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Developing operational standards


A standard is an agreed, repeatable way of doing something. From a practical perspective, operational standards are those standards which are recognised by the organisation as important enough to be published and monitored for continuous improvement.

In the tourism business, they relate to service and contain precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule or guideline.

Operational standards help to make life simpler and to increase the reliability of many practices that guide us and the services we provide. They are intended to be aspirational - a summary of best practices rather than general practice. 

Standards are created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all employees and the expectations of the customers.

To help you put in place effective operational standards, this guide is divided into four main sections. These sections will cover all the steps necessary to give your business the meaningful and attainable standards it needs to be succesful.


Develop your operational standards

To establish the right standards, get to know your customers and employees, consult with them and make sure you know the needs of your department.


Apply your operational standards

Make your operational standards achievable by ensuring they are readily available to and understood by the employees involved in their delivery.


Measure your operational standards

To find out if your operational standards are working for your business, you must measure how well actual performance relates to the standards.


Action your operational standards

Having developed ways to measure your performance against your customer-driven standards, you must now monitor performance constantly to ensure they're working.