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TOMORROW’S CLEANING FEBRUARY 10
Who will raise the standard
of British cleaning?
By Stan Atkins – CEO, British Institute of Cleaning Science
The British cleaning industry is possibly the prepared to accept any standard, provided that best practice. Once the Standards become the
most unregulated profession in the UK. This at it is cheap. If cleaning standards are to rise and acknowledged measure of best practice,
least means that the people working in the the reputation of the industry is to get better, everyone in the industry will seek to be
cleaning business spend most of their time this has got to change. measured by them.
cleaning and relatively little being chased by
It became clear during the last couple of years The accreditation consists of three elements:
people with clipboards and forms, but it also
that one way of establishing reliable and
means that those working in the industry only
The product
acknowledged benchmarks of quality and
have the current employment and health and
performance would be for the British Institute of
Adequate training in the product
safety law to protect them. Until now, the lack
Cleaning Science to take the lead by creating
of agreed standards has also meant that those
Testing and validation of the product in
recognised standards for cleaning products and
buying cleaning machines, chemicals and
field conditions
systems. That has now happened, and, during
other products had very little independent
January 2010, the Institute announced the
The testing is carried out under genuinely
information available to enable them to
launch of new Accredited Cleaning Systems
realistic, practical, dirty conditions - we really
distinguish between what was effective and
Standards for cleaning equipment and systems
test the product in the field. The accreditation
good value for money and what was not.
manufactured and/or marketed by Corporate
enables you and your customers to be
I have no wish for legislation for legislation’s Members of the Institute.
confident that the operatives, the occupants
sake, but feel strongly that our industry needs
and the fabric of the building being cleaned are
The first company to be awarded BICSc
to agree a voluntary Code of Practice before
protected from design flaws or inadequacies of
Accreditation is Ecolab, for their institutional
somebody with a government title decides to
the cleaning products being used.
and industrial cleaning and sanitising
impose one and to charge everybody a fee to
products. With sales of $6 billion and more
The Institute hopes that there will quickly be
pay for the bureaucracy.
than 26,000 associates in over 160 countries,
sufficient products and systems accredited for
I believe, for example, that the industry would Ecolab is a global leader in cleaning,
people to be able to mix and match cleaning
benefit from an agreed and standardised system sanitising, food safety and infection prevention
products, in the knowledge that, if they follow
of colour coding for chemicals and materials, products and services.
the instructions, they will get the outcome that
to prevent mistakes and increase efficiency.
matches their expectations.
Please show your support for the BICSc
Contraction of the market has increased Accredited Cleaning Systems Standards by
We aim to give people the building blocks to
competition, which has driven prices down. joining the Institute, if you are not already a
achieving consistent quality and best practice.
Low prices make it tempting for cleaning firms member, and by joining a campaign of ‘Letters If cleaners are properly trained, are given the
to cut corners on the quality of the to the Editors’ of the Cleaning and Facilities time required to achieve a high quality result
machines and chemicals they use and Management trade press expressing your and use the accredited products properly, they
on training. Over the past couple of approval of and support for the Standards. should achieve quality every time.
years, customers have been
What will drive acceptance of accreditation by If customers seek out members of the British
people in the industry, and by the industry’s Institute of Cleaning Science, and insist that
customers, is the development of a
Accredited Products and Systems are used for
consensus accepting that the
their work, they will have recourse if quality is
Standards provide a means of
not forthcoming.
demonstrating due diligence in
undertaking a contract. The
So, please, write your letters to the editors of
Standards will quickly become
the trade press, and let’s hear it for the British
a measure by which cleaners
Institute of Cleaning Science and the new
and those who manufacture their
Accredited Cleaning Systems Standards.
machines and products will Visit www.bics.org.uk or phone
be able show that they used
01604 678710 for more information.
6
| TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry
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