Rules of procedure
Valid from the tender year announced on February 27, 2014
Pursuant to Instruction Nr. 15/2008. (HÉ 51.) of the Ministry of Local Government (ÖM) about the organisation and operation of the National Tourism Board (NTB), NTB is responsible for organising, developing and controlling the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award tender. The secretarial tasks of NTB are carried out by Hungarian National Tourism Office (hereinafter: HNTO); furthermore, HNTO instructs the Network Coordination Centre of HNTO to carry out the coordination of all national and international tasks in connection with the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award and handle them as a separate project. The Hungarian Tourism Quality Award is a trademark of HNTO, which can be awarded to service providers (hotels and restaurants) who are successful in the tendering process.
1 Aim of the Award
The main aim of the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award (hereinafter: Award) is to improve the quality of services provided by service providers of the tourism industry and to contribute to customer satisfaction. The Hungarian Tourism Quality Award also aims to improve the touristic image of Hungary, to spread quality methods and instruments as well as to make quality culture popular.
2 Announcement of the Award
The annual call for applications, the tender requirements system, the Professional Self-assessment and Checklist the tender is based on and the Rules of Procedure are published on the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award homepage of the HNTO.
3 Tasks of the Network Coordination Centre (hereinafter: NCC)
a. To coordinate tender submission procedures (announcement of the tender, application and registration, registration of the payment of the tender fee, dispatching of the tender package, organisation of training and consultation for applicants),
b. To manage the evaluation and follow-up checks of the applicants with the help of the Regional Marketing Directorates of HNTO (to invite and coordinate experts carrying out on site examinations, to manage the financial accounts of inspections, requests and keeps expert evaluations about the inspections, summons and chairs the Evaluation Committee compiling the examinations of the Award during the given year and deciding about awarding the prize, informs applicants in writing about awarding/withdrawing the prize),
c. To publish the winners of the given year and the award winners of previous years,
d. To organise the award ceremony (to invite award presenters, produce the plaques and certificates of individual applicants, prepare the award ceremony),
e. To operate and develop the tender programme, organise joint promotions with the HNTO,
f. To make presentations at professional events and advertise the award.
4 Tendering Process
a. The annual tender is announced by NCC each year before February 28. The call for applications is published at the homepage of the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award, in the specialised press, at the homepage of HNTO and if possible at other professional websites.
b. The deadline for submitting the applications is every year March 31.
Applicants can submit their applications using the Application Statement – that can be downloaded from the homepage of the Award. This Application Statement must be filled in, signed and sent to NCC electronically and by post. The service provider shall transfer the tender fee to the bank account of HNTO by the application deadline indicating the registration code included in the detailed answer message:
First application for MTMD tender or service provider whose Award has been withdrawn
Applicant renewing its application
(applicant who re-submits its application immediately after the end of the 3-year validity period)
Applicants who applied unsuccessfully and resubmit their application within one year
Should the applicant have other payables to HNTO that are not connected to the Award, then they have to repay this debt before the application deadline of the tendering process. Should the applicant fail to fulfil this obligation, their application at the MTMD tender cannot be accepted.
Should the applicant have payables due for longer than 90 days that incurred at a later time during the tendering period or within the tender validity period, then NCC notifies the service provider in writing to repay its debt within 30 days. Should the service provider fail to repay its debt within the deadline, the service provider will be deleted from the MTMD tender system. NCC informs the service provider about this in writing. The CEO of HNTO is entitled to grant derogations from this procedure on a case-by-case basis.
The tender fee includes the following:
· tender package
Once the tender fee is paid, the tender package is dispatched together with the invoice or can be collected from NCC at an agreed date. The package contains the following:
- Handbook about the preparation training
- Professional Self-assessment and Checklist
· a one day induction training (excluding the travel costs),
· opportunity to participate in a one-day-consultation (excluding the travel costs),
· on site control, consultation with the management
and for Award winners:
· a plaque and a certificate,
· the Award ceremony,
· follow-up control, consultation with the management
c. NCC provides a one-day obligatory professional training for applicants during the month following the deadline for submitting applications. In the course of this professional training, applicants make themselves familiar with the theoretical background of the tender requirements system and the method of carrying out the self-assessment, the documents to be submitted as well as the on-site control process.
NCC provides applicants an opportunity for consultation before the deadline for submitting the applications, which is not mandatory.
After the training and the consultation, applicants shall prepare their self-assessments individually and compile the required and recommended tender documentation (the detailed content-related requirements and their order is laid down in the Professional Self-assessment and Checklist).
d. The deadline for submitting the applications is May 30 each year.
Applications shall be stapled and submitted in two original copies to NCC by post or in person, and at the same time certain content of the application must be submitted electronically as well.
The tender documentation must contain the following:
· the Applicant's data sheet and statement, filled in and signed
· the Professional Self-assessment and Checklist, filled in, and their obligatory Annexes
· Detailed self-assessment
· a copy of the operating licence document(s)
e. After submission, the Evaluation Committee evaluates whether the applications fulfil the content-related and formal requirements. On site examinations are carried out between April 1 and May 30 in case of service providers who have a valid Award and between June 1 and August 31 in case of new applicants and applicants who wish to renew their applications. These checks are carried out by an Evaluation Committee consisting of two judges, who are selected by NCC. Questions regarding the issues related to the guests are checked on anonymously. Subsequently, by disclosing their identity, the members of the committee carry out further controls with the director and the person responsible for quality management. This process culminates in a summarising oral evaluation and meeting. In the course of the meeting, MTMD experts have the opportunity to consult operational rules and documents (for example training plan, job description of employees, supplier contract, etc.). The NCC and members of the Evaluation Committee are not entitled to inform third parties about data, information and experiences regarding the documentation submitted by the applicant and the on site examinations they have become aware of.
The costs of the on-site examination (during the tender year or in the course of subsequent controls) are paid by NCC and contain the following items:
• expert fee of the members of the Evaluation Committee
• travel costs
After February 28, 2013 the costs of the on-site control (hotel, restaurant and other services) are charged to the applicant; HNTO does not requires an invoice. Upon request, applicant informs NCC about the public and own-costs of the services used during the control process and records these in its own account system.
After the on-site control, the two members of the committee shall forward the written evaluation of the examined hotel or restaurant within five working days to NCC. The expert shall compile a numerical and a detailed evaluation in due consideration of the following:
· grounds for refusal
· total score and awarded score, evaluation for each chapter (minimum score and percentage limits required for winning the Award are indicated in the Professional Self-assessment and Checklist)
· evaluation of the text part
· elements/events that are critical from the point of view of the examination
f. The individual evaluation committees make recommendations regarding the award of the prize, but a broader professional body makes the final decision on who the prize will be awarded to by October 30 and the applicants will be informed about the decision by November 15 in writing.
The Award is valid for 3 calendar years after the prize has been awarded to the winner; during this time period NCC is entitled to carry out subsequent controls at any time, but at least on one occasion (see item 6/a).
During the year after the three-year-validity period, the service provider is entitled to renew its application by paying a discounted tender fee (see item 4/b). Should the applicant not renew its application, its status as a valid award winner expires by December 31, the applicant will not be entitled to use the Award logo and must hand back the plaque received to NCC by the same deadline.
The applicant/award winner may appeal against the refusal or withdrawal of the award, the appeal must be lodged at the Network Coordination Centre by the 15th day upon the receipt of the refusal or withdrawal notice. The appeal fee is the half of the tendering fee, moreover, the applicant/award winner covers the costs of the on-site inspection. The duely lodged appeal must result in a new on-site inspection until the 15th day upon the receipt of the appeal, where the two judges of the former on-site inspection may not participate. An Evaluation Committee must decide in 5 working days on the appeal, whether it lies or not. If the appeal lies, the appeal fee must be re-payed for the applicant/award winner.
The award winner/successor is obliged to inform NCC about any relevant changes (i.e. name change, changes in management/operator/owner/profile, etc.) in writing within 30 days using the contact details indicated at the end of the Rules. In case of a name change, the service provider shall inform NCC whether they want a new certificate with their new name on it; NCC collects such requests and fulfils them twice a year (in January and July).
After such a request is received, NCC decides on an individual basis how the given change might affect the status of the applicant as a valid award winner, whether it entails any further processes (e.g. extraordinary subsequent control to maintain the status as a valid award winner), the requirements of which are forwarded to the applicant in writing. The service provider shall declare in writing within 30 days of receipt of this decision whether they accept the decision. If the service provider does not want to use the Award in the future and does not want the procedure, they must hand back the plaque and the certificate and they are not entitled to use the Award logo any more.
g. NCC informs the professional and national press about the award winners of the given year. On the same occasion, any withdrawals occurred in the same tender year are announced.
h. The prize is awarded (certificate and plaque with the name of the award winner, in case of a renewal certificate) each year at a public, professional event.
Persons presenting the prize:
· the highest representative of the ministry supervising the industry,
· CEO and/or the highest possible representative of Magyar Turizmus Zrt.
The certificate about the award/renewal of the prize must contain the validity period, the name and location of the award winner and the signature of the minister or state secretary supervising the industry and the signature of the CEO of HNTO
5 Benefits and entitlements connected to the prize
A plaque and a certificate will be placed in the hotel or restaurant of the Award winning applicant.
The Award winning applicant is entitled to use the logo(s) in the course of its promotional activities (e.g. homepage, publications) in the following two ways:
· the Award winner uses only the MTMD logo
· the Award winner uses the logo consisting of the MTMD and the EHQ logo (HOTREC accreditation): the MTMD logo on top and the EHQ logo below that. The EHQ logo cannot be used on it own.
During the official validity period, the award winner and the service provider, who applies for renewal of its application in the year following the validity period will become key partners of the HNTO and as such they are entitled to cooperation. This option is available for service providers only who have won the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award. Applicable offers are published at the official homepage of the Award.
Applicants winning the Award will gain professional and social recognition.
6 Follow-up Checks
a. Follow-up checks are carried out within the three years period after winning the Award, i.e. at least once during the validity period. During the follow-up checks the same methods and aspects are used as in the course of the on-site control after the preparation of the application, i.e. a Professional Self-assessment and Checklist is used, focusing especially on the control of the elimination of previously discovered deficiencies.
The evaluation is the same as the evaluation described previously in the part about the evaluation. The costs of the follow-up checks (accommodation, board, other services) are covered by the applicant. Should the NCC order further follow-up checks in the course of an obligatory check, the costs of the follow-up check are born by the service provider to be controlled.
Should the Evaluation Committee establish during a follow-up check that the hotel or the restaurant does not fulfil the requirements of the Award, the Award might be withdrawn. A broader professional body has the right to decide about the withdrawal of the Award: the members of the Evaluating Committee, the president of the relevant professional committee, the regional marketing manager of the HNTO and the managers of NCC are entitled to vote on the issue and the CEO of HNTO shall approve of their majority decision. The NCC shall inform the service provider about the result of the withdrawal within 30 days of the on-site check. From the time when the letter about the withdrawal of the Award is dispatched, the entitlements related to the Award cease; the service provider must hand back the plaque and the certificate to the NCC within 30 days and cannot use the MTMD logo any more.
b. If during the three-year validity period NCC is informed from more than one source that the services of the hotel or the restaurant do not comply with the requirements of the Hungarian Tourism Quality Award, NCC is entitled to impose an extraordinary follow-up check the costs of which are borne by the service provider if the award is withdrawn. The Award is withdrawn in line with the relevant paragraph of item 6/a.
7 Other Provisions
a. A missing authorisation, a missing signature on the Application statement, failure to pay the tender fee, incomplete tender documentation (item 4/d) and the failure to comply with the notice to fulfil such requirements are considered to be grounds for refusal.
b. The tender fee will be paid back only if NCC withdraws the invitation for tender.
c. Applicants shall acknowledge that the tender package will be dispatched after the tender fee is paid.
d. Applicants must accept the competence and decisions of the Evaluation Committee.
e. Applicants shall note that the Award is valid for three years after it has been issued. During this time period, the award winner shall fulfil the requirement system of the Award and its products and services shall comply with the provisions laid down in the criteria system of the Award.
After the validity period, the hotel or restaurant may extend their application for another three years in the course of a simplified procedure (see reduced tender fees in item 4/b). If the service provider does not renew its application, its award winner status expires in accordance with item 4/f.
f. Applicants shall note that in case of a profile change they need to inform NCC.
g. Applicants shall note that the Award might be withdrawn if the service provider does not comply with the provisions of the criteria system of the Award during the follow-up checks.
h. This Rules of Procedure can be amended by HNTO; applicants of the same tender year should be informed about any changes. The valid Rules of Procedure must be published at the homepage of the Award.
Budapest, January 13rd, 2015
Hungarian Tourism Quality Award
Hungarian National Tourism Office
Domestic Directorate, Network Coordination Centre
1027 Budapest, Kacsa u. 15-23..
Tourism Deputy CEO
Hungarian Tourism Plc.