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Hello and welcome to Edition 3 of The Standard Well, what a few months it has been since the last edition, the 14th Prime Minister has checked into 10 Downing Street, the UK sizzled on the 25 July, parts of the country reached a whopping 38.5 degrees, and closer to home we celebrated an important milestone for the Institute. We officially opened the BBS Training Suite in Northampton. We marked the official opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and photoshoot, which included our Training Specialists, a little fizz, and an Aston Martin. This edition is dedicated to BBS, inside you can find out more about the opening ceremony and check out the Training Suite and all it has to offer. In this edition we will also touch on the cleaning ‘trend’ as it continues to sweep across social media (excuse


the pun). The Institute will continue to play its part in this trend and, we remain dedicated to raising standards, educating and supporting those who want a career in cleaning. Our recent Twitter poll provided some interesting and positive results! 90% of you believe that automation will have a positive impact on the cleaning industry. 77% of you believe that higher level qualifications will have greater importance for the industry going forward, and 65% of you believe that the cleaning profession would be held in a higher regard in the future. With results like this we are an industry that is moving with the times, not to mention the value to the UK economy, which is over £24billion, yes that’s billion. With all of that said, we cannot afford to be complacent, we still have work to do. If any of you watched Season 2 of the BBC darkly drama ‘Killing Eve’ you will have noticed various references throughout the series to ‘cleaners’ and ‘maids’……unfortunately (in some circles) cleaning operatives

are still an invisible force, I say force because if they weren’t there, you would soon notice. Whilst ‘Killing Eve’ is a TV show, it does make it fairly apparent that the ‘cloak of invisibility’ is still hanging in the wardrobes of many of those who work so hard within our industry. We have packed this edition with a selection of interesting features and articles. Our member interviews continue, this time you can find out more about Community Souls, a London based cleaning services provider and social enterprise, who have recently joined as Members. I can’t go without of course mentioning The 2019 BICSc Annual Awards Showcase & Exhibition, which is now just weeks away! This year we received more applications than ever before, another positive sign that BICSc accredited training remains high on your agenda. The applications were of an exceptionally high standard, which of course made the judges job very tough! Well done to those of you who made it as a finalist, and thank you to everyone who applied this year, more details about the event are inside.

Happy reading with best wishes Michelle Iland, PBICSc Marketing & Events Executive


Page | Cover Story 03-04 Celebrating BBS Page | Conducting a Disciplinary 06 Six common mistakes to avoid Page | The Technical Edit Safety and Stepladders 07 Page | Cleanfluencers Are they changing the face 08 of our industry?

A note from the Chairman… Attracting the next generation of workers into the cleaning industry has always been important to me and I am pleased to see this trend resonating with a younger audience. More than ever, the cleaning • Increase Corporate and industry needs younger people’s Individual Membership. ideas and their talents to sustain • Continue to develop new courses. the sector and continue to drive forward innovation. • Protect the individual and promote dignity, respect and Recently we have seen cleaning equality. become a national sensation, with videos of toilet cleaning taking over • Attract younger people in to the internet and a book on cleaning the industry. tips reaching the best-sellers list. It is extremely encouraging to see The nation has become ‘cleaning that membership has increased to obsessed’ and we have the social over 37,500 members during my media superstars, otherwise known term, and can be attributed to the as ‘cleanfluencers’ to thank for this. hard work of BICSc staff and an People are starting to see that there increase in accredited training. is much more to cleaning than they There have been a number of first thought and it’s not hard to new courses developed and this see why. We are one of the fastestgrowing sectors, at the forefront of has resulted in an increase in innovation and with opportunities demand for BICSc training and to experience new technology short courses. I am pleased that in the workplace. BICSc also employers recognise that it is vital continues to develop and be one that staff understand the technical of the leading providers of training aspects behind their role and the level of knowledge that is required. and professional development in BICSc courses and training support the industry. As my term as National Chairman comes to an end, it is an opportunity to reflect on my objectives during this period. They were to;

the protection of the individual and help promote dignity, respect and equality in the work place.

I was delighted to take part in the BBS Training Suite opening ceremony in July. I also had the honour of officially opening the new BICSc headquarters which relocated to make way for our brand-new dedicated training suite.

Page | BICSc Annual Awards 09-10 Showcase & Exhibition, Meet the finalists Page | Special Feature 12 An interview with Community Souls Page | Perceived Cleaning 13-14 Faults and their Possible Causes with James Marston Page | Going Green 17 A look at Sustainability Page | Robotics 19-20 A look at the changes in Robotics over the years Page | The view from HQ 23 Hello from Sara Holt

I have had enjoyed my time as Chairman and I wish the incoming Chairman, Lorraine Davis, every success in her new role.

Sue Robinson MBA, FBICSc National Chairman The British Institute of Cleaning Science


BBS Training Suite is now officially open! The opening ceremony for our brand-new training suite took place on Friday 5 July. Managing Director of BBS, Mike Fletcher FBICSc officiated proceedings, while BICSc Chairman, Sue Robinson FBICSc cut the ribbon on the new BICSc headquarters. The suite offers training in entry level and enhanced cleaning skills including the Institute’s most popular qualification the ‘Licence to Practice’ which, upon completion gives cleaning professionals a three-year licence signifying their understanding of professional standards in cleaning. This is also the first building block into the Cleaning Professional’s Skills Suite. We recognise and continue to play our part in raising awareness for the industry, as a knockon effect, we’re seeing a greater skills shortage in people applying for positions they aren’t adequately qualified for. There’s so much more to cleaning than meets the eye! For example, understanding how different chemicals interact and how to dilute them correctly, to the checking of equipment through to how your cleaning cupboard should be organised. Without adequate training in this area cleaning operatives are putting the safety of others and their own lives at risk. Our practical, hands-on training courses and


workshops enhance the learning experience by bringing together like-minded professionals, and equipping cleaning operatives in all types of work to clean safely and effectively, while gaining recognition for the level of skill involved when it comes to professional cleaning. Mike Fletcher FBICSc said, “A big thank you to our sponsors who have kindly donated and discounted equipment, machinery and chemicals, thanks also goes to the BBS and BICSc staff for their tireless work and support in turning this idea into a reality.” The new BBS Training Suite consists of six dedicated training areas, including three cleaning labs and a floor lab where candidates can complete practical skills training. There is also a classroom area reserved for Cleanlogic™ Courses and Workshops – enhanced qualifications for current or aspiring cleaning managers and supervisors. CLICK HERE to browse our training prospectus

Upcoming Northampton training dates: Assessor Skills Rolling Demonstration Day - 1 October 2019 Licence to Practice (LTP) Training Day - 3 October 2019 Cleanlogic™ Control of Cross Contamination Course - 8 October 2019 Cleanlogic™ Principles of Cleaning Science Course - 8 October 2019

All of our training can be booked online visit to further your skills today. To find out more about the BBS Training Suite including the training we offer contact e: or call us on t: +44 (0) 1604 678 712


We would like to express our gratitude to the following organisations for their generous donations of equipment to the BBS Training Suite:

Greenspeed kindly donated a selection of products from their Cradle to Cradle range! Greenspeed is the first company worldwide to obtain Cradle to Cradle Gold certification for probiotic cleaning products. As a specialist in sustainable cleaning solutions, Greenspeed continues to work towards circular cleaning, and with success too, because the innovative Probio range has now been awarded Cradle to Cradle Gold certification for probiotic cleaning products, in addition to the EU Ecolabel.

And Girbau for donating a washing machine Girbau UK is the UK division of Girbau SA, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial laundry equipment. They have been supplying, installing and servicing laundry equipment for over 55 years.

“We are very happy to support the development and education of cleaning industry professionals by donating our most popular Washer, a HS6008, to the BBS Training Suite in Northampton. The On-Premises Laundry course, which is accredited by The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), among other key learning objectives, encourages ‘best practice’ for all operatives who are responsible for the safe and hygienic processing of laundry. That is vital to the safe and efficient running of all laundry sites and ultimately raises the standards in our industry. Peter Rankin, Managing Director, Girbau UK Ltd


Conducting a disciplinary

– six common mistakes to avoid If you feel daunted by the prospect of conducting a disciplinary with an employee, don’t worry. Citation’s Head of Employment Law, Gillian McAteer, has put together a list of common mistakes that might trip you up, and how best to avoid them. 1. Failing to warn the employee of the possible consequences of the disciplinary action The employee should be warned of the potential sanction they could face at the end of the disciplinary process, particularly where they could face dismissal because either the allegations are ones of gross misconduct or the employee already has a live final written warning on file. This should be stated clearly in the letter inviting them to attend the disciplinary hearing. 2. Not allowing the employee to be accompanied at a hearing An employee is entitled to be accompanied by a work colleague or an accredited trade union representative. If the representative cannot attend the hearing, the employee can ask for the hearing to be postponed for up to five days. Bear in mind, however, that this is the basic legal entitlement and the employer’s overriding duty to act reasonably will still apply. Recently, the EAT held an employer was unreasonable in not granting a 14-day postponement, and it may be reasonable to deviate from your usual policy when dealing with employees suffering from a disability. 3. Not setting out the nature of the allegations clearly Employees need sufficient time to prepare for their hearing.

Make sure you clearly state the allegations against them and attach all the evidence you’ve collected to their disciplinary hearing invitation letter. 4. Failing to consider suspending an employee facing allegations of gross misconduct If the allegations against the employee represent potential gross misconduct, you should consider suspending the employee on full pay pending the investigation. Although this should never be a knee-jerk reaction, if it is the case that the conduct they have committed is such a fundamental breach that you have to dismiss, it can cause difficulties at tribunal if you have been happy for them to continue working throughout the process. 5. Not keeping a full and accurate record of the disciplinary proceedings A full written record should be made of the whole process. If notes are not taken, it leaves the details of the meetings more open to challenge. All information gathered should be stored in your employee’s personnel file. 6. Failing to provide an appeal Following the outcome of a full disciplinary procedure, an employee has the right to appeal. Make sure you state this clearly in their disciplinary outcome letter.

Citation’s Head of Employment Law, Gillian McAteer Qualifying as a solicitor in 1992, Gill has been with Citation since 2003. Her extensive commercial experience has equipped her with invaluable insights into clients’ pain points, and being able to guide businesses to the right solution in any given situation.

PROUD TO SUPPORT BICSc MEMBERS If you’ve got any questions or queries about the best way to handle disciplinaries, why not have the backing of Citation’s expert HR and Employment Law team? When you partner with them, they’re on hand 24/7 to guide you through the process, outline your next steps, or even be by your side throughout. BICSc members are also eligible for preferential rates on Citation’s compliance solutions. Give Citation’s team a call today on 0345 844 1111, or visit commercial-cleaning/

THE TECHNICAL EDIT SAFETY AND STEPLADDERS With Denise Hanson FBICSc Head of Technical Services

Working with a client in one of their schools for a deep clean this month, I was reminded of my first ever experience of periodic school cleaning. The area manager had stacked one desk on top of two, with a chair on top of that to allow staff access to the high levels…. Fortunately, the accident didn’t happen, but I believe that was more by luck than judgement. Thankfully we have moved a long way forward from that time, but I wonder how many people are aware of the legal requirements of using even the smallest step ladder? It is a myth that step ladders have been banned from use at site, in fact stepladders can be a sensible and practical option. The HSE advice is that stepladders can be used for work at height when the use of other work equipment is not justified because of the low risk and short duration of the task to be carried out. (Short-duration meaning working on the stepladder for no more than 30 minutes at a time). Another myth is that you need to be formally 'qualified' before using a ladder at work; in fact the law states that you need to be competent. This means having the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to use a stepladder properly for the work you will carry out, or, if you are being trained, you work under the supervision of somebody who can perform the task competently. A record of ladder training and the precis of what form this training takes is important for the employer and the employee. The reason most companies have moved away from stepladders at site is that the risk assessment of the task shows there is a safer alternative, perhaps cleaning with extended poles with feet on the ground for example. However, if you feel that a stepladder is the best option, remember that you will need to keep a ladder register. A ladder register must be in place, and your ladders must be in a good state of repair to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). Further details of the form of this register can be found on the HSE website. Additionally, a check before the use of the stepladder should also be in place, and this should cover the following points:

1. Check the stiles – make sure they are not bent or damaged, as the ladder could buckle or collapse. 2. Check the feet – if they are missing, worn or damaged, the ladder could slip. 3. Check the rungs – if they are bent, worn, missing or loose the ladder could fail. 4. Check any locking mechanisms – if they are bent or the fixings are worn or damaged, the ladder could collapse. Ensure any locking bars are engaged. 5. Check the stepladder platform – if it is split or buckled, the ladder could become unstable or collapse.

6. Check the steps or treads on stepladders – if they are contaminated, they could be slippery; if the fixings are loose on steps, they could collapse. 7. Check the area the stepladder is to be used in, uneven surfaces could lead to slips and falls.


The HSE website has some good advice for anyone looking for further information as to whether a stepladder is the solution for the task in hand.


Are the answer to boosting the image of the cleaning industry? Cleaning has become one of the biggest social media trends of recent months, where platforms such as Instagram are awash with hashtags like #cleaningobsessed and #cleaningtime. In fact, cleaning is one of the most fashionable things to do right now thanks to a new wave of influencers who are showing the nation the way to a cleaner and happier life. Reigning over them, Sophie Hinchcliffe, also known as ‘Mrs Hinch’, is one of the best known of these new cleaning superstars. The 29-year-old from Essex has over 2.5 million followers on Instagram, where she shares pictures of her immaculate home and down-to-earth videos of her cleaning routine. Two years ago, life was very different for the cleanfluencer, working as a part-time hairdresser in the small town of Maldon. It was only during a period of anxiety that Mrs Hinch discovered her love of cleaning. “I’d often feel quite panicky, vulnerable and alone. I began to notice it helped if I kept busy. If I was mopping or vacuuming, then it kept my mind occupied and I wasn’t sitting there thinking too deeply. It was then I realised I absolutely loved cleaning. Now I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I do.” Cleaning influencers may not be doing much for the housework gender gap but there’s no denying they’re the driving force behind the recent ‘glamorification’ of the cleaning industry. Snapping pictures and singing the praises of their favourite cleaning products have caused a surge in sales for many household cleaning brands. Minky, an online company that produces cleaning equipment noticed a 10,000% increase in demand from consumers since the endorsement of one of their products by Mrs Hinch in an unpaid Instagram post. Clearly, the cleaning trend is doing wonders for many cleaning product manufacturers but another, more unexpected knock-on effect is the boost in job applications for cleaning positions.

According to employment app, Job Today applications for cleaning positions on its site have doubled over the past year and in the last month alone applications were up by nearly 50 per cent. Meanwhile on global job site indeed, searches for UK cleaning jobs are at their highest level in nearly two years. Polina Montano founder of Job Today said “People are realising that there’s a lot more to cleaning. it can offer a viable and interesting career path for so many people.” Although this is much-needed awareness for the cleaning industry, it has done little to reduce the industry’s skills gap, which is already a major concern. According to the British Cleaning Council’s ‘Cleaning and Support Services Industry report 2019’, 12 per cent of UK firms operating within the cleaning industry have skills gaps within their workforce, and what’s more worrying 81 per cent of these firms reported these skills gaps as having a negative impact on their organisation’s performance. While, people are beginning to see the prospects in professional cleaning, they haven’t yet realised the level of skill involved, for example understanding how different chemicals react and being aware of stringent health and safety regulations. Without having the proper qualifications and skills this new breed of cleaning operative could be putting the safety of themselves and others at risk. We therefore all have a responsibility to ensure these individuals are provided with adequate training and mentoring to not only help them settle into their new roles, but to also harness this new-found interest in the cleaning profession and turn what could be a short lived ‘trend’ into a lifelong passion and successful career. What do you think? Is the cleaning trend a positive thing for the cleaning industry? Share your thoughts with us @BICSc_UK


leaning 08 | THESTANDARD


The BICSc Annual Awards Showcase & Exhibition is a celebration of industry excellence within training and accreditation. This event is now one of the largest and most influential networking events in the cleaning industry’s calendar. Following on from the success of last year’s event we will be also be hosting a showcase & mini exhibition during the day, which will include keynotes from our members, and a mini exhibition where you can check out the latest products and innovations. Then it’s time to shine at the Annual Awards Dinner taking place the same evening.

AND THE FINALISTS ARE... Client Commitment to Training

Excellence in Training & Assessment (UK)

Outstanding Candidate of the Year

One Housing with Chequers Contract Services (Croydon)

Western Health & Social Care Trust, Omagh

Deborah Howson West Yorkshire Combined Authority

County Square Shopping Centre

Michael Hirst University Of Huddersfield

Queen’s University, Belfast with Robinson Services

University Of York

Buttercrane Shopping Centre with Robinson Services

Cheswold Park Hospital

Arek Marciniak Birkin Cleaning Services

Assessor of the Year

Excellence in Training & Assessment (INTERNATIONAL)

John Edwards Award (Outstanding Corporate Member)

Jill Feery Manchester Metropolitan University

Farnek LLC

Robinson Services

Emrill LLC

Vinci Facilities

Briony Rutlidge Morecombe Bay NHS, Kendal Wendy Hargreaves Vinci Facilities


Berkeley UAE LLC








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What Darwin Clayton can do for you as members of the British Institute of Cleaning Science About Darwin Clayton Darwin Clayton has worked closely with the British Institute of Cleaning Science since it’s formation in the 1960’s. We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service and offering market leading insurance solutions.

Summary of Cover Standard cover and limits:• Employers Liability - £10,000,000* • Public & Products Liability, including Damage to property being cleaned,Treatment Risks and security of customer’s premises - £5,000,000* • Employee Dishonesty - £250,000 (£50,000 for mis-use of telecommunication equipment) • Loss of Keys - £100,000 • Financial Loss - £250,000

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• Professional Indemnity - £100,000* (increased to £250,000 for members of the BICSc) * Higher limits available on request Optional covers:-

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An Interview with Rikardo Stewart, Director and Youth Practitioner at... Tell us about the ethos of Community Souls and how it all began? Community Souls Cleaning Company began as an idea in 2011 to create employment opportunities for those furthest from the job market. The idea came from working on the ground delivering youth provision in the borough of Barnet in North London, mainly in isolated, deprived areas and council estates - delivering creative projects and designing engagement spaces for children and young people who are at risk of violent crime, school exclusion and those that are NEET (not in employment, education or training). Whilst working as a youth practitioner I saw a common theme amongst the parents, carers, siblings and those of the communities I was working in - the lack of fairly paid, flexible employment opportunities. We registered as a community interest company in October 2013. We started with a bucket, mop, vacuum cleaner and a handful of keen local people wanting to work. We provide professional 5-star cleaning services for any kind of commercial space, from offices and retail stores, to independent gyms and community centres. CSCC employ and train all of our own staff, provide cleaning materials and handle all aspects of cleaning operations - we’re fully insured, and all of our staff are DBS checked. This kind of organisation must have a very positive impact on the community? To date we've employed 24 people from the borough of Barnet; over 5000 hours of cleaning delivered since 2014. Barnet is going to be London’s biggest borough in 2020 and with the growth and increase of new developments come serious challenges for disadvantaged communities. Currently 13 of Barnet’s LSOAs rank within the 15% most income deprived nationally. Two of the estates on which we are active on are among the 12% most deprived LSOAs in England - Grahame Park and Dollis Valley Estates. We hire local people who are currently unemployed, or in low-paid, insecure jobs, and offer them fair pay, secure employment and a supportive work environment. The Living Wage Foundation - we became accredited with the LWF in September 2017, committing to paying all employees the current London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour. No zero-hour contracts: our staff are employed on a PAYE structure - meaning they receive fair sick pay and holiday pay, and have greater job security. We pair our employees with client sites that are as local to them as possible minimising transport costs and time spent travelling.

What does it take to be a member of your team? To be a member of our cleaning team it requires discipline, determination and dedication - and a good sense of humour. As an organisation, what are your biggest challenges? Our main hurdle is supporting potential clients in investing in their cleaning staff. It’s hard for us to provide a competitive quote when there are so many huge companies who pay the minimum wage. Another challenge has been building and growing Community Souls Cleaning Company, we have a very small HQ team. We have recently been successful in receiving a grant from UnLtd; an organisation that funds and supports social entrepreneurs. UnLtd’s support has enabled Community Souls to learn and scale up - from strengthening our operations and comms, to increasing our capacity. Learning from others - it would be great to work with larger companies from the cleaning sector to learn from, explore potential CSR options and best practice. Tell us how the mentoring side of things came about? Alongside providing our cleaning services ‘mentoring’ and ‘wrap around’ support to our staff is a key part of what makes up our CSCC. Profits generated are reinvested back into our staff by supporting our employees’ personal and professional development through a structured programme. We offer each employee 1:1 coaching sessions twice a month; working with them to achieve their goals both inside and outside of work - creating a space for them. We support our staff in pursuing further education, qualifications and training opportunities, and assist them in accessing any local support they may need such as housing, health, legal or financial advice. Finally, can you tell us what being a member of BICSc means to you? Being a BICSc member means so much to us. We’re able to have access to events such as the London event in May 19. We get to stay in the loop with industry news and health & safety tips. We’re connected and part of a network that’s committed to the standards of the cleaning sector.

If you would like to feature in the next edition of The Standard, please get in touch

Perceived Cleaning Faults and their Possible Causes with James Marston Cleaning Method Failure CLEANING GLASS & MIRRORS

METHOD Limited/no training

Incorrect technique

Limited selection available

Incorrect chemical

Non compliance

Contaminated cloth

Difficult to access

Hard to reach




SOLUTION To ensure a quality finish on glass and mirrors, cloths used must be clean and any chemical used appropriate for the task. Operators should consider the amount of soiling on the surface and apply the correct amount of solution giving time to soften any impacted dirt. Spray the cloth using overlapping passes paying attention to corners and edges. Cloths should be checked, recharged or changed if necessary.

Any stubborn marks can be removed with a non-abrasive pad. On completion the surface must be buffed dry to leave it free of smears and water marks. Use of microfibre with or without chemical is efficient at removing stains and absorbing any traces of solution. Training and assessment using the Cleaning Professional’s Skills Suite (CPSS) Base Unit BU10 Glass Cleaning, will ensure your operators remain safe and use the right cleaning techniques for the best results.


Incorrect cloth selected

Limited chemical choice

Wrong chemical selected

Access equipment not supplied

Difficult to reach


Damaged equipment

What is the Ishikawa Diagram? The Ishikawa diagram, is also called a cause and effect diagram or a fishbone diagram, is a visualisation tool for categorising the potential causes of a problem in order to identify its root causes... A fishbone diagram is useful in brainstorming sessions to focus conversation.

PERSONNEL Training not available


Staff shortage

Time restricted


Non compliance

HR planning

Staff absence



ENVIRONMENT Difficult to access

Hard to reach

Difficulties with access

High traffic area


Time restrictions

Not reported

Damaged surface

THE PROBLEM (HEAD OF FISH) The window has been damp wiped but the cleaning method is evident.

What can BICSc training do to help? BICSc offers practical training in the skills required to clean effectively and safely in today’s modern facilities. Candidates who attend our courses understand the risks to themselves and the client.

They understand and comply with safe systems of work and systematic ways to achieve cleaning tasks. Candidates learn effective cleaning techniques to ensure quality results and continuously high standards.


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GOING GREEN As saving the planet, sustainability and the environmental effects of cleaning products continue to dominate the headlines, going green is at the top of the awareness agenda. Businesses and organisations are increasingly examining eco-friendly and sustainable solutions to grow their green credentials, and BICSc are at the forefront as this green movement gains momentum. Why not join the movement to greener cleaning as the industry continues to gravitate to more ecofriendly professional processes and products? The key topics of environmental issues and sustainability will be a main focus of CLEAN2020, a conference to inspire cleaning industry professionals, which will be brought to you by BICSc and BBS on the 23 April next year. The industry leading one-day conference in Birmingham will include insight from guest speakers, alongside an engaging exhibition and demonstrations. The conference will also showcase the latest industry innovations and drive to promote wellbeing at work. Creating a better environment for cleaning operatives is also at the top of the agenda of the forthcoming first worldwide i-Recognise day, which will take place on the 20 September and is endorsed by BICSc. This day of recognition is to acknowledge cleaning operatives across the globe who deliver an invaluable and essential service for all.


The designated day is designed to raise the profile of the cleaning sector and encourage businesses and organisations to ‘Recognise’ (Respect Every Cleaning Operative Giving Necessary Importance to Services and Environments) the work they carry out. This key day is being backed by BICSc who are encouraging all businesses to actively promote the day via social media platforms using #iRecognise, alongside displaying posters (downloadable from the i-Recognise website) and acknowledge the hard work and efforts of the cleaning operatives involved in making their lives a cleaner and happier place to live and work. In another eco-friendly move, businesses could consider providing a sustainable water bottle for each cleaning operative to help wage war on polluting plastic waste and reduce single use plastics. It would also encourage all cleaning operatives to stay hydrated throughout their physical working day and aid their wellbeing. Water bottles can be purchased from the i-Recognise website with proceeds from purchases being donated to ‘Made Blue’ whose mission is to provide as many people as possible with access to clean drinking water. ( We hope you can join us to show your respect for every cleaning operative making a difference to our lives.

The i-Recognise day is followed by World Cleanup Day on the 21 September and BICSc is also proud to support this momentous movement and we hope many others will too. With millions of volunteers in over 150 countries worldwide expected to use the designated day to collectively clean up our planet, it further demonstrates how a global army of eco warriors are determined to take part in the biggest waste collection in human history.

Any questions about i-Recognise please contact Twitter: @i_recognise Instagram: irecognise_ Facebook Page: @iRecognise19 For more information on how you can get involved go to

“My Robot” How technology and automation is impacting the cleaning industry. With Stan Atkins, FBICSc Group CEO Whatever the industry, it is likely at some point in the last decade, an article has been written, or a news story broadcast regarding technology, and its advancement into an increasingly automated workplace. Similarly, at home, artificial intelligence and robotics play an increasing part within our day to day lives - think virtual assistants, smart home devices and self-drive cars. Whether at home or in the workplace however, there’s no denying that technology now plays an important role, on which we are becoming ever more reliant. Yet despite its advancements and obvious benefits, robotics is still a word feared by many. There are concerns amongst some, particularly those in manual or service driven industries such as the cleaning sector, that advancements in technology can pose a real threat to jobs. They fear that automated systems will be able to do their job faster, better and more cost effectively, and that these systems will eventually leave the cleaning operative out of work. But are these concerns warranted, or does the onset of technology mean that the role of the cleaning operative will instead, evolve into something different entirely? The past, present and future Cleaning was once a task done entirely by hand, but since the early 1900’s the industry has become progressively mechanised and automated. Long gone are the days of the scrubbing brush and bucket being the main tools of the cleaning operative. The evolution of the sector has seen mops and hand-held tools replaced by vacuum cleaners and scrubbing machines, then later scrubber driers and ride on cleaning machines. Cleaning robotics in particular have gained a lot of attention in recent years, but as Stan Atkins, Chief Executive Officer for the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) describes they are not actually a new phenomenon. “I first read about cleaning robotics in the early 1980’s when a US hotel chain introduced a robotic scrubber dryer in their public reception areas. Although its navigation system was rather limited, at the time this would have been a highly futuristic piece of kit. There was even a new glossary created of terms relating to its use. ‘Robobating’ referred to humans obstructing the robot intentionally, preventing it from carrying out its job, and ‘Robobuddy’ was another term used, referring to someone chosen to ‘buddy up’ with a robot for assistance.


In 1996 I had my first direct involvement with cleaning robotics when I was invited to the final review of the ESPRIT Project (EP 6051) also known as ‘The Acro Project’, an autonomous cleaning robot with task level programming. The goals of the project were to develop low cost mobile robot components and to integrate them into a fully working application demonstrator floor cleaning robot. Even back then, I remember thinking, with customers demanding more and more for the same cost or less, the only real way forward is automation and that was almost 25 years ago.”

The impact for the cleaning industry In an industry that contributes over £24 billion to the UK economy (The British Cleaning Council, 2019) and currently employs more than 700,000 people any impact new technology has will be considerable and far-reaching, but the biggest question is, will this impact be a positive one for those working in the industry? Many major cleaning equipment manufacturers are now investing in research and development into advanced robotics including self-charging and self-diagnostic capabilities which suggests we may not be too far away from technology becoming independent and increasingly, less reliant on humans. However, until then it is important to remember, that all robots at present, still require an operative’s involvement to ensure its smooth running. In the case of large, open areas such as shopping centres, airports and warehouses, it is easy to see how robotics have made a positive impact on the workforce, cutting down on manual labour, repetition and the time needed to complete tasks. We spoke to Laurence Osbourne, Global Portfolio Manager from Diversey for his specialist insight into the impact of cleaning technology. “There are obvious, immediate applications for robots in the cleaning industry. Within the global robotic market, floor cleaning robots offer the largest and fastest growing category potential, and it is estimated to reach over $1billion by the end of 2019. Allowing robots to take over the routine cleaning tasks, such as large floor areas, doesn’t put the operative out of a job, instead it allows them to focus on more skilled duties which can add real value and increase job satisfaction.” So, in place of the concern that such automated systems might pose, can we instead foresee a productive partnership between

workers and robots, giving operatives more choice in the range of equipment they use as well as the ability to provide higher standards of cleaning? Working together While the risk to jobs is still uncertain depending on how advanced technology becomes, what is certain is that the cleaning industry will change, both in the way jobs are done and the way people (and machines) work in harmony to do them. If as expected the workforce becomes more qualified, then the people working in the industry today can look forward to a future with a wider set of skills and job knowledge empowering them to work within new and more efficient roles related to the development, supervision and maintenance of such automated systems. Overall it is estimated that around a third of jobs will be lost over the next twenty years to automation, and the risk is certainly there for those who don’t prepare for the change. However new roles will spring up to replace the old ones; today’s cleaning operatives for instance could become the specialist cleaning system technicians of the future. Operatives who embrace these inevitable changes, taking the opportunity now to maximise their potential in terms of training and qualifications will reap the rewards in the long term, in potentially new roles that don’t exist yet. As Dr Sally Messenger, Head of Education at the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) explains "65% of children starting primary school now will work in jobs that haven’t even been established yet.” The operative has always been the most important element of the cleaning industry, and this is no less true now with the industry looking to embrace robotics and artificial intelligence in the near future. To integrate these automated systems successfully into our current cleaning processes and to ensure they do what they are designed to do, the future doesn’t favour one element over the other, but crucially; the harmony of both the operative and the robot working together in unison to provide a cleaner and safer environment.

“There are obvious, immediate applications for robots in the cleaning industry. Within the global robotic market, floor cleaning robots offer the largest and fastest growing category potential, and it is estimated to reach over $1billion by the end of 2019. 20 | THESTANDARD

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Warwick Independent Schools Foundation After a successful set up of the BICSc Accredited Training Organisation for Warwick Independent Schools Foundation back in early June 2019, we are delighted to announce that the 1st group of our wonderful cleaning operatives are now fully trained and achieved their BICSc Licence to Practice.

Sam Hanson, Deputy Head of Estates said “This is absolutely fantastic and an excellent achievement, I am so proud of all the team members who completed the course. This demonstrates our commitment and passion in delivering the highest quality services to our customers, delivered by our qualified and dedicated staff here at Warwick Independent Schools Foundation. Well done to all and congratulations!!!�


The view from HQ Hello from Sara Holt, LBICSc – Customer Support Coordinator & Assessor I have worked for BICSc since 2015 as a Customer Support Coordinator, and like all BICSc staff I have trained and been assessed in the Licence to Practice. Earlier this year I was offered the opportunity to gain additional skills and to train to be an Assessor, I jumped at the chance! Having worked with training centres/hubs and Assessors for 4 years, it was now my turn to experience the nerves of training and approval.

We often hear about COSHH, Safe Systems of Work and Standard Operating Procedures in the office, which I had encountered and briefly reviewed each for my customer facing role, becoming an Assessor requires me to know about them in more detail:

The experience of working closely with our Training Specialists here in Northampton, at the new BBS Training Suite, has given me an insight into the importance of using the correct equipment and training materials from my Assessor kit to guide candidates through skills in a practical way to help them in their roles and to be safer. When I was training, I was surprised by the number of stop triangles on marking cards, and looking at them I can see they are all about keeping people safe.

• Being aware of what to do medically in an emergency involving chemicals

I attended my Assessor course along with 4 other candidates from BICSc hubs, working together for a couple of days was enjoyable and educational as I got to learn more about the reality of training in a working environment. We also got to talk about how Assessors work round events they experience daily, which I don’t encounter in my role as Customer Support Coordinator, so the whole process has been highly beneficial!

• Understand the true value of PPE • Operating equipment correctly

This was all a lot to take in, especially for somebody not from a facilities management background. Having completed and passed my Assessor approval course and holding my LBICSc card and new Assessor certificate, it was time to put my new found skills to the test, to be honest I’m not sure who was more nervous, the candidate taking their Licence to Practice or me! With more practice I am now more confident with candidates and I can empathise with people seeking skills and Assessor approval. I am proud to have added BICSc Assessor as a string to my BICSc bow, I enjoy meeting candidates and working with them to gain their BICSc qualifications. Thank you to everybody who phones and emails me with messages and queries, I look forward to hearing from you and working together to deliver cleaner and safer working environments.


Lesley Parish

Lesley said goodbye to us in June, we wish her well in getting through her ‘life to do list’ as she called it, now she has time on her hands! Here is a few words from Lesley…….. “When I first started as a full-time cleaning operative many years ago, I could not have imagined where it would take me in the future. I have to say that cleaning was not my ‘job of choice’ at the time, but a second job as a means of earning extra money. If someone had said to me back then when I was cleaning offices and toilets, that in the future, I would have the opportunities and experiences that being a part of the cleaning industry has given to me, visiting some iconic

buildings, travelling, and meeting such wonderful and inspirational people, I would have laughed. Because sometimes as a cleaning operative it’s not always possible to see that there is a career path to be had. I have enjoyed working at BICSc, and seeing the Institute continuously grow and develop into what it is today - I’m glad I can say I played a part in that. Now I’m looking forward to my retirement, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that I’ve met over the years within the industry for their support and friendship.”


International NEWS KHANSAHEB

How has it made us successful

Introduction to the BICSc Accredited Training Organisation and KFM’s vision behind it Khansaheb FM’s licensed BICSc training centre was set up in adherence to international and local housekeeping best practices and standards. The risk involved with invisible contaminants and pollutants is critical and high and this can trigger physical, environmental and biological hazards when incompetently handled. There are very few companies in the Middle East that are fully compliant to provide international standards of healthcare housekeeping. What meaning does it hold for the business

We have also recently secured a prestigious new hospital contract on top of the knowledge and expertise we gained with the SU2 certification from BICSc. We are confident that due to the superior service delivery standards we provide and empowered with the technical know-how of this certification, we will successfully grow our business in the healthcare domain even further.

With a vision to raise the bar and to make KFM the leader in healthcare FM, KFM planned towards and successfully acquired the BICSc certification for SU2 biohazard decontamination. Our training plan now successfully covers international and local requirements and regulations along with housekeeping management and is tailored specifically to a better, most efficient healthcare service delivery. This has made us completely competent to deliver high risk cleaning and decontamination in critical environments and among the top choices for FM healthcare housekeeping in the Middle East.

POWER CLEANING SERVICES & BUILDING MAINTENANCE GROUP In July, Peter Gowers, Head of International Business travelled to the UAE, one of the stops was at Power Cleaning Services & Building Maintenance Group. (Power Cleaning to us!) where he carried out their annual audit. Their 2018 audit highlighted a few issues that required attention, these were mainly due to building and infrastructure.


Rather than try to repair them they took the decision to move to new premises and have created a new BICSc Training Facility, which now meets all of the BICSc requirements. A total transformation leading to a really successful audit. Here is Peter with the team from Power Cleaning! Ameer Khan, Muhaiyadeen, Sheikana, Kadar Abood.

New Corporate Members May - July 1st Time Clean Ltd


Amazing Care Services Limited

JMC Cleaning Contractors Ltd

B.K.R Cleaning

Millennium Service Solutions ltd


Option One Cleaners

Contract Cleaning Services Limited

Pioneer Quality Services Limited

Core PIC Group Ltd

PowerHome Ltd t/a MyHome Residential Services

Crystal Cleaning Servicing Ltd

Pristine Cleaning Services London Ltd

Dixeyclean Ltd

Ronti Care Solutions Limited

Edgenta Facilities Sdn Bhd

Salus Support Services

Endersham Limited

Teamwork GB Ltd

Expedite Complete Business Solutions Ltd

The Happy House Cleaning

Floorcare Services Limited

The JPM Companies Ltd

Grako LLC

Vaile Office Cleaning Ltd

GreenZone Cleaning & Support Services Ltd

Warwick Independent Schools Foundation

Home Service Solutions Ltd

Wharfedale Facilities Management Ltd

New Accredited Training Members May - July Darwish Interserve Facilities Management & Maintenance Company LLC ISS UK Jigsaw Homes Serco Belgium S.A Warwick Independent Schools Foundation


Need to reach us? Customer Support & Membership Tel: +44 (0) 1604 678 711

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#Creating a Career in Cleaning


Profile for The British Institute of Cleaning Science

The Standard Edition 3 2019  

An industry magazine for our members

The Standard Edition 3 2019  

An industry magazine for our members