not up to scratch

(not) up to scratch

As good as what was expected, required, or demanded; satisfactory or adequate. "Scratch" in this phrase may refer to the starting line of a race. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Jim, I know you've had a lot going on at home, but these reports just aren't up to scratch. How much money do you think it will take to bring my car up to scratch?
See also: scratch, up

not up to scratch

Not acceptable or satisfactory; not attaining a particular standard. Your papers have been very good all semester, but, frankly, this one is not up to scratch.
See also: not, scratch, up

not up to scratch and not up to snuff

Fig. not adequate. Sorry, your paper isn't up to scratch. Please do it over again. The performance was not up to snuff.
See also: and, not, scratch, snuff, up

not up to scratch

COMMON If something or someone is not up to scratch, they are not good enough. If the service isn't up to scratch, the customer gets his money back. Athletes have no one to blame but themselves if their performances are not up to scratch. Parents were complaining that one of the teachers wasn't up to scratch. Note: You can say that someone or something does not come up to scratch. The Home Secretary wants better methods for dealing with police officers who do not come up to scratch. Note: You can also say that you bring someone or something up to scratch. We had to work hard on the apartment to bring it up to scratch. Note: In the past, boxers started a fight with their left feet on a line drawn on the ground, known as the scratch. When a boxer was knocked down, they were allowed thirty seconds' rest before coming `up to the scratch' once more. A boxer who was not at the line in time lost the fight.
See also: not, scratch, up
References in periodicals archive ?
"We also need more security but there are still tracks where security is not up to scratch. At a lot of tracks the security staff are either young boys, 5ft-tall men or women.
"Both ends of the bowlers' run-ups the other night were just not up to scratch and that was the main reason why the umpires did not rule the ground fit.
Months earlier, soldiers said they had to spend thousands buying new equipment because Army items were not up to scratch.
A seven-member panel will study their displays and come down hard on anyone who is not up to scratch. The sanction against those who do not perform will be relegation from an elite new "Select Group" of 24 top men who will get all the big games.
tables at Sheffield, saying the cushions are not up to scratch, and only Paul Hunter, in good form against David Roe, and Peter Ebdon have so far compiled century breaks.