O REPORT TO ON OUR P
ROGRAM ACTIVITIES?

You need to report to RET which acts as
S
ecretariat for the TQCA as follows:

Reporting requirement

Method of re
porting

Frequency

Number of
O
perators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard

To be provided to
TQCA S
ecretariat

Quarterly

D
etails of accredited
O
perators
,
operations, Business Units or
Related Business Entities
operating under the Program or
Quality Standard

To be updated on the NTAF
Database

Monthly

Report against KPIs at

Section 12

NTAF Annual Statement to TQCA
(form to be provided)

Annually on
anniversary

of licence

24. CAN WE
EXPECT THE TQCA TO C
ARRY OUT SITE INSPEC
TIONS?

Yes, the TQCA inspectors may inspect licensed
o
rganisation

s

operations

at least once every two years.
These inspections may be more regular if the TQCA considers the program

or Large Tourism Organisation

to h
ave a high risk profile.

25. WHO MONITORS OUR

USE OF THE
T
-
QUAL

TICK
?

Tourism Australia monitors your compliance with the use of the
T
-
QUAL

Tick

and the NTAF Visual Identity
Guidelines
for

the use of the
Tick

on behalf of the
Australian Government




20

26. CAN
THE TQCA REVOKE OUR
LICENCE?

The TQCA may revoke your licence if:



you breach the terms of the NTAF Master Licence and/or;



you breach the terms governing the use of the
T
-
QUAL

Tick
.

27. HOW DO WE MAKE A

COMPLAINT?

If you have a complaint about a TQCA de
cisi
on please contact the TQCA S
ecretariat: ntaf@ret.gov.au

28. WHAT IF SOMEONE
MAKES A COMPLAINT AB
OUT OUR ACCREDITATIO
N PROGRAM
, QUALITY
STANDARD
OR ONE OF OUR OPERAT
ORS
, OPERATIONS, BUSINE
SS UNITS

OR RELATED
BUSINESS ENTITIES
?

You must have an internal comp
laint handling policy and process
in order
to be licensed. You must clearly
advertise it in your literature and on your website. This is the first port of call for anyone wishing to
complain.

29. WHAT SHOULD OUR
COMPLAINTS HANDLING
POLICY AND PROCESS C
OVE
R?

Your organisation should clearly outline the relevant procedures and process that will be undertaken when
a complaint is received. Your policy and processes should fairly balance the interests of businesses and
consumers.

Where complaints are found to b
e genuine, your organisation must ensure that it take steps to remedy the
situation by reasonably satisfying the complainant and by ensuring that the situation from which the
complaint arose is avoided in the future.

Licensees should submit their complaint
s handling policy and processes to the TQCA within one month of
any major amendments.

30. WHAT IS THE ROLE

OF TQCA IN COMPLAINT
S HANDLING?

A higher number of complaints may indicate a

l
icensee’s

quality
standards

or
procedures are no longer
meeting the
NTAF standards. It is the TQCA’s role to monitor quality issues under the NTAF.

If the TQCA receives an unusually high number of complaints or a complaint of a very serious nature about
a licensee, the TQCA may review the conduct of the licensee against th
e NTAF assessment criteria.
Depending on the outcome of that review, the TQCA may ask your organisation to undertake certain
actions or use its power to revoke the licence.

31. WHAT IS THE PROC
ESS FOR RESOLVING CO
MPLAINTS RECEIVED BY

THE TQCA?

RET will f
orward complaints to the relevant licensee and let the complainant know of the action taken.

Where a complaint is about a
n

Operator

or organi
s
ation

that is recognised by more than one
l
icensee
, RET
will refer the complaint to all relevant licensees.

The T
QCA will require
l
icensees

to report on the outcomes of referred complaints.

32. HOW DO WE UPDATE

OUR INFORMATION?

If business or contact details change please email the new details to ntaf@ret.gov.au
.

You should also
keep the TQCA Secretariat advised of a
ny major changes to your
P
rogram

or Quality Standards
.




21



CANCELLING YOUR LICENCE

33. CAN WE CANCEL OU
R LICENCE?

You may cancel your licence at any time by providing 30 days written notice. There will be no refund of the
annual licence fee.




22

ATTACHMENT A

T
ourism Related Industries

Travel agency
,
tour operator

and tourist bureau

services

Retail

Taxi and other road passenger transport

Rail transport

Air and water transport

Motor vehicle hiring

Equipment hiring

Accommodation

Tour guiding

Cafes, restaurants an
d takeaway food outlets

Food and beverage manufacturing

Clubs, pubs, taverns and bars

Casinos and other gambling services

Libraries, museums and arts

Other entertainment services

Sport and other recreation services

Meetings and events planning