What does it consist of and what does it evaluate?
It is a certification of a voluntary nature that seeks to facilitate the continual improvement of tourism education, training and research programmes through the definition of a set of minimum standards of quality for tourism education. To this end, the system takes into consideration five areas of analysis that evaluate internal and external aspects of the Programme: the coherence of the plan of studies; infrastructure and pedagogical support; policies, tools and support mechanisms for administrative management; the existence of transparent mechanisms for the selection of the faculty and favourable conditions for their professional development; and the relevance of the content of the programme of studies with respect to the needs of the tourism sector.
Who can request it?
UNWTO.TedQual Certification can be requested by any tourism education, training or research Institution that has one or more permanent tourism programmes. The system certifies programmes that have had at least one graduating class.
Steps to obtain the certification The UNWTO.TedQual Certification
1) Request for information All institutions wishing to certify their tourism education, training and/or research programmes in accordance with the criteria established by the UNWTO.TedQual Certification System should send a written request to the UNWTO.Themis Foundation to the following e-mail address: email@example.com. Once the request is received, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation will send, free of charge, information on the Certification System along with a pre-registration form.
Any institution interested in being certified must make a written request for formal inclusion in the TedQual Certification System by attaching the duly completed pre-registration form. This procedure is not a mere bureaucratic formality, but rather, it makes it possible to detect in the initial phase any possible incompatibility or problem that may affect the certification process. The UNWTO.Themis Foundation will study the request and decide within a maximum of 7 days whether or not to accept it.
3) Admission to the audit process
If the request is accepted, the Institution will have to pay the registration fee, which will be deducted from the total certification cost at the time of payment for the audit. Once the pre-registration form and payment have been received, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation will assign an independent expert – who is part of the UNWTO.TedQual auditor team – to carry out the audit of the corresponding tourism education, training and/or research programmes.
Once the terms and conditions of the audit have been agreed upon, the Institution must proceed with its payment (deducting the amount of the pre-registration). As soon as the payment is received, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation will send to the Institution the manual of procedures and an example of a practical case (usually in electronic format).
Once the Institution has received all the information, it can decide whether it wishes to:
- Proceed immediately;
- Stop the process for a maximum of 60 days in order to better prepare for the audit;
- Totally cancel the process before the start of the audit. In this case, if UNWTO.Themis receives written notice at least three weeks before the start of the audit, the payment for the audit costs will be reimbursed minus a 25% fee to cover administrative and bank costs.
Subsequently, in accordance with the timetable and conditions established, the audit will be carried out. The Institution must provide the necessary documents and facilitate, as agreed, the performance of the audit. All information will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
After having performed the audit, the auditor will send the report to the UNWTO.Themis Foundation, which in turn will refer it to the TedQual Certification Committee for evaluation. Once the Committee has concluded its evaluation, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation will prepare the post-audit report and inform the institution of the results. If the outcome is successful, the programme obtains the UNWTO.TedQual quality label for a period to be defined by the UNWTO.TedQual Certification Committee. If not, within a maximum period of 6 months a re-audit can be conducted, which will have a lower cost (50%) than the initial one.
Regardless of whether the Institution obtains a positive certification outcome or not, the UNWTO.Themis Foundation will send it a post-audit report with the corresponding recommendations.