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When we require a service that’s essential to our well-being, we quite rightly expect the person delivering it to be properly qualifi ed. If we

need a new boiler, an installer from the Gas Safe Register is essential, and you wouldn’t trust your teeth to an unqualifi ed dentist. This should also apply to the cleaning sector, because without the fundamental services it provides, the fabric of society would crumble. Sorry if that sounds alarmist, but consider if you will, a world where cleaning didn’t exist. Rubbish would soon choke our streets and houses, germs and disease would spread, and the accumulated mess would exacerbate the much-quoted ‘broken window’ effect, contributing to a general malaise and disregard for other people and our surroundings.

Cleaning is a core service, and the people that undertake this essential task need to be recognised for their

Without a shadow of a doubt, formal training is (and should be with every business) right at the top of the agenda. If you really are

passionate about your business and committed to your staff, you must offer training possibilities; it’s one thing to offer further training to cleaners who wish to develop their careers and achieve progression, but I believe in insisting that at least a basic level of training is always given. For a start, it ensures that your staff fully understand the products and the tasks they are presented with, thereby ensuring that they remain safe too. This is important not just for the individual, but for those interacting with them and for the environment they are in. Once trained, they understand the jobs they are being given, meaning a much greater level of productivity.

But training is important in other ways too; unless you start the process to begin with, you will never know what your staff are capable of, who


skills and abilities. Formal training, which leads to an accredited qualifi cation, is an excellent way to do this – it brings numerous benefi ts for all parties. Employers enjoy better staff retention and loyalty, customers have peace of mind that the job is being carried out properly to an agreed standard of service, and employees feel supported and motivated. What could be better?

Recognised qualifi cations also go a long way to boosting the image of the cleaning industry. Our sector has been stereotyped as low-grade and unskilled for far too long. Cleaning is a profession, undertaken and managed by dedicated people. Tailored training and qualifi cations can help to prove this, and dispel some of those misguided myths.

Cleaning is also becoming the stepping stone to future career progression. The recent trend towards convergence between the cleaning, FM and waste and recycling industries has opened up opportunities for diversifi cation.

would make good supervisors and managers, or who has the potential to thrive. It encourages people to seek personal development and have aspirations for the future; your workforce is happier, your staff retention rate is higher, and so your business booms. It’s important to make your team feel wanted and appreciated to create a loyalty, and training is a great way of achieving this.

Formal training should always be seen as an investment, both in the programme itself and the people who use it. Here at Principle Cleaning Services, we have introduced our own specialist cleaning schemes; rather than sub-contracting all our specialist work, we made the move to train all of our staff in-house in the same techniques. Aside from getting them involved in areas they haven’t previously covered, we found it immensely rewarding from the perspective that we have more control over jobs, with a much better and more economical, cost- effi cient service. We have used ProChem Europe and manufacturers like Diversey Care, who offer

Those people starting on the frontline, delivering cleaning services ‘on the ground’, now have the opportunity to move into management, specialise in areas such as infection control, or progress into other related areas such as FM or waste management. Thought of in this way, cleaning looks like a viable, valuable vocation – and by providing formal training and qualifi cations, it should help to attract the brightest and the best, ensuring that our profession continues to thrive and improve.

Ceris Burns Managing Director, Ceris Burns International

This month we ask... providing formal train

formal training, but we’re also a BICSc member – a number of our supervisors are BICSc accredited trainers, now even developing our own training school.

We need to make sure that formal training is at the forefront of our minds, and get back to caring about our staff. There are many companies out there simply paying lip-service to training, without providing any results; BICSc are making steps to take hold of this trend, but it’s something we can all tackle head-on ourselves.

Douglas Cooke, Co-Founder of Principle Cleaning Services

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