STAR Programme

STAR, which stands for “Service. Training. Attitude. Respect.” was launched in October 2010. The programme is designed to ensure that Trinidad & Tobago develops and sustains a competitive position as a world class tourist destination, STAR supports and advances a culture of service excellence within our tourism sector and beyond.
The programme focuses on the three (3) Ps of customer service i.e. People, Process and Promise and is open to all tourism professionals and organizations, as well as organizations in the retail, food & beverage and entertainment sectors.
STAR delivers assistance to tourism stakeholders via two (2) interwoven approaches:
  • Professional Development, which is delivered through a suite of training interventions, started at the strategic level, and radiated to the tactical and operational levels; and
  • An Organizational development intervention, which is delivered through the Hospitality Assured Certification Programme.
To date, approximately 4,000 professionals in over 90 organizations have accessed the programme.


The STAR Difference

The STAR programme takes a holistic approach to the tourism sector’s service delivery development.  Unlike all other programmes locally, our professional development interventions reach behaviour and results on the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model.  As such, beyond training, the STAR focuses on reinforcing, assessing and certifying consistency of service attitudes and competencies, in real-time on the job.  This is achieved two (2) ways:

  • PracticesTM – managers and supervisors are mentored and coached on the job to conduct short training sessions in behavioural and technical standards in real-time to their subordinates.
  • Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) Assessments – the unit has enhanced our frontline workshop to include CVQ customer service occupational standards.  Candidates desirous of a regional certification in customer service now have the opportunity to be assessed and certified, once successful. No other local programme, offers mentoring/coaching or CVQ certification in customer service.


Programme Content – Professional Development

STAR’s three (3) workshops are directly supported by assessments as well as mentoring and coaching, and include:
  • PromisesTM CVQ– is a two (2) day workshop which targets frontline tourism employees who generally are in direct contact with customers and visitors.  Participants are trained in the fundamental aspects of quality service delivery such as being an ambassador, how to manage impressions, effective communication and creating Moments of Magic in every moment of truth, inter alia.
  • FoundationsTM – is a three (3) day workshop designed for managers and supervisors responsible for training, coaching and mentoring new staff or retraining existing staff.  It trains participants to develop and deliver short (i.e. 15min) training sessions in real-time on the job, in instances where their subordinates do not meet technical or attitudinal standards of performance. Beyond this, workshop attendees are also introduced to corrective and reinforcement coaching techniques.
  • Management of Service Quality (MSQ) – this three (3) day Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) licensed workshop was designed to address the needs of senior managers in creating and reinforcing customer-centric organizational systems and culture.  MSQ covers the customer promise, leadership and planning, the service quality management process, setting standards, service measurement and improvement, inter alia.
All workshops run from 8.30am – 3.30pm, while participants are provided with mid-morning and afternoon refreshments, as well as lunch and training materials free-of-charge.  

Programme Content – Organizational Development

Hospitality Assured Certification Programme

The Hospitality Assured Certification Programme is a business and service excellence model developed by the University of Surrey (UK), based on specifications set out by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), endorsed by both the British Quality Foundation and the Quality Scotland Foundation. It is owned by the Institute of Hospitality (UK) and licensed to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) for use in the Caribbean, and is delivered by the STAR Unit locally.
Hospitality Assured encourages businesses to look at their operations from the customer’s standpoint to ascertain where improvements should be made to benefit the organization and its customers.  The programme engages client organizations in an organizational development exercise which looks at nine (9) critical steps: 
  1. Customer Service Improvement
  2. Customer Research 
  3. The Customer Promise
  4. Service Recovery
  5. Business Planning
  6. Operational Planning
  7. Standards of Performance
  8. Resources, Training & Development, Service Delivery
  9. Service Recovery


The process involves: 

  1. A rigorous self-assessment across the nine (9) steps
  2. The design, development and implementation of revised, revamped or new systems and processes with the aid of a Hospitality Assured Business Advisor 
  3. An independent external assessment by a CTO Assessor and (4) once successfully assessed, award of Hospitality Assured certification for a period of two (2) years


Programme Benefits

The are many benefits to accrue to an organization and professional that opts to go through the STAR programme, including:
  • Organizations – competent, effective and expertly trained staff that are capable of consistently delivering high quality service and business systems and processes that are oriented toward customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, organizations that successfully go through the Hospitality Assured Certification programme are internationally certified and featured on both Hospitality Assured and Hospitality Assured Caribbean websites. 
  • Professionals – enhancement of service delivery attitudes, skills and knowledge (ASK) to a regionally and in some instances, internationally accepted occupational standards. Additionally, professionals that successfully undertake any of the three (3) STAR workshops receive certification that can be utilized in any tourism organization regionally.

2016 and Beyond…

In 2016 and beyond, the STAR unit intends to pivot more strongly toward the development of tourism organizations.  Much greater focus and emphasis will be placed on service delivery systems in the areas of: 
  • Customer Research
  • Training & Development
  • Service Recovery
  • Operational Planning & Standards of Performance 
Additionally, the unit also intends to focus more strongly on 
  1. standard operating procedures
  2. reward and recognition in the industry (Spot the STAR Campaign)
  3. reminder and sensitization campaign
  4. monitoring & evaluation (smartphone customer service app and mystery shops), as it endeavours to build service excellence into our Future.

Accessing STAR

For more information on the programme and how your organization can be a part, contact the STAR Unit.
Tel: 675-7034 ext. 195 
Fax: 675-7432
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visit our office: 
Level 1, Maritime Centre, 
29 Tenth Ave., 
Hours: 8.00am – 4.30pm (Monday – Friday)