Sixteen Canadian Spas Achieve National "Quality Assurance Approved" Designation

Vancouver, Canada, February 07, 2010 --( Leading Spas of Canada is pleased to announce 16 Canadian spas have received “Quality Assurance Approved” status, a national designation recognizing consistent safety and hygiene standards in the spa industry, offering reassurance and uncompromising quality for spa guests.

Congratulations to:

· 100 Fountain Spa at the Pillar and Post, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
· Ambiance Day Spa, Saint John, NB
· Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa, Victoria, BC
· Haven Spa at Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa, Sidney, BC
· Holtz Spa, Ottawa, ON
· Riverstone Spa, Inn at the Forks, Winnipeg, MB
· Rosewater Spa of Oakville, Oakville, ON
· Santé Spa Calgary, Calgary, AB
· Santé Spa Victoria, Bear Mountain Resort, Victoria, BC
· Secret Garden Spa at The Prince of Wales, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
· Shear Elegance Salon & Spa, London, ON
· Sun Tree Spa, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa Resort, Moose Jaw, SK
· Ten Spa, Winnipeg, MB
· The Grotto Spa at Tigh-na-Mara Resort, Parksville, BC
· The Spa Ritual, Calgary, AB
· Vida Wellness Spa, Wall Centre, Vancouver, BC

Following several years spent carefully developing the criteria, Leading Spas of Canada introduced an extensive Quality Assurance program as a pilot project last year. “Safety and hygiene standards have been a key concern over the past few years, as the popularity of spa treatments has grown”, notes Diane Sparrow, Chair of the Standards & Practices Committee for Leading Spas of Canada (LSC). “We’re very proud of the program we have developed and thrilled with the level of standards the participating spas have exhibited. Congratulations to all of them for achieving this designation”.

To receive recognition as a “Quality Assurance Approved” spa, on-site assessments were conducted, examining each spa’s standards regarding sterilization of instruments, hygiene standards in treatment protocols, equipment and facility safety, cleanliness, proper safety and security procedures, staff certification and education, proper signage and customer service standards. To ensure proper standards for the staff, human resource processes were examined as well, in addition to the spas marketing materials being reviewed to confirm required information including cancellation and gratuity policies, rates and menu of services were clearly presented. The assessments were conducted by specially-trained third-party evaluators, to maintain the integrity of the program, and culminate in a strict pass or fail result. All of the criteria must be met or exceeded before the spa receives their Quality Assurance Approved (QAA) status.

The spas which successfully achieved QAA status during the pilot program were recently awarded a certificate for display and seal of approval to incorporate into their marketing materials, recognizing their Quality Assurance status, valid for the next two years before another assessment will be conducted.

“Spa offerings and amenities vary dramatically. This program is not designed to measure the value of amenities, such as steam room or sauna, nor to credit them for the size of their spa, and grade them on a scale. The spas are all examined by the same criteria and must meet all essential safety, hygiene and operational standards. Receiving QAA status identifies them as dedicated to safety, hygiene and operating practices, offering confidence and comfort to the spa management, employees and the guest”, advises Diane Sparrow.

Since 1998, Leading Spas of Canada (LSC) has served as Canada’s only national spa association, setting rigorous standards of safety, hygiene and service. For the past decade, these standards were supported through voluntary adherence by all member spas, which remains for all member spas. The new Quality Assurance program is a step beyond, incorporating the on-site assessments to physically verify all requirements are met or exceeded. To date, the Leading Spas of Canada initiative is the only national, comprehensive assessment program for spas in the world.

The Quality Assurance program is available to all member spas of Leading Spas of Canada in 2010.

For more information about Leading Spas of Canada and the Quality Assurance Program, contact:

Wanda Love
C.E.O., Leading Spas of Canada 604.662.3411

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About Leading Spas of Canada
As Canada’s national spa organization, Leading Spas of Canada (LSC) provides support for the development of the Canadian spa industry and the promotion of Canada as the finest spa destination in the world. Led by a dedicated Board of Directors from across the country, LSC represents the broad spectrum of the spa experience, from resort and day spas, destination and mineral spring spas to medical spas, schools and suppliers. Over 175 Association members share a commitment to a stringent set of Standards of Practice and Codes of Ethics, which distinguish them for excellence in spa services and operations in North America and in the world.

Leading Spas of Canada
Wanda Love