Once a property has been categorized it is evaluated for physical quality of the property, content of facilities, services and amenities provided. All properties, regardless of their star level, must also meet stringent cleanliness and state of repair guidelines. Each category and star level has distinct criteria which must be achieved. A star rating from (1 to 5, in ½ star increments), is awarded based on the results of the evaluation. Each star level reflects specific consumer expectations. A one star rating reflects that a property is clean and comfortable and has met or exceeded nationally accepted criteria in the areas of facilities, services, amenities and quality of the accommodation. Additional stars are awarded depending on the extent of facilities, services, amenities and quality of accommodations. Where the quality of facilities is superior, a property may be awarded a half-star above its criteria rating, ie. a two star property may warrant a 2½ star rating, depending on the overall quality assessment. The following are the star rating descriptions:
★ (One Star)
At this level, guests should expect clean and well-maintained accommodations providing the necessary facilities for an enjoyable stay. Criteria includes standards such as room size, window screens and coverings, clothes storage, linens, door lock, smoke detector, and parking facilities.
★★ (Two Stars)
This level equates to what is popularly considered "mid-range" accommodation. It exceeds the 1 star level in quality of mattress, bed linen, floors/window/wall coverings, and in provision of bedside and seating area lighting, additional room furniture, and parking space.
★★★ (Three Stars)
These properties will offer larger units with additional room furniture, coordinated furnishings, better quality mattresses and linens, and will be equipped with clock/alarm, extra amenities in washrooms, etc. Private baths for all BB rooms is a requirement for a 3 star and higher rating. Three star properties offer above average facilities and services.
★★★★ (Four Stars)
This rating indicates exceptional quality in all areas of facilities and services offering superior quality throughout the property in areas of guestrooms, bath and common areas. The property typically provides laundry/valet service as well as many additional amenities.
★★★★★ (Five Stars)
A 5 star property is luxurious at a world standard, offering outstanding facilities, guest service and amenities.
Remember, although in many provinces the Canada Select program is voluntary, some provinces have mandatory licensing requirements which are administered in conjunction or separate from the rating program. In these provinces, properties MUST be licensed prior to obtaining a rating. In order to be in a position to be rated, a property must obtain the "1" star level in areas of facility requirements (clean, comfortable accommodations). Properties which do not obtain this level cannot be rated.
Who Conducts the Evaluation?
There are professional, extensively trained and nationally certified Rating Advisors employed to conduct the evaluations in accordance to the "Canada Select" national rating procedures, program and policies. The National Occupation Standard for Rating Advisors has been developed in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council and is used as the basis for training programs. The certification process - including written examinations, work assessments and audits, is available on a national basis.
Who is in Control of the Program in my Province?
A list of contacts is supplied to offices throughout Canada, that deliver the Canada Select Accommodation Rating Program. In many instances, a non-profit or industry organization operates both the Canada and Camping Select programs in their jurisdictions. Regardless of which office evaluates your property, you can be assured that the same criteria, standards and process is delivered in your area - ensuring a truly national standard of product and service is available to the travelling public.
There is a procedure in place whereby an owner/operator can appeal their star rating. A second evaluation will be conducted by a different Rating Advisor and upon request a re-evaluation can be conducted by an advisor from another province. As a last resort, the Co-Chairs of the National Technical Working Group would make a final decision, based on the information at hand. Contact your local Canada Select office in the eventuality of an appeal. Fees may apply. Annual audits of evaluations are carried out by Rating Advisors from other provinces so as to ensure the consistency of the program.
On completion of the evaluation, the Rating Advisor prepares an establishment report advising the owner/operator of their star rating. If requested, the Rating Advisor reviews the evaluation and determines what services, amenities, or improvements in quality the owner/operators could make in order to reach the next highest star. These are only suggestions, which may be amended through consultation with the owner/operator. This Rating (upgrade) Report is available on request and is not automatically prepared. It should be noted that information contained within any report is confidential and is only supplied to the owner/operator. There may be an additional fee for this service.
As cleanliness and state of repair are very important to consumers and within the rating program, the Rating Advisor conducts thorough evaluations in these areas. Consumers continue to emphasize the importance of these areas when choosing a place to stay. An allowance for cleanliness and state of repair is built into the evaluation. No property would be found to be 100% perfect. Those properties which exceed the allowance for cleanliness or state of repair are automatically un-ratable until such a time as the deficiencies are corrected.
What if a Property is Un-ratable?
If a property is deemed to be un-rateable - the operator can request a rating report which indicates the actions necessary to bring the property to a rate-able status. The property may lack criteria requirements or may have state of repair or cleanliness issues. Once the recommendations on the report have been addressed, the property owner can request a reevaluation. An additional charge may apply for this service.
Cost of the Rating Participation
There is an annual participation fee. Contact individual provincial partner for the fee that will apply to your property.
In most provinces, a full rating evaluation is conducted biennially (every second year). However, if a property changes ownership, upgrades/renovates or complaints have been received, a rating evaluation will be undertaken annually.
Publishing Star Ratings
The decision to have their star ratings published is completely at the discretion of existing property owners/operators. Properties wishing to have their star ratings published, must sign a Participant Agreement and pay a rating fee to use their star symbol. Properties will also be provided marketing materials such as interior signs, exterior signs, certificates, etc. Participating properties are also recognized by the additional marketing ventures of the National Canada Select Organization.
The travelling public has many reasons for selecting a particular accommodation. For instance, the business person may select a large hotel with it's wide range of amenities and services or the atmosphere of a fishing lodge to entertain a potential client. The same business person, when on vacation with their family, may choose to enjoy the experience of a resort which offers a variety of recreational facilities. Whatever and whoever the choice, the tourism industry must provide for every type and level of accommodations required to meet the different needs and expectations of the consumers. Success of any business rests with the objective and accurate information provided to the potential consumer. Canada Select is an Accommodation Rating Program that reflects the needs of the consumer. It provides the travelling public with a consistent and reliable rating standard that is nationally compatible and comparable. Participation in "Canada Select" is a good business decision for owner/operators and their guests.