The first consensus-based management standard for the cleaning industry is now available for public review, according to ISSA, which is spearheading the standard's development. All industry members are invited to provide comments on the document's requirements, direction, and scope. The public review period will run through August 4, 2006.

The Cleaning Industry Management Standard draft is available for review here.

"In developing the new Cleaning Industry Management Standard, ISSA remains committed to a true consensus-based process under which everyone who wishes to participate is encouraged to do so," said ISSA Standards Development Manager Dan Wagner. "Our goal from the very beginning has been to create a framework that is based on accepted management principles that are collectively recognized by the industry as the cornerstones of an effectively run cleaning organization."

High-Quality Management
The purpose of the standard is to set forth policies, processes, procedures, and supporting documentation to be used by facility service providers - both building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house service providers (ISPs) - in establishing themselves as truly customer-centered organizations. The standard describes the procedures to be followed in designing and implementing high-quality management programs for cleaning organizations, without respect to the size of the organization or if they are ISPs or BSCs.

The standard applies to management, operations, performance systems, and processes. Compliance with the standard demonstrates that the organization is structured to deliver consistent, quality services. It will apply to a cleaning organization in its entirety, rather than to an individual program or product, and is intended to allow individual companies to choose the most effective ways in which to comply with its management requirements.

The Standards Development Technical Committee outlined the general framework of the standard, identified key management elements, and began the drafting process. The five key elements identified by the committee include: Management/Administration, Quality Systems, Service Delivery, Human Resources, and Commitment to Health, Safety, and Environmental Stewardship.

The committee was then joined by multiple industry stakeholder organizations and representatives who assisted in the standard's development by reviewing drafts and providing specific feedback.

Industry Consensus
While ISSA has led the project, a mix of representatives drawn from all facility segments within the industry - in-house facility management and purchasing, environmental services, BSCs, consulting, and training - have worked on the draft.

The groups actively participating in the project's development represent more than 110,000 professionals and firms from within the cleaning, facility management, and purchasing professions. Many of those groups already have individual management standards and certifications, but felt an organizational standard could best promote the value of well-run cleaning operations and further improve the professionalism of the industry.

Included in the roll of organizations agreeing to participate in the standard's development are: the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), the Cleaning Management Institute (CMI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Green Seal, the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN), the International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Adding to the strong support the standard is receiving during its creation, many facility management and contract-cleaning organizations across North America and around the world already have expressed interest in certifying to the standard.

Following the standard's completion and publication, anticipated by the end of 2006, ISSA expects to launch a pilot program in North America to begin the certification process of cleaning companies and departments that exemplify a quality-managed and customer-oriented industry organization.

In addition to the standard committees, industry representatives from the distribution, manufacturing, training, consulting, and auditing fields currently are working to develop the training, auditing, and certification processes that will compliment the standard. ISSA also is working with the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS) to help manage the development process.

All public comments on the Cleaning Industry Management Standard should be submitted by August 4, 2006, to ISSA Standards Development Manager Dan Wagner via e-mail at daniel@issa.com or via fax at 847-982-1922. Comments may also be submitted via mail to:

ISSA
QM Standard Review
7373 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712