About the Scheme

Quest continues to be the Sport England recommended Continuous Improvement Tool for leisure facilities and sports development teams, designed to measure how effective organisations are at providing customer service. It has been running for over 20 years now and continues to evolve with the changes within the industry. Quest is supported by Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland as well as organisations like CIMSPA, ukactive, Chief Leisure Officers’ Association and SPORTA.

The scheme is currently managed by Right Directions, on behalf of Sport England. Quest has become a highly effective improvement tool for many years and as a result, leisure sector management have become much more proficient at delivering a varied activity programme in a clean and well maintained environment.  

The Quest scheme underwent a radical change in 2010 to bring it up to date and to add more value for money. Since then there have been further updates with the latest ones rolled out in 2016, which makes the current version we are working on as Quest 2016. Whether you are new to the scheme or an old hand, Quest now offers something for everyone!

It is vital that Quest remains understandable and valuable to the industry and guides the sector to consider the wider impact it can have on the health and wellbeing of communities. The review and work carried out has considered the standards of:


  • Customer Service Excellence

  • Investors in People

  • European Quality Framework Model

  • How good is our culture and sport? – the Public Sector Improvement Framework in Scotland

  • Culture and Sport Impact Outcomes Framework

  • Culture and Sport Improvement Toolkit (CSIT)

  • Vision for Sport in Wales



The structure, content and scoring of Quest was made more relevant and up to date with the current challenges facing the sector. Following on from feedback Quest has reviewed the banding system it operates and now offers a “Very Good” Banding as one of the Quest 2016 changes.

The bandings are now as follows:

  • Outstanding  - Can only be achieved with a Quest Stretch Assessment

  • Excellent

  • Very Good

  • Good

  • Satisfactory

  • Registered – Can only be achieved with a Quest Entry Assessment

  • Unsatisfactory


The banding for each challenge question will be:

  • US – Unsatisfactory. The centre has nothing in place to indicate that it would meet the criteria and the service experience was not acceptable. Scoring US means numerous major and minor AFIs are noted.

  • S – Satisfactory. The centre has some evidence of meeting the criteria, but there’s still a lot to be done, i.e. the Mystery Visitor can identify potentially gaps in the criteria. Scoring S means a at least one major and numerous minor AFIs are noted.

  • G – Good. The centre has a fair amount in place to assist in meeting the criteria, but there’s still more that could be done to further improve. Scoring G means that the service was acceptable, but at least 3 minor AFIs are noted.

  • V – Very Good. The centre meets majority the criteria and there are only minor areas for improvement.  Scoring V means, that the service was very good, with only 1 or 2 minor AFIs are noted.

  • E – Excellent. The centre meets all the criteria and the service could not be faulted. Scoring E means that there are no AFI’s noted.


Quest 2016 and subsequent revisions will develop and help to influence the sector to make a positive difference to the health, wellbeing and fitness of the communities we serve.