Frequently asked questions about the animal activity star rating

If you have a question which is not covered here, please email [email protected].  

When will businesses be star-rated?

Businesses are rated following an inspection that takes place prior to the grant/renewal of the licence or a requested re-inspection.  Re-rating may also occur following an unannounced or additional inspection (for example following a complaint) if major issues are highlighted that require follow-up action.

When are new businesses star-rated?

New businesses will be rated following their initial inspection.

Where businesses have a licence for multiple activities, is each activity rated separately?

The licence holder will receive only one rating to cover all their activities. Where they are meeting different standards for different activities (for example meeting the higher standards for dog breeding, but the minimum standards for dog boarding), the overall score reflects the lower of the two.

What information is provided following the inspection at which the star rating was determined?

The following information will be provided, in writing, in the full inspection report :

  1. The star rating itself along with the expiry date of the licence
  2. Details of why the business was rated as it was.  This includes; a schedule of works listing the minimum and higher standards the business is currently failing to meet; a copy of the risk management assessment table showing the area asessed, their score and the reasoning behind the score. 
  3. Details of the appeals process and the deadline by which an appeal must be made.

The full inspection report aims to inform the applicant why their allocated star rating has been awarded.  It also allows internal monitoring and review should an appeal be made.

Who pays for a re-inspection?

Re-inspection falls under full cost recovery, and a fee is charged.

When is the inspection carried out?

The re-inspection should be carried out within three months of receipt of the request. Where an inspection does not occur within the three months, the business can raise the issue with the public and environmental health team leader, as deputy for the director of environment. If the matter cannot be resolved, the business can use our complaints procedure.

How many re-inspections can a business request?

There is no limit to the number of re-inspections a business can request, however, there will be a fee for each visit charged at full cost recovery.

Must the council accept all requests for re-inspections?

No. If the case made by the business is not substantiated or insufficient evidence is provided, we can refuse to undertake a re-inspection. An explaination of why the request is being refused will be given, along with the priority actions required to improve the rating, and any evidence required for a re-inspection to be made.

If the business disagrees with our decision to refuse a request for a re-inspection, they can raise the issue with the public and environmental health team leader, as deputy for the director of environment. If the matter cannot be resolved, the business can use our complaints procedure.

Where a re-inspection is to be carried out, should this be unannounced?

This depends on the reason for the re-inspection. An appointment could be made, unless an unannounced visit is necessary to ensure that compliance is checked properly (for example if the non-compliance was related to cleanliness standards).

If standards have not improved or have deteriorated at the time of the re-inspection, should a lower rating be given?

At the time of the re-inspection, the inspector should not only check that the required improvements have been made, but should also assess the ongoing standards. This means that the rating could go up, down or remain the same.

Should the ratings be published?

The star rating must be added to the licence and the licence must be displayed by the business.  Where permission is granted to do so, the council maintain a list of animal activity licenses issued including their ratings on its website.