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The Way We Were


Our resident columnist, Matt Baines, looks at training and education within the industry, and how the cleaning approach has changed over time.


I like to think that a little rearward reflection can only be a healthy and positive thing. It allows us to fully understand where we’ve come from and how far we’ve travelled, what we did well and what could have been improved upon and perhaps most importantly, it provides some perspective on the way we should tackle things we are doing now or will do next. With this in mind, it’s clear to see how our experiences in the past have shaped the current offering of the Premiere Cleaning Academy and how they will continue to do so as we innovate into the future.


As a business, Premiere is delighted to be reaching its 90th anniversary during the course of this year, and we are quite rightly proud of the heritage surrounding all aspects of our business. However, one particular and highly favoured boast of mine is that we have directly employed an “outward facing” customer training team for nearly 50% of those 90 years, by far and away leading the field as compared to the majority of competitors. For me, no further evidence is required as proof that training and education are at the very heart of who we are, what we stand for and what we do best.


Back in the 70s, all training courses offered were free of charge to account holding customers and were solely designed and certificated by Premiere. The basic construct of the course was theory presentation plus practical demonstration given by the tutor, and the subject matter


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included all aspects of floorcare, toilet and washroom care, housekeeping/ office cleaning, and so on. These courses served us extremely well for many years. In fact, updated versions of some still remain entrenched within our offering and are extremely popular with customers to this day – particularly our two-day Cleaning & Maintenance course.


Nevertheless, there came a point during the late 80s/early 90s when the cleaning industry and its client base were beginning to demand training and qualifications that were independently accredited. Recognising this, the team at Premiere did its research and selected BICSc as the awarding body of choice. Their feeling at the time being that their model of taking learners out of their daily routine, focusing on skills training via discussion, presentation and demonstration, and ultimately assessing their competence through semi-formal observation, was ideal for the industry – whilst sitting comfortably alongside and enhancing our in-house offering.


In 1992, Premiere Products became a licensed BICSc centre and began a 20 year period of successful delivery across the majority of BICSc’ training and education schemes – COPC, FPCC, CSSC and more recently, CPSS. During this period we also featured in every final for the Excellence in Training & Assessment within an Accredited Training Provider award, at the annual BICSc Awards


Dinner during the three years that the award was in existence (coming as runner-up in 2010 and winning in both 2009 and 2011).


As many of you will more than likely know however, in 2012 BICSc announced a change in their model of engagement with Accredited Training Providers in the UK, which simply didn’t work for Premiere and so, after much deliberation, we wished BICSc well and went our separate ways (in the UK at least). Knowing that we still wanted an accredited offering, but not knowing quite what shape this was now going to take, this step away from a 20-year-old comfort zone inevitably triggered a broad reaching review of the available training and education schemes for cleaning and its allied industries.


I’ve got to say that we’ve learned a lot, and have experienced our fair share of “light bulb moments” along the way. I am convinced of the absolute necessity for training and educational opportunities which offer the chance for real development and which meet the needs of both the individual and their employer, as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach favoured by many other training organisations.


www.premiereproducts.co.uk


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


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