Certifications and Training for Cleaning Staff


For any cleaning service provider, the corporate cleaning employees are the ones who interact with the clients every day. Hence, recruiting and training for cleaning staff becomes essential to attain success.


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Facilities Management
January 17, 2021
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Certifications and Training for Cleaning Staff

In the modern world, every business looks forward to building some great client relationships. The cleaning businesses are no exception to this. However, most businesses do not realize that the ones who interact frequently with clients on their behalf are their janitorial staff. It is the cleaning staff that works day in and day out at multiple client locations to get facilities cleaned and disinfected. 

For any cleaning service provider, the corporate cleaning employees are the ones who interact with the clients every day. Hence, recruiting and training for cleaning staff becomes essential to attain success.

You, as a commercial cleaning business owner, should always put your focus on cleaning training of your janitorial staff first, so that they can understand & perform their cleaning duties properly.

Why train the cleaning staff

Training new employees has a lot of benefits for big and small companies alike. First and foremost, it helps new employees to refine their skills and give their best to the organization.It also helps them get comfortable and skilled in their cleaning job.

A well-trained staff ultimately delivers better results for a cleaning company.

Benefits of cleaning training

There are multiple benefits of providing training to the commercial cleaning staff for any janitorial company. Some of them include:

  • Trained cleaning staff is more loyal. According to Hiring Site Research, 90% of the employees are more loyal to commercial cleaning companies that provide regular cleaning training to their employees.
  • Training also leads to staff retention for cleaning companies. 
  • Commercial cleaning companies that provide cleaning training to their staff are more profitable. 
  • Cleaning training improves cleaning times and reduces accidents.
  • Regular training also helps cleaning staff to deliver the highest quality of professional cleaning services.

The challenges in training for cleaning staff

Providing regular training and certifications on the latest cleaning techniques and equipment is a shared responsibility of the administration of a cleaning company. The motive behind such training programs is to familiarize the cleaning staff with the latest methods, technologies and equipment in their field.

A well-organized training program and carefully drafted training manuals are extremely vital during the training process. They help trainers or supervisors to stay on track and cover all the important aspects of training.

Training and certification programs

- ISSA CIMS -GB (organisation certification)

The ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS-GB) describes the procedures and principles to be considered in designing and implementing quality management programmes for cleaning organisations including the delivery of environmentally-friendly services. This Standard applies, without respect to the size of the organisation, both to cleaning organisations that self-perform cleaning and to cleaning.

The Standard is based on universally accepted management principles and consists of five sections of management best practices and one optional pillar “Green Building”:

  1. Quality Systems
  2. Service Delivery
  3. Human Resources
  4. Health, Safety, and Environmental Stewardship
  5. Management Commitment
  6. Green Building

For a cleaning contractor or in- house service provider to become certified to the Standard indicates that an organisation conforms to the requirements set forth in the Standard and has successfully demonstrated compliance to an independent, accredited auditor.

GBAC Star Facility Accreditation (facility accreditation)

GBAC STAR™ is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. It is the gold standard of prepared facilities. This accreditation means that a facility has:

  • Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
  • The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazardous and infectious disease.
  • Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.

GBAC STAR is designed for any size facility or organization, including: stadia, malls, schools, convention centers, hotel, spa centers, commercial buildings.

BICSc Standards and Accredited Training

The British Institute of Cleaning Science is the largest independent, professional and educational body within the cleaning industry, with over 45,000 Individual and Corporate Members in the UK and internationally.

BICSc aim is to raise the standards of education and build awareness of the cleaning industry through professional standards and accredited training with a mission of:

  • Protecting the operative
  • Providing a clean and safe environment
  • Preserving assets
  • Promoting sustainability
  • Producing best practice

BICSc offers membership whether that be for individuals or corporate which offer a range of benefits which will enhance career development and help improve organisations. With a range of Membership grades available there is something for everyone.

BICSc Standards

BICSc Standards have recently been reviewed, revised and reissued as of October 2020. It is important that there are standards across all professional disciplines, cleaning is no exception. BICSc Standards have originated from the knowledge and experience of highly-regarded industry experts, whose expertise and combined intelligence have created a standard that can be introduced and integrated to become an integral part of an organisation’s overall performance through an agreed process of delivering cleaning methodology.

Contents include:

  • BICSc recommended colour-coding
  • The Cleaning Professional’s Skills Suite explained
  • ‘BICSc Outcome Criteria’ – learn an effective and efficient way of measuring cleanliness and what is and what isn’t acceptable
  • ‘BICSc Compound Productivity Rates’ provide a standardised figure for calculating time needed to complete a cleaning operation

As an industry, BICSc recognises there are many variations that exist within the professional cleaning and hygiene world. BICSc Standards & Best Practice offers a wealth of knowledge and explains how the BICSc ethos and principles of cleaning can be adapted to suit a professional cleaning company.

  • Cleaning Professionals Skills Suite (CPSS)

BICSc training for cleaning staff offers a pathway to cleaning operative accredited training with their CPSS range of cleaning skills.

Step 1:

Licence to Practice (LTP): A compulsory requirement before progressing onto Base, Additional, Specialist and Sector Specific Units. Candidates must complete the LTP to understand the reasons and practicalities of safe working and will learn key information around health and safety and best practice methodologies.

Step 2: Enhance your skills with Base and Additional Units

The Cleaning Professional’s Skills Suite (CPSS) features a range of competent cleaning skills designed to enhance the knowledge of the cleaning operative. It is up to the individual or company to decide how many competent sills their operatives require. All skills achieved will be listed on a skills card awarded to the candidate on completion of their successful assessment. 

The Base Units cover the more common skills that operatives are likely to use on a daily basis whereas the Additional Units cover the skills that operatives will use frequently. 

Step 3: Become a Cleaning Specialist with our Specialist and Sector Specific Units

In addition to Base and Additional Units there are also a variety of Specialist Units and Sector Specific Units available. These skills are ideal for cleaning operatives who work in a specific environment requiring specialist knowledge. Any Specialist Units that cleaning operatives achieve will be listed on a skills card awarded to the candidate on completion of their successful assessment. 

  • Cleanlogic™

A growing collection of supervisory and management courses and workshops developed with BICSc technical knowledge and experience. All courses and workshops are delivered by BICSc Trainers and certificated by BICSc.

  • BICSc training (online):

LTP is now available to complete online and BICSc is currently working towards more online content during 2021 which will include skills training in addition to the current online Cleanlogic™  courses and workshops.

MEFMA - The Middle East Facilities Management Association also offers courses that can be taken up by cleaning companies and soft FM contractors in the Middle East region

MEFMA Ta’aseesy Foundation in Facility Management Course

As a Foundation Course in Facility Management, this course is ideal for all entry level and junior facility managers, engineers, architects, developers, facility owners and operators who wish to gain essential knowledge of the Facility Management profession.

MEFMA Certified Facility Management Professional

As a Certified Facility Management Professional course, Muhtarif is the ideal next step for all those who have completed the Ta’aseesy Foundation in FM course.

Step-by-Step Guide for How to Train a Commercial Cleaner

Step 1: Communicate

The first step of your training for the cleaning staff program needs to communicate with your cleaning staff.

You can give them an overview of the overall training program, explain the need for training. 

Once the training objective is communicated, provide printed training manuals to your employee to perform their job tasks as efficiently and effectively.

Step 2: Display

Provide them visuals by ‘showing’ them how each job is done at the next stage. You can provide training videos, demonstrating each cleaning task that your existing employees perform at client locations as part of their service, to your trainees. Tell them the importance of performing each task in a particular sequence and what happens if that sequence is not followed - visually.

Demonstrate cleaning tools or equipment videos that they will be using.

Step 3: Implement

Showcase cleaning tasks in real-world to your cleaning staff or trainees so they can learn.

Ask them if they find it easy, what are the steps they feel difficult to perform in this particular cleaning task? etc. – the more questions an employee asks, the faster they will learn.

Step 4: Review

Check the training knowledge gained by your employees. Aso check that your management staff, trainers and supervisors are doing a good job related to training your janitorial employees.

Of course, the best place to get feedback about the quality of your commercial cleaning training program is your trainees itself.

To sum it up, providing proper training to commercial cleaning staff is essential to get the job done safely, correctly, and efficiently in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular training creates new opportunities for employees to learn, improve, and build upon their existing capabilities.

Also Read: Post COVID-19: Boosting the Morale of Cleaning Staff


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