4 July 2007

FACT's VAQAS status has been renewed after a surprise assessment. VAQAS is the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service, linked to Visit Britain and the tourist board. Like a mystery shopper, representatives from the organization drop into visitor attractions unannounced and give marks for the service they offer.

The services FACT has to offer, from the shop, café, exhibitions and cinema are all included in the assessment, and all have been praised.The FACT shop, where you can buy various art goodies, DVDs, books and a selection of art and film magazines, has been described as, "small but with a good atmosphere." Likewise the café was lauded for its good service and ambience, as well as its proximity to the shop.

FACT's exhibitions were also credited, especially the Media Lounge which was described as "very lively and approachable." The assessor also congratulated the information provided for visitors to the exhibition in the Gallery Guide, which offers a description and idea of the inspiration behind the artworks.

FACT's level of customer care, delivered by the Gallery Assistants was also praised, as were the cinema ushers. "All areas that impact on the quality of the visitor experience are included in the assessment, ranging from the enquiry through to the departure. The assessment will recognise areas that may be unique as well as common areas. Where an attraction does not have a particular facility, such as a car park or catering, those aspects are not included."