These are the steps our Member properties must work through in order to become Travelife Gold Certified. But first, we will clarify some terms that can cause confusion.
Travelife Gold vs Travelife Certified vs Travelife Gold Certified
These all mean the same thing. Several years ago, Travelife had different levels of award (bronze, silver and gold), something that is still common with other sustainability labels. It was decided that these are not helpful in the world of certification as they create confusion for both the travel industry and consumers. Instead, we insist that all of our requirements are met in order to be Travelife Certified. Travelife Gold was kept as a brand name due to the popularity with hotels.
Travelife Standard vs Travelife Checklist
The standard is a formal document outlining all of our requirements and the associated indicators we use to assess if a property is compliant. The Travelife Checklist is a simplified version of this written in plain English so that it is easier for our Members to understand. Whilst we certify properties against the Travelife Standard, we tend to use the term checklist to refer to the requirements. Travelife has three different checklists based on different hotel sizes and you can click here to view or download them.
THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
Step 1: Self-assessment and planning
The property will use the checklist to assess how well they are currently doing and plan any improvements that need to be made.
Step 2: Schedule the audit
Once the property believes they are ready, they will schedule an audit by contacting Travelife. If Travelife has not heard from the property within three to six months of them paying their membership fee, the audit operations manager will start the process automatically.
Step 3: The audit
An on-site audit takes place over one day. This can take up to six hours or more depending on the size and complexity of the property. The auditor must find evidence against each criterion from visual inspections of hotel areas, viewing documents and speaking to staff.
Step 4: The audit report
The auditor must make notes stating what evidence they found that shows compliance or non-compliance against each criterion. This is completed in an online audit report in the Auditor Technical Zone and the completed report must be uploaded within seven days of the audit.
The report undergoes a full quality check by the Travelife certifications team. If the report does not pass the quality check, it will be sent back to the auditor who will need to make corrections.
Step 5: Improvements
If the auditor found evidence that the property complied with all criteria, there are no improvements required and the property is certified.
If between one and 40 criteria were non-compliant, Travelife will work with the property to correct this by explaining what improvements are required and will need evidence that these improvements have been made. This evidence could be documents, photographs or videos. The property must start the improvement process within one month of receiving their audit report and complete it within six months.
If the property was non-compliant on more than 40 criteria, they will be asked to pay for a repeat audit. Travelife will explain to them what improvements are required before they should schedule this audit.
Step 6: Certification
Once the Travelife certifications team is satisfied that the property has demonstrated 100% compliance to the Travelife Standard, they will become Travelife Certified and this certification will be valid for two years from their audit date. They will be issued with a certificate and a Travelife Certification logo. They will also be included on the Travelife Collection website so that consumers can search for them and be listed on the weekly Travelife World Report that tour operators can download and use to update their accommodation listings.
Once the Travelife certifications team is satisfied that all the criteria are met, the property is certified and given a Travelife Gold Certification in the form of a logo and certificate they can display. The certification is valid for two years at which point the property must renew membership and undergo another audit. Properties must continue to do this every two years in order to maintain their certification.