Cleanology is defined as the study of cleaning and behavior in relation to custodial maintenance. In essence, it educates custodians on the science behind cleaning — why cleaning is necessary, not just how it’s completed — and teaches staff to take ownership of their work.

Eusebio Franco, director of facilities at Rice University, has offered the Cleanology program for 20 years. Originally developed by George Price, Franco has found the program to be very successful within his department.

The program has three levels:

• Basic. Employees must attend this 8- to 10-hour course during their six-month probationary period. Here they are introduced to the principals of the program.

• Certified. Employees can opt to take this course in Year One or Year Two. The course, which meets once a week, takes nearly a year, starting in February and ending in December.

• Registered. A few graduates go through the Registered program, which enables them to teach others in the Basic and Certified classes.

Once custodians have completed the 10-month course, they officially become “Cleanologists.”

RONNIE GARRETT is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wis.

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