The Cask Marque scheme is operated by an independent body called Cask Marque Trust which is a limited company, limited by guarantee, and a non profit making organisation. The company is run by a management committee elected by its members. The members who pay a subscription include representatives from brewers, retailers, trade bodies and consumer groups.
Pubs that join the scheme are visited unannounced by an independent assessor twice a year. In the first year they are visited twice in the first three months and in subsequent years they are visited once in the summer and once in the winter.
The assessor checks all cask ales on sale for - temperature, appearance, aroma and taste.
If all beers reach the required standard then the pub passes and it receives a plaque, framed certificate and merchandising material to inform its customers of the award and their rights.
Consumers are encouraged to comment independently on the quality of cask ale in the pub to the Cask Marque organisation and further visits will be made if required.