Our rating system

Develop your business and show parents you care – become a member and complete an application to achieve our gold kite quality assurance rating.

Sector challenges

The children’s activities sector faces a number of challenges. There is currently no regulatory body to oversee quality control and new providers entering the sector; governmental confusion over our impact and need for activity providers to support child development; gaps in professional support and knowledge across the sector – there is a long list of national issues connected to the industry.

With our work, alongside our members, we aim to tackle these issues to improve the lives of children across the UK. Our role as activity providers is an essential one to society and we must ensure that as a collective we communicate this through our businesses, programmes and social impact.

We then help our members to better communicate their successes with their customers through our system and quality assurance rating.

Our framework

Children’s activity business excellence comes in a multitude of shapes and sizes and our framework has been developed to reflect this.

Our three key areas of business quality; Compliance, Programme and Marketing Communications, take a broad and holistic view of your business. Whether you’re a local independent operator or a large regional franchise business, our framework captures all the good things you are doing.

What’s more, it will ignite your imagination and understanding of areas to target for improvement that you hadn’t previously considered.



  • Policies – using best practice guidance and legal requirements to efficiently run your operations
  • Health & safety – clear understanding of the risks and control measures to have in place to manage this
  • Management – knowledge of systems, processes and legislation surround tax, staff and business structure


  • Planning – the effective planning of services and programmes for children
  • Delivery – quality levels of engagement, child behaviour management and learning outcomes
  • Evaluation – the review and iteration of offerings to improve engagement and inclusiveness




  • Strategy – suitable planning and understanding of all areas of marketing, including brand positioning and promotional channels
  • Customers – clear, focused and consistent messaging and service offered to parents and children
  • Community – what impact does your business have beyond your service offerings that build a better place to live

I have found ICAP so very helpful, supportive and informative. Your accreditation process was both hard work and enlightening, and my business is now stronger and more organised than before, again thank you.

Kathryn Halsey

Rating System

Completed online in the ICAP members area, the application is over 60 questions aimed at capturing your activity across our three key areas of business quality; Compliance, Programme & Marketing Communications. We’ll ask about your policies, procedures, service delivery and marketing strategy.

Once you’ve submitted your application we calculate a score for each key business area, and the overall quality assurance rating is a reflection of your total score. An activity provider may achieve one, two, three or no gold kites depending on their score.



The majority of the rating focuses on current practices within your business. To score maximum points in this section we ask about your processes, health & safety and general management. 



Businesses are recommended to formalise their practices by writing them as policies, and we encourage those without them to have a strategy or set of goals that they are working towards. We award points for having sufficient documentation in place. This helps staff and parents understand and adhere to the business values and conditions.



We question how business owners present the brand, how they talk to customers and approach their strategy. To gain points in this section, a business must promote their opportunities through appropriate channels with clear messaging, support the wider community and aim for continual improvements to best practice helping parents, children and staff thrive as part of their impact.

By becoming a member of ICAP you’re joining a community of like-minded professionals and business owners in the children’s activity sector working towards excellence

Stay up
to date...

Receive all the latest news and insights in the children’s activity sector.