The inspection process starts when the inspector arrives at the property. They will look at the exterior appearance to make sure the paintwork is in good order and that the car-parking areas, paths and grounds are well-maintained and safe.
What you need to know about the inspection
Structural and Safety Requirements
Your establishment should be of substantial and durable construction, structurally safe, wind and watertight, in good repair throughout, and of suitable design. It should be kept clean and well maintained and be adequately lit throughout. Reasonable provision for securing the establishment internally and externally should be available.
The owner needs to make arrangements for the arrival and departure of guests arriving at the property.
Display of Certificate and Charges
Your Tourism Northern Ireland Certificate and scale of charges for accommodation must be prominently displayed, easily seen by visitors before, or immediately after, they enter. Charges for extra facilities such as internet usage, etc, should also be displayed unless these are included in the rate. All charges should be inclusive of VAT, where applicable.
A selection of current leaflets, brochures, maps and other literature relating to your locality should be available. It is a good idea to review these periodically to ensure that the information provided is still current.
As well as the name, address and dates of arrival/departure, you are legally required to record each visitor’s nationality.
Any house rules you wish to be observed or any other information which would be of interest to guests/potential guests e.g. WIFI code, should be brought to the guests’ attention at the earliest opportunity. A guest information folder is a useful way to relay information and can be provided on guests’ arrival. This should also contain copies of instructions on operating equipment and other items.
Cooking and Dining Area
The Bunk House must provide a cooking and dining area with sufficient tables and chairs or benches to cater for the number of visitors expected to use it at any one time. It should be separated from the sleeping area by either a partition wall or by a space. The cooking and dining area should have within it a hygienic counter for the preparation of food and contain adequate refrigeration facilities for the storage of perishable food items. Garbage should not be stored in the kitchen.
A separate communal area should be provided for visitors and should contain sufficient furniture, fittings and equipment to cater for the number of visitors who may reasonably be expected to use it at any one time. Such furniture shall be robust and durable.
Sleeping accommodation should consist of beds, bunks or wooden platforms. Mattresses should be provided for beds and bunks or sleeping mat foam for wooden platforms. The area should have at least one external window, window curtains or blinds which ensure privacy and exclude light and should have sufficient space between bed spaces to ensure ease of movement for the number of visitors accommodated and for storage of belongings.
Bathroom facilities should comprise showers, wash hand basins and toilets and should be provided at a minimum ratio of one per 20 bed-spaces. These should be provided for men and women in separate rooms, with separate entrances clearly designated and provided with doors or curtains to afford privacy. Bathroom facilities may be located inside or adjacent to the establishment. If located inside the establishment, then the bathroom facilities must be separate from the cooking and dining areas.
A Bunk House must provide an electricity supply and be adequately heated as required. It should contain effective means of natural light and ventilation. A sink for the washing of cooking utensils, plates, cutlery, etc. shall be provided with hot and cold running water. There should be sufficient coat hooks, a mop and bucket and cleaning materials and basic first aid equipment shall be made available to visitors. Covered waste disposal bins and bin liners should also be provided.