High Performance Cleaning (HPC) Solutions and the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) have announced a joint proposal to Standards Australia to develop a new Australian and New Zealand cleaning performance standard.
The aim of the standard is to give the cleaning and associated industries:
- Consistent terminology and definitions for specifying and measuring cleaning performance,
- Benchmarks with which to improve industry standards, and
- A foundation on which future licensing and auditor qualifications can be built.
Since 2020, HPC Solutions director, Bridget Gardner, and the national BSCAA board have undertaken extensive consultation with Standards Australia to develop this submission, including establishing an industry working group to ensure it met industry needs.
The cleaning performance standard submission is now entering its final stages. If accepted, Standards Australia will take over the formal process of engaging with industry stakeholders and developing this standard.
Kim Puxty, national president, BSCAA, said the BSCAA first approached Gardner in 2019, to discuss the potential of using the five Cleaning Activity Levels (CAL) model she had developed, as a new industry cleaning standard.
“Bridget Gardner offered to gift the CAL model to the industry if we formalised its development through Standards Australia” Puxty said.
“The BSCAA agreed, as this would increase the chance of it being widely adopted across Australia and New Zealand.”
The timing of this initiative could not have been better, Puxty said.
“As the current pandemic has highlighted, anyone can set up a website, purchase some chemicals, equipment and a van, and call themselves a cleaning company. They assume cleaning is easy and any fool with a mop can do it.
“But the many poor practices we have seen promoted on social media over the past year from fly-by-night companies, clearly demonstrate just how mistaken they were,” she said.
“When cleaning companies operate on nothing more than guesswork, it not only risks the health and safety of cleaners and occupants, but it is also a threat to the viability of companies who have invested in skills and training, and worked hard for years to build a professional service.”
Gardner agreed saying, “the case for a national approach toward setting and measuring cleaning standards has never been stronger.
“This is the perfect opportunity to establish a standard that acknowledge the degree of skill, knowledge, time and resources that are required to clean well.
“Commercial cleaning services must cater for a wide variety of risks, surfaces, soils, budgets and maintenance tasks, within multiple different sectors and environments.
“Building a cleaning performance standard on the five cleaning activity levels of the CAL model, addresses these complexities and supports the FM Standard 41,000,” said Gardner.
“Unlike current standards which rate the degree/type of soil that must not be visible on a surface, this standard defines the degree, type and outcome of the activities to be carried out, with several objective auditing options for measuring the performance of each level.”
BSCAA and HPC Solutions will host a webinar on the initiative on Wednesday, 22 September.
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