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

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Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association (bfa). With 25 years’ experience in the franchise sector, Pip has worked her way up within the Association, gaining insight from all areas of the business and the franchise industry. She is well-known and highly regarded in franchising for her dedication and depth of knowledge. Pip regularly speaks at conferences and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing on franchising matters for national, local and franchising trade press. Pip is also a regular judge for the annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, the Franchise Marketing Awards and Global Franchise Awards. Pip represents the UK at both the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC). The bfa has grown to be one of the largest franchise associations in Europe, and one of the most successful associations in the world.

Theo Millward

Theo Millward is a graduate of Lancaster University with a BBA in Management. In 2016 Theo purchased UK swim school, Swimtime from the founders which teaches 20,000 children a week. Following a multi-award- winning digital transformation, during the global pandemic, Theo and his team founded Franscape, a saas that digitally transforms Franchise brands. FranScape won New Business of the Year at the UK Business Awards.

Andy Georgiou

Andy is the Founder of ICAP and a leading UK Franchise Business Consultant. He is fiercely committed to helping children’s activity providers build successful and profitable businesses. With qualifications in Business Management, Digital Media and Marketing, he has helped build, advise and grow leading 6 and 7 fiqure children’s education, sports and activity brands in the past 17 years.

Frank Sahlein

Frank has been active in the Children’s Activity Center industry as an athlete, coach, business owner, consultant and business broker. He is a native of San Mateo, California and graduated from San Jose State University in California (USA).
Frank was a pioneer of the Children’s Learning Opportunity Center concept from 1976 – 2016 at the Wings Center in Boise, Idaho (USA) – a blend of Sports Instruction, Arts, Education, Entertainment and Outreach programs.
As a business management innovator, Frank has delivered over 1,000 presentations for a variety of Children’s Activity Center industries such as gymnastics, swimming, cheerleading, dance, martial arts/ninja and child care/education.
3rd Level Consulting is a Business Development and Service Provider Partner for private industry companies, associations, and organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama.
Two-time recipient of the National Business Leader Award from USA Gymnastics, Frank is the author of “Building Your Business Potential” and “Designing Your Empowered Life”. He is the creator of the SmartEDGE™ Business Applications and Management Certification Courses. He is the co-founder of LEAP Learning and the MetaSpheres Corp, and is the founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Child Development Programs.
His passions include his beautiful wife Lourdes Gonzalez, family, friends, fitness training, transformational reading and travel.