Animation of a man in a suit holding a certificate while giving the "thumbs up"

In order to legally practice, a lawyer must pass the bar exam and complete a set number of continuing legal education units to maintain good standing with the American Bar Association. Earned by attending in-person or online educational events, this ongoing training helps lawyers stay up-to-date on current best practices. 

Of course, this professional growth isn’t specific to lawyers —certifications are something that many professional industries use to ensure the integrity of the vocation. The cleaning industry is no different.  

While there’s no single governing authority for the cleaning industry, several certifications exist to credential building service contractors and help them stand out from the competition. These third-party certifications — designed to offer educational resources and tools to even the most seasoned contract cleaner — signal that an individual or organization has achieved an established set of standards for a cleaning operation. 

Some of the common cleaning industry certifications include CBSE, RBSM, CIMS, CIMS-GB, (OS1) and GS-42. After speaking with several building service contractors — all of whom held at least one certification, but several had obtained multiple — seven reasons emerged as to why it’s important to earn a designation. 

1. Earning an industry certification is a smart thing 
to do if BSCs want to grow in their careers or legitimize their businesses.

Similar to earning a bachelor or master’s degree, earning an industry certification shows that a contractor is serious about the business. 

Parker Moore, vice president of contract compliance at IH Services, Greenville, South Carolina, has been very involved with updating course materials for Building Service Contractors Association International’s CBSE and RBSM programs, so he knows the curriculum well. He feels that earning this designation not only enhances knowledge, but also professional credibility.

“[Earning your CBSE/RBSM] shows your peers and employer that you’re dedicated to the industry, which helps your career opportunities,” says Moore. “It also helps with job security.” 

When it comes to certifications designed for individuals in the field of contract cleaning — like the CBSE and RBSM programs — the curriculum is said to be extremely detailed and the exam difficult.

“I have been in the industry since 2001 and as an active member of BSCAI, I thought I should solidify my years of experience with the CBSE certification,” says Bryan Lazorik, president, Bryco Services, Merrillville, Indiana. “It’s a rigorous exam; however, I place a high level of respect on something that isn’t so easily achieved.”

2. Earning a certification 
creates an expert today. 
Maintaining the designation makes expertise ongoing.

Although earning the initial certification may be daunting, maintaining it through ongoing third-party audits helps to provide consistent independent review of the organization, says Alan Wagemester, COO of San Diego-based GMI Integrated Facility Solutions

Continually analyzing processes helps companies avoid complacency and ensure they are achieving goals. 

“If you don’t measure where you are, you can’t accomplish what you set out to do and don’t know if you’re getting any better,” he says. “It’s like if you’re driving from San Diego to New York and never stop to check a road sign along the way, you don’t know where you are — without [audits], you’re just working to work and do not know if you are making progress.”

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Attract Clients With Commercial Cleaning Certificate