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Employer-led accreditation of hospitality colleges

How can your college show employers, potential students and parents that your full-time provision is among the best in the country, and that it's been endorsed by a panel of employers as being innovative, flexible and reflecting businesses' needs?

People 1st International’s hospitality accreditation recognises colleges that deliver excellent full-time or classroom-based hospitality training and qualifications. The accreditation also highlights colleges that are working well with employers – allowing them to influence the curriculum so it meets industry needs, and develops partnerships that benefit learners.

The Hospitality Employer-Led College Accreditation Board, made up of representatives from leading hospitality organisations, makes the final decision on whether a college meets the standards needed to receive People 1st International college accreditation.

Chaired by Sean Wheeler, former director of people development at Kimpton UK & Regent Hotels at InterContinental Hotels Group, the board includes representatives from the hotel, restaurant, foodservice, casual dining and events industries. This employer-led approach to accreditation drives the quality of full-time provision and recognises colleges that are innovative, flexible and reflect businesses' needs, ensuring they are an excellent source of future talent for the industry.

The board feeds into the Hospitality Skills & Quality Board, which unites industry bodies, training providers and end-point assessment organisations to act with ‘one voice’ around skills.

Benefits of hospitality accreditation

Accreditation offers a series of unique benefits to hospitality colleges:

  • Be seen as the ‘best of the best’ by employers: When employers see the People 1st International accreditation badge, they will know that you work well with businesses
  • Identify how you rate against criteria set by employers: Identify how well you’re performing and receive a detailed report highlighting your strengths and areas for improvement
  • Stay ahead of the curve: Stay up to date with employer needs, industry standards and  share best practice and network with other providers at our strategic forums, and get your views heard in consultations on critical industry training & development initiatives
  • Exclusive access to information and resources: Receive expert insight into key skills policy developments through regular for  ums and communications
  • Apply for an AA College Rosette for your college restaurant: An exclusive opportunity to apply for this prestigious award, developed in partnership with AA Hotel Services, which can only be awarded to People 1st International accredited colleges and creates fantastic PR and commercial opportunities
  • Enter the AA College Restaurant of the Year Award: This national award, part of the AA’s annual Hospitality Awards, is only open to People 1st International accredited colleges. The award gives colleges an unprecedented opportunity to be part of one of the industry’s most prestigious events and put their restaurants well and truly on the map!


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Latest blog posts

Four ways hospitality accreditation can take your college to the next level

What could getting accredited do for your college? Here's Runshaw College's take on what it's done for them.

What others say

“Our accreditation helps us make sure that people are aware of just how good we are. We live in a competitive world, there are other colleges and training providers around us, so we want to make sure that we get our market share… Employers want to work with us now – we’ve seen a big increase in the amount of involvement they have with us.”

Grant Mather, Curriculum Lead for Hospitality and Tourism, Cornwall College

Read the full interview with Cornwall College >>

"Our accreditation has definitely helped create better links with employers and it’s been fantastic to put our students into meaningful work experience with restaurants and hotels, both locally and nationally. We’ve worked with businesses like The Dorchester, the Mandarin Oriental and Le Manoir, and it’s been recognised how well we work with other people and employers."

Tony Oxley, Programme Manager for Catering and Hospitality, Milton Keynes College

Read the full interview with Milton Keynes College >>

Levels of accreditation

Find out more about the different levels of accreditation on offer, including Centre of Excellence status

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How to get accredited

See what the accreditation process involves and how to get started.

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AA College Rosette Scheme

Once you're accredited, your college restaurant can apply to be assessed by the AA and could receive an AA College Rosette!

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AA College Restaurant of the Year

Become an accredited college and you could be the next recipient of this prestigious award - part of one of the biggest events on the hospitality industry calendar!

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Find a hospitality accredited college

See who has already achieved People 1st hospitality accreditation and where your nearest college is.

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