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ISSA Launches CIMS Certification In UK & Ireland


After a thorough evaluation of many different countries and regions, ISSA, has chosen the UK and Republic of Ireland as the fi rst two countries outside of the US in which to launch its acclaimed Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS).


CIMS is a trailblazing consensus- based management standard, geared towards validating and improving the professionalism of cleaning service providers. The Standard lays out a framework based on management principles that are universally considered as hallmarks of successful cleaning organisations, namely: Quality Systems, Health, Safety & Environmental Stewardship, Service Delivery, Management Commitment, and HR.


The CIMS Standard was originally created through a true consensus- based process. Led and managed by ISSA, this involved top organisations from the cleaning, facilities management and purchasing communities, in a true collaborative effort that represented the interests of more than 100,000 industry stakeholders.


The Standard was fi rst introduced in the US in 2006, and to date, 186 organisations have achieved certifi cation. CIMS is also the subject of a fast-growing ISSA subgroup on LinkedIn, which already has over 1,200 members drawn from around the world.


Certifi cation to the CIMS Standard provides a conclusive way for a contract cleaning company to differentiate itself from its competition, through demonstrating a commitment to quality cleaning performance, as well as a keen focus on customer satisfaction, continual operational improvement, and best use of resources.


Keith Baker, Director of EMEA Services at ISSA, commented: “To my mind, CIMS works so well because it is based on universally


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accepted management principles and applies these elements to an entire organisation, rather than to an individual, product or process. The use of specifi c products and cleaning techniques is not required, or actually even recommended, and each organisation keeps the fl exibility to choose the products and cleaning techniques that best fi t its needs.”


The new Standard is also set to be a signifi cant asset to facilities managers and others responsible for selecting a cleaning service provider, in that the certifi cation helps to identify quality providers that are completely in synch with the manager’s needs and expectations. They can therefore gain an increased confi dence in their chosen contractor by using CIMS as a powerful tender or bid pre-requisite. With this function in mind, the Standard provides specifi cations that fi t seamlessly into most existing tender frameworks.


Keith added: “Just as CIMS certifi cation will be a strong selling point for cleaning contractors moving forward, I can also envisage an industry in just a few years’ time where professional facilities managers will only use CIMS certifi ed companies or rue the consequence of not doing so.”


Organisations wishing to achieve certifi cation must undergo a comprehensive on-site assessment by a fully independent and accredited assessor, who evaluates the organisation’s compliance with the Standard. In the UK and Ireland, the CIMS standard will be audited independently by ISSA’s chosen exclusive partner, BICSc Business Services. Certifi cation will then be reassessed every two years to ensure ongoing compliance.


Based on the experience in the US, ISSA has also identifi ed that there is also a considerable opportunity for manufacturers, distributors and training and consultancy fi rms, to expand their industry knowledge


and strengthen their customer relationships by assisting their customers in preparing for CIMS certifi cation. To do this, individuals can take a special training session run by BICSc Business Services and pass an examination to become Industry Cleaning Experts (I.C.E.).


The fi rst two I.C.E workshops and certifi cation sessions will be held on 4th-5th March 2014 and 16th-17th September 2014 at the Highgate House Hotel, Groom's Lane, Creaton, Northampton, NN6 8NN. The fee for attendance is £650+VAT per person, and registration should be made by email to: CIMS@bicsbusinessservices.com


Further I.C.E workshops will be announced in the coming weeks, and any companies who are interested in having ISSA and BICSc Business Services conduct a private, custom I.C.E. workshop at their own facility, should contact Keith Baker, ISSA Director of EMEA Services at keith@issa.com


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