New Edition of SpaQuality LLC has released the fifth edition of its quality system management standards for spas: The International Standards of SpaExcellence 2010: Managing for the Sustained Success of a Spa, A Quality System Approach with Guidance and Examples. The standards have been reorganized and expanded and more guidance and examples have been provided. The publication, now more than 200 pages, is offered in both print and pdf file format.

It has been sold to spas in more than 20 countries. The retail price for the print version is $195 and is shipped only in the U.S.. The retail price for the pdf version is $95, and it is e-mailed globally as an electronic file (
The changes made in this fifth edition are based on SpaQuality’s experiences with and knowledge of best practices in high-performance organizations and recommendations from spa consultants, owners, directors and guests. Key changes to the 2010 Standards include:

  • A new model of a process-based spa quality system,
  • Deletion of the Management section,
  • Addition of the Intention and Strategy section,
  • Addition of general quality management concepts as they apply to the spa industry, 
  • Addition of the Leadership section, 
  • Addition of general leadership concepts as they apply to the spa industry, 
  • Guidance, examples and tools have been combined and immediately follow the associated Standard element,
  • Addition of an index
  • Addition of a biography of the authors
  • Addition of a resource section,
  • Presented both as “The Standards” alone, as well as “The Standards with Guidance and Examples,” and tabbed for easy use (print only).

This book is used as the textbook for “Building and Sustaining High Quality Systems for Spas” (, a six-week, online course developed and taught by Julie Register and Linda Bankoski of SpaQuality LLC, for The University of California-Irvine Extension’s online Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate Program.

The International Standards of SpaExcellence 2010 describe the five key areas of a complete, fully functional spa quality management system:

Intention and Strategy – This defines what is important to the spa’s success and creates a system to turn intentions into reality. Examples include characterizing the culture, setting the spa’s vision and mission and values and strategic planning such as the spa’s treatment menu and required facilities, equipment and supplies.

Leadership – This section contains information to balance leadership and management. Spa leadership leads people and manages the system of processes as a cohesive whole. Spa leadership communicates roles and responsibilities and evaluates the spa’s effectiveness and efficiency. Examples include establishing the culture, ensuring the spa’s vision and mission and values are integrated into spa operations, training needs analysis, hiring and training staff, allocating resources, deploying the strategy and reviewing key business performance indicators.

Guest Experiences – These processes are used to plan and manage the delivery of guest services and identify ways to improve the guest experience. Examples include booking appointments, welcoming guests warmly, treatment delivery (SOPs / protocols) and offering retail products.

Operations Support – These processes are the back-of-the-house processes used to ensure that the spa can deliver safe and consistent treatments and meet regulatory requirements in order to optimize the spa-business operations. Examples include cleaning and sanitizing the spa facility and equipment, purchasing and receiving, product storage, and maintaining equipment and facilities.

Improvement – These processes identify opportunities for the Spa to minimize risks and continually improve in all aspects of the spa business and in Guest satisfaction. Examples include analyzing guest feedback, root cause analysis (finding and correcting problems at their source), spa self-examination and assessments, using audit and testing systems and personnel to identify what needs improvement, and identifying and eliminating sources of waste.

Within the five key areas, there are four activities that describe the cycle needed for a comprehensive spa quality system: plan, document, manage and evaluate.

  • Plan includes necessary preparation activities.
  • Document includes necessary key documents and records.
  • Manage includes activities needed for control.
  • Evaluate includes information collection and analysis needed to demonstrate how well the Spa planned, documented and managed.

This book contains The International Standards of SpaExcellence 2010 along with guidance and examples. It also provides information on services offered by SpaQuality LLC including education courses, spa quality system assessments, anonymous guest assessments and, for spas that seek public recognition of their management efforts, the SpaExcellence Certification process.

The inspiration of The International Standards of SpaExcellence comes from  internationally accepted quality management system standards used by other industries including ISO 9000 (international quality management systems), ISO 14000 (environmental management standards), the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the U.S., the Canada Awards for Excellence from the National Quality Institute in Canada, the EFQM Excellence Award in Europe, OSHA (U.S. health and safety), FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (U.S.), TedQual (tourism education quality), JCAHO (U.S. health-care organization standards), and more. We drew from our vast quality knowledge and experience to translate, enhance and organize the basic concepts and application of these standards and combined it with years of spa experience into a complete spa quality management system that provides spas with what is necessary to achieve long-term success. We published the first edition of The International Standards of SpaExcellence in 2004 and have updated it periodically ever since. Spa owners, spa directors, spa managers, spa consultants and general managers of hotels or resorts with spas will find the information found in The International Standards of SpaExcellence 2010 extremely valuable.

Our intention is to provide you with everything you need to establish a spa quality system that has integrity and which results in:

  • Satisfied and Loyal Clients,
  • Dependable Staff
  • Reduced Risks
  • Smooth Operations Every Day; and
  • Financial Success.