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Lockdown update


Neil Spencer-Cook, Chief Operating Officer of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), gives us an update on the goings on at the Institute.


Well, what a strange three months. With the COVID-19 lockdown, BICSc and BICS Business Services (BBS) had to take the decision to furlough several of its staff and continue with a skeleton cover.


During this time those few key staff members have been working


hard – from home – to keep our members and the industry updated and offer the advice where we could.


We also took the opportunity to develop and run our first Cleanlogic live online briefing on the 'Control of Cross- Contamination', which was very well received. This has now been joined with other live briefings: keep an eye out for more in the coming months.


In late May we held our first online members-only live Q&A session, which will continue now on a monthly basis. These give members a voice to let us know about the challenges they’re facing on the industry’s frontline.


For operatives needing to renew their Licence to Practice, we now have an option available to do this online.


We have had to delay the release of the latest version of Cleaning Professional's Skills Suite (CPSS) and the mobile/ tablet application, however these will now be released in September 2020.


Now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, we’re able to commence face to face training, starting in July with the Licence to Practice at the BBS Training Suite in Northampton. We will be able to ramp up and include our full range of training as and when it becomes possible and safe to do so.


We have undertaken an independent risk assessment for the return to training, with changes made to the Training Suite to ensure the safety requirements are met for our candidates and trainers.


It’s amazing how quickly the development of online options has happened over the last three months. I’m sure many of you, like BICSc, had online and remote working availability


34 | REGULAR www.bics.org.uk twitter.com/TomoCleaning


that was used to some extent, so the change to working from home where possible has presented the challenge of using these systems more fully, and has proved successful and in some cases more efficient.


Online availability and remote resources have led us to bring forward the investigation into new ways of doing what we do best – setting standards and providing training to the cleaning industry. The coming months will see options appear in how we deliver training. We will never stop the delivery of face to face training, however with the addition of remote learning, I’m sure this will be well received within the industry.


There is one area that will remain face to face, and that is the assessment to provide accreditation. Keep an eye out as things progress and move forward in this area.


We would normally be into the judging phase of the BICSc Annual Awards at this time, finalising the event’s arrangements. It was with a heavy heart that we had to cancel this year’s event. However, next year is the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of BICSc, so this should be a huge celebration and will allow us to celebrate industry training even more.


We’re sharing a lot of useful information with our members on our website, most of which is also available to the industry as a whole. Please have a look, as it may prove useful at some point.


We are now in July, and things appear to be easing. The infection rate is dropping, and life is starting to return to whatever the new normal may be. From all of us at BICSc, we do hope you are well and have managed to get through the last three months without too much upheaval.


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