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About the NQS











What is the Ireland Active National Quality Standard?

The National Quality Standard (previously known as the White Flag Award) is a Leisure Centre & Hotel Leisure award encompassing Safety, Hygiene, Customer Engagement & Human Resources.

The standard is subdivided as follows;

The National Quality Standard categories for leisure facilities, hotel leisure facilities and fitness centres are




Who can apply?

Any leisure facility in operation for more than 6 months is eligible to apply.

How do I apply?

All applications are made on line A 30 day period is available for you to complete the application, you may return to the application form as many times as necessary during this period. Your data will be stored (provided you use the 'save answer' function) each time you edit the form.

There is a disclaimer which will need to be signed and returned to the Ireland Active Office prior to your application being audited. 

Click here to register your interest for application in 2020

When do I apply?

Applications are completed online.

Once you have submitted your application, your status is apparent.

This status remains provisional pending completion of verification audit. No additional evidence will be considered.

How do I achieve the National Quality Standard?

All criteria must be met at Achieved level to reach the standard.

What are the pre-requisites?

Any facility applying must be a current Ireland Active member. 

What is the cost of applying for the National Quality Standard?

€750 (Leisure and Hotel) or €550 (Fitness/Dry Gym) Payable online via credit card using Realex Payments prior to application submission.

What are the timelines?

2020 dates:

Open from March - May

Verification Audit from May - September

Jury Process October 

Award Ceremony November

What do I need to do in order to prepare for the audit?

Each criteria stipulates the specific requirements that must be met.
The audit will verify that these requirements are in place.

When are the awards presented?

An awards ceremony will be held in November 2020

Who sits on the jury panel?

The jury is comprised of an independent panel of experts with industry specific experience including representatives  from 


Irish Water Safety

Irish Hotels Federation

Environmental Health Association of Ireland 

Microbiology Department-Trinity College Dublin

National Lifeguard Training Programme

Sport Ireland

Independent Chairperson- Maeve Buckley

What is the role of the jury?

The role of the jury is to validate the process, to ensure consistency and to address any possible anomalies external to the Ireland Active administration

What is the appeals process?

-Facilities who wish to dispute their result must formally submit the basis for their appeal in writing, within one week upon receipt of notification of award, and address it to the Chair of the National Quality Standard Jury, Ireland Active office in Dublin- Irish Sport HQ, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

-All appeals received are acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt by Ireland Active.

-Investigations on all appeals will be concluded within 4 working weeks of the date the appeal was received.

-The decision of the Chair of the jury is final, in all matters of appeal.

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