Stakeholder Consultations on GSTC Accreditation Policy and Certification Requirements

Stakeholder Consultation

The Stakeholder Consultation for GSTC is a crucial process for creating or revising the GSTC Accreditation Policy and Certification Requirements beside the Working Group task to review the standard/document development/policy. This activity involves engaging individuals, groups, or any related stakeholders interested in accreditation and certification. The Stakeholder Consultation aims to gather input and feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders, making GSTC transparent in its development and implementation, and emphasizing collaboration as a key aspect of the policy and requirements. This approach helps in making better-informed decisions and achieving more favorable outcomes by considering the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.

The Process of Stakeholder Consultation

At GTSC, we are committed to following the guidelines set forth by ISEAL’s Standard-Setting Code of Good Practice Version 6.0 2014 regarding public consultation. We place great importance on stakeholder involvement in the revision process of our Manual and prioritize transparency.
To ensure adequate time for input, we hold public consultations on revisions for a minimum of 60 days. For major changes, we extend the consultation period to engage a diverse and inclusive range of stakeholders.

The History of Accreditation Manual Revision

  1. Accreditation Manual for Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator
    1. Accreditation Manual for Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.2.4
    2. Accreditation Manual for Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.2.5
    3. Accreditation Manual for Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.3.0
    4. Accreditation Manual for Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator v.3.1
  2. Accreditation Manual for Destination
    1. Accreditation Manual for Destination v.1.2

Currently Open Consultations

DescriptionReference CodeOpen To WhomOpen DateDeadline for Submissions
GSTC Accreditation Manual Revision from v3.1 to v.4.0. The main revisions are: risk factors, remote audits, and auditor qualificationsTourism industry stakeholdersDecember 29th, 2023

April 6th, 2024

Upcoming Consultations

DescriptionReference CodeOpen To WhomOpening DateDeadline for Submissions
Review of draft Accreditation Manual v2.0/Destinations2023CONAll interested partiesexpected in December 20232 months after the opening date

Past Consultations

DescriptionReference CodeOpen To WhomOpen DateDeadline for SubmissionsPublic Consultation Report and Informative Session
Tour Operator On-Site Audit Guidance (Section 13 and 14 of Accreditation Manual v.2.4)2019CON01Accredited CBs and CBs in the process of accreditation30-October-2019
Provisional Agenda for CB Meeting in Azores for GSTC2019 Conference
Agenda document: GSTC-CBs Meeting, Dec 4th Azores
Accredited CBs and  Recognized Standard Owners7-October-20194-November-2019
Survey of CB’s Current Audit Frequency & Duration practices2020CON01-HA
Accredited CBs, CBs in the process of accreditation, Recognized Standard Owners28-January-202027-March-2020
Accreditation Manual for Industry (Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator) v.2.5 Public Consultation2020CON02All interested parties21-August-202031-October-2020GSTC Accreditation Manual v.2.5 Informative Session Record and Presentation
Accreditation Manual for Industry (Accommodation/Hotel & Tour Operator) v.3.0 Public Consultation2023CON01Accredited CBs and CBs in the process of accreditation10-Feb-202310-Apr-2023GSTC Accreditation Manual v.3.0 Informative Session Record and Presentation
Creation of an Interpretation Document
for specific requirements of the GSTC Industry Criteria
2023CON02-HAAll interested partiesJune 26th 202310-Apr-2023August  26th 2023

Interpretation and Amendment Documents related to GSTC Accreditation Manual 

DescriptionReference Code (incl. file)Document Section(s) Referenced:Specific Item(s) Referenced:Date and Version
Interpretation Document for Skill and Qualification and Formal Training ISO 170652019INTD0111.3 Certification: Understanding and applying the international norms for certification11.3.1 Skill Qualification Formal training of SO17065:12; or At least five years as a decision maker with an ISEAL or IAF accredited certification body

Accreditation Manual v.2.4

Interpretation Document for Sampling within the Audit2019INTD02Section 15 – Sampling within the Audit15.1.2 – Guidelines for the type of sampling and size of the samples to be employed in each instance16-September-2019

Accreditation Manual v.2.4

Amendment for Knowledge Competencies2021AMD01Section 10 – Auditor Qualifications, Knowledge and Skills10.7.3. Knowledge Competencies Demonstrate understanding of Sustainable Tourism by passing examination set by the GSTC STTP Program.


Accreditation Manual v.2.4

Interpretation for GSTC Accreditation Manual 2.5 for Elements of Audit2023INTD018. Conformity with GSTC Requirements
8.5. Requirements for the application of ISO 17065
ISO 17065:2012 7.4 Evaluation
8.5.12. GSTC Requirements to ISO 17065:2012 Clause 7.4.3 At each audit, the CB shall use an audit checklist/evaluation tool which includes all criteria and indicators of the Reference Standard and requires the completion, for each criterion, of the auditor’s conclusion (conform, not conform or not assessed), based on evidence obtained from the audit process.

Accreditation Manual v.2.5

Interpretation for GSTC Accreditation Manual 2.5 for Group Certification2023INT0215. Group Certification15.3. When a certification scheme accepts the practice of group certification, the following shall be required: 

15.3.1. Group members shall be individual organizations that offer similar tourism services;


Accreditation Manual v.3.1

Interpretation for GSTC Accreditation Manual 3.1 for Tour Operator2024INTD0116. Requirements for Tour Operator16.13. The CB shall provide sampling procedures of the Tour Operator. In case the Tour Operator has more than one unit, the sampling process needs to include them inside the scope of certification. The procedure shall meet IAF MD1:2018 Requirements.7-March-2024

Accreditation Manual v.3.1