The Fermanagh TIC was the first TIC in the UK to be awarded Charter Mark status in 1994. The Charter Mark scheme, originally devised as an award scheme to recognise organisations who deliver first class service, and valid for 3 years, has recently been re-launched as a world class customer service standard.
Charlotte Wilson, Manager, Enniskillen Tourist Information Centre receiving the Charter Mark Award.
In the background Left-Right, Council Chairman, Gerry McHugh, Francie Owens, Tourist Information Centre, Valentina Nixon, Tourist Information Centre, Robert Gibson, Director of Environmental Services at Fermanagh District Council
More organisations than ever are choosing this most rigorous and customer -focused improvement tool to tailor and deliver services that meet users' needs. The scheme continues to be led from the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister's Office for Public Services Reform, where it is regarded as having a key role as part of the Government's reform and customer focus agenda.
Charlotte Wilson, the TIC Manager, explained the benefits of a commitment to Charter Mark: "Many positive things have come about as a result of applying for Charter Mark but I would say that first and foremost, Charter Mark has increased our customer focus. We continually consult our customers about the service we provide. Complaints, compliments and suggestions from our customers and staff have helped to improve the service we deliver. This 'health check' has helped u s to learn what we are doing right as well as wrong. As a result of working towards the standard, we have forged parnterships with other organisations and made financial savings. We have received invaluable feedback from the experts - not only the assessment team - but other Charter Mark holders and peer group networks - which will enable us to make more positive changes to the way we work in the future"
In preparation for the two day on-site assessment, an on-line self assessment tool was completed whereby the Centre's performance was benchmarked against the six Charter Mark criteria - namely - setting standards, consultation, accessibility and promotions of choice, development and continous improvement, imaginative and effective use of resources and contribution to opportunities within the local community.
An assessor spoke to staff, customers and members of the local tourism industry to endorse the evidence already supplied on-line.
Speaking about the award, the Council Chairman, Councillor Gerry McHugh commented: " This fourth Charter Mark award is recognition that the Fermanagh District Council Tourist Information Centre is at the forefront of service delivery in Ireland. This award also highlights the excellent work of the centre's team and their enthusiastic approach".