SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROGRAM AUDIT COMPANY CRITERIA

Türkiye Sustainable Tourism Program is a recognized program according to the international certification criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and approved with the status of “Acknowledged”. The criteria of the audit company wishing to certify within the scope of the Sustainable Tourism Program are stated below.

Audit companies wishing to take part in Stage 1 Verification are required to meet the below criteria:

  • To meet all the requirements for the Safe Tourism Certification Program
  • To successfully complete the Auditor Training given by GSTC or to successfully complete the Stage 1 Verification Training given by Cappadocia University

Audit companies wishing to take part in Stage 2 Verification and Stage 3 Certification are required to meet the below criteria:

  • To meet all the requirements for the Safe Tourism Certification Program
  • To be accredited by Assurance Services International (“ASI”) for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification program to certify accommodation facilities and be authorized for the use of GSTC brands and logos
  • To have a competent and adequate auditor team with audit experience in food hygiene and safety, occupational health and safety, and environmental management system.

In addition, audit companies are required to meet the below criteria within the scope of the Safe Tourism Program;

    • To be an international brand; operating in at least two European countries, in at least five different countries (except Türkiye), operating under its own brand as an accredited brand for at least 1 year with its own company branches or franchise agreement or brand usage right agreement
    • To have issued at least 50 international certificates with defined standard norms in each of at least five different countries (except Türkiye)
    • To have the ability to prepare a competent and adequate team of auditors with internal/external resources
    • To be a 17020 and/or 17021 and/or 17065 accredited institution to TÜRKAK.

Authorization Requirements on Behalf of ASI Accredited Audit Company / Partnership Criteria:

The criteria for audit companies that do not meet the conditions of being accredited by Assurance Services International (“ASI”) to issue certificates to accommodation facilities for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification program mentioned above and therefore, are not authorized to use GSTC brand and logo are listed below.

      • To have all the requirements for Safe Tourism Certification
      • To be an authorized Subcontractor or Affiliate to carry out GSTC certificate audit activities established in Türkiye on behalf of the international audit company accredited by ASI, entitled to use the GSTC brand and logo for the GSTC Certification Program and approved by the TGA, and to submit the “approved authorization certificate” and the “approved service contract” showing the authorization
      • To ensure that the approved authorization certificate is signed by the person authorized to sign and represent the company on whose behalf the company is operating and to fully and completely apply the criteria of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Program of GSTC, ASI and TGA
      • To have at least 5 full-time and permanent auditors authorized to conduct GSTC audits within the audit company and to increase the number of full-time and permanent auditors to at least 10 auditors within 12 months after starting the certification activity
      • To have a competent and adequate auditor team with audit experience in food hygiene and safety, occupational health and safety, environmental management system.

The documents to be issued by the said representative shall include the logo of the audit company that has the GSTC accreditation by ASI.

Audit companies that meet the above-mentioned criteria can apply to TGA to be accredited within the scope of the Sustainable Tourism Program.

Companies that meet these criteria must submit their application statements by sending the following documents to sertifikabilgi@tga.gov.tr in order to apply.

      • A scanned version of the “Sustainable Tourism Authorized Audit Company Application Form”,
      • ASI Accreditation Certificate
      • ISO 17020 (TÜRKAK) or ISO 17021 (TÜRKAK) or ISO 17065 (TÜRKAK) Accreditation Certificate
      • Signature Circulars

Audit companies that will apply as a partnership / condition of authorization on behalf of the ASI accredited audit company are required to send the following documents in addition to the above information, papers, and documents.

      • Approved Certificate of Authorization and Approved Service Agreement showing that it is an authorized Subcontractor or Affiliate to carry out GSTC certification audit activities established in Türkiye by an international audit company that has the right to use GSTC trademarks and logos
      • Social security records and training certificates showing that there are at least 5 full-time and permanent GSTC auditors authorized to conduct audits.

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROGRAM AUDITOR CRITERIA

The criteria that must be met by the persons responsible/authorized for the Sustainable Tourism Program Accommodation Facility audit are stated below.

    • To meet the auditor criteria defined in article 10 and throughout this document: & : GSTC Accreditation Manual – Hotel/ Accommodation & Tour Operators V.2.5 document (April 27, 2021 (https://tga.gov.tr/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/GSTC-Accreditation-Manual-HATO-v2.5-April-2021.pdf)
    • To successfully complete the Auditor Training given by GSTC, the only authorized institution for auditor training (For those who will take part in Stage 2 verification and Stage 3 Certification).
    • To successfully complete the Auditor Training given by GSTC or to successfully complete the Stage 1 Verification Training given by Cappadocia University (For those who will take part in Stage 1 verification).