Safe, Clean & Legal at Higher Wiscombe, Devon

Quality in Tourism recently completed a Safe, Clean and Legal accreditation at the self-catering cottages of Higher Wiscombe, owned by Alistair Handyside, Chairman of PASC, the Professional Association of Self-Caterers and a Tourism Alliance Board member.  The cottages sleep 32 guests and despite already being accessible, the main building is about to undertake a major upgrade to further support disabled access.

Alistair and Lorna are fastidious about legal compliance, rating guest safety as their biggest focus.  When asked about his experience of working with Quality in Tourism, Alistair said “It was refreshingly easy to work with Quality in Tourism to attain their ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’ marque. We would recommend that all accommodation providers apply to join this scheme, it’s also a wakeup call to make sure we are legally compliant.”

Quality in Tourism had supplied the owner with a list of documents required to check well ahead of his visit, ensuring the accreditation visit is as efficient as possible for both parties.  All documents were provided and proved to be up to date.

The visit raised some excellent examples of Best Practice that deserved to be shared: 

  • Insurance: The current public liability of £5m is being raised to £10m for an extra £120 investment, doubling the protection for both the owner and the consumer. The property also provides Employers Liability, as required by law, despite only employing a small number of staff.
  • Fire Safety: As well as producing the necessary Fire Safety assessment, reviewed on an annual basis, a best practice change ensured that Fire Blankets were moved to a height reachable by wheelchair users, having previously been only available to standing adults.
  • Drawn Water: Well water drawn for the property is cleaned by a UV filter with back up.  Regular testing is undertaken and recorded.  A full concrete cap was recently placed over the bore hole to ensure no contamination from grazing sheep was possible, even though the water is subsequently cleansed.
  • Swimming Pool: Records are kept of twice weekly testing to ensure that visiting guests cannot demand recompense against sickness thought to be caused by swimming pool water.
  • GDPR and PCI: A written policy for both GDPR and PCI ensures that guests personal or credit card details are not compromised in any way.
  • Biomass Boilers and Back Up generators: An efficient biomass boiler providers heat and hot water to all of the cottages, but back up oil boilers are available should there be any issues. Regular maintenance and records are kept for all of the boilers.  Chimneys and wood-burner flues are also cleaned annually and recorded.
  • Linked Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: all were evident and checked regularly.  Batteries are ALL changed on a regular basis before they expire and checked to be operational.
  • Electrical Updates: A ring mains test was also recently undertaken at a cost of £1,200 to ensure legal compliance and required every 5 years.

More information on our Safe, Clean & Legal marque can be found here, or alternatively please call one of the team on 0845 300 6996 with any specific questions.  We’d be more than happy to help.

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