Parliament Reception Celebrates St Andrews’ new Standard

Over one hundred people attended a reception in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 28th May to celebrate the first “graduates” of the new St Andrews Standard training initiative.

Devised by the St Andrews Skills Academy, the St Andrews Standard is a ground-breaking new customer service training initiative involving an interactive workshop, a month-long customer service assessment, and a challenging quiz about the local area. Thursday’s event celebrated the successful completion of the Standard by the first fifty participants.

The St Andrews Standard programme was developed in conjunction with local employers who wanted more relevant and effective customer service training for their staff.

The course has already proved a great success, with a further one hundred staff expected to have signed up before the Open Championship in mid-July. Demand from other Fife areas has already led to the creation of a Standard version tailored specifically for the East Neuk.

The Parliamentary event featured speeches from event sponsor Alex Neil MSP, Scottish Enterprise, the St Andrews Skills Academy and the St Andrews Partnership. Alex Neil MSP, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Housing and Communities, highlighted the importance of the tourism industry to the Scottish economy.

Aileen Lamb of Scottish Enterprise then congratulated the Skills Academy on its achievements in supporting the growth of Fife businesses. Nick White from the Inn at Lathones explained the reasons for the Standard’s development, and conveyed the excellent news that the Standard has recently been endorsed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).  Finally, Eric Brown – General Manager of the Scores Hotel and Chair of the St Andrews Partnership – spoke about his personal experience of completing the St Andrews Standard and its positive effects in his workplace.

The one hundred guests included local employers and staff, partner organisations, and several MSPs. Award-winners present came from St Andrews Links Trust, St Andrews University, Rufflets Country House Hotel, Byre Theatre, St Andrews Partnership, Best Western Scores Hotel, the Spindrift Guesthouse, St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, the Inn at Lathones, the Museum of the University of St Andrews, the British Golf Museum, and Prestige Scotland.

St Andrews Skills Academy manager Anneliese Archibald enthused: “The St Andrews Standard is an excellent initiative that empowers staff to become passionate ambassadors for their local areas.  The workshop offers participants space away from the workplace to reflect on and improve their customer service techniques. The customer service assessment then focuses on the application of this workshop back in the workplace, and the quiz gives staff a chance to see St Andrews through the eyes of a tourist. We look forward to offering this summer’s visitors even better quality service.”

Scottish Enterprise, Industries Project Manager Aileen Lamb was delighted to see the St Andrews Standard being embraced by such a wide range of important businesses from the town’s tourism sector.  She commented, “SE is pleased to provide funding support to the St Andrews Skills Academy, which is delivering an important element of the Destination Development agenda in the town. The Standard is based on the “100K Welcomes” programme originally developed by SE & HIE for the tourism & hospitality sector. With a better skilled workforce, who have strong knowledge of the destination, St Andrews visitors are on course for a memorable visitor experience.”