How a Master Quality Cleaning Plan Can Help with Back to School
After Chicago officials decided it was time for students to go back to school, the reopening was delayed numerous times. The school officials and the teachers’ union couldn’t come to an agreement. The impasse was over whether the school’s infection prevention processes and procedures were sufficient to keep the teachers safe from COVID-19. Similar scenarios played out nationwide and around the world at all academic levels. Schools and campuses opened only to close again, while education continues to flip-flop from online to in-person and back again.
How Infection Prevention Procedures Can Help
Being responsible for the health of your facility, you are confident your custodial team has followed all the CDC-recommended infection prevention procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You work loaded extra staff time to accommodate the dwell times required for proper disinfection. Your classrooms, library, cafeteria, and other common areas accommodate six-feet of physical distancing. You have set up sanitizing stations throughout the facility, and everyone is following your mask-wearing mandate.
Even with all this effort, teachers, parents, students, and visitors can remain doubtful that your team is doing enough to keep them safe. This uncertainty can impact everything from student and teacher morale to your institution’s bottom line.
So how can you convince your stakeholders your facilities are clean, healthy, and safe? Bring in an independent facility cleaning consultant that specializes in infection prevention to conduct a pandemic risk assessment.
Choosing a Facility Cleaning Consultant
When choosing your consultant, look for the following characteristics:
- Objective. One reason to hire an independent facility cleaning consultant is to validate your use of the most effective overall infection prevention practices. Complete impartiality is vital. A consultant with ties to a specific manufacturer or brand can compromise your efforts by introducing the potential for bias, imagined or otherwise. Conversely, data coming from an independent infection prevention expert increases credibility.
- Professional accreditations. A good consultant is certified by reputable entities. The operative word here is reputable. Unfortunately, since the dawn of the pandemic and with the increased popularity of remote learning, certifications in cleaning, disinfecting, and infection prevention and control are popping up everywhere. In some cases, “certified cleaning experts” are produced after as little as a single one-hour webinar! Make sure the consultant or firm you hire holds credentials, such as the Accredited Auditing Professionals (AAP) from the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) or the Certified Master of Infection Prevention for Environmental Services Professionals (CMIP) from the Association for the Health Care Environment. A certified professional consultant can, in turn, help you earn accreditations, such as the facility Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). The consultant should also be well-versed in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Green Buildings, so they are equipped to help you meet your environmentally preferable cleaning and sustainability goals. Securing a consultant with these top credentials assures you are getting the best information possible and builds essential trust with your team and facility occupants.
- Thorough. If an auditor comes in, looks around, and says something like “looking good!”— find another consultant. The process should start with a clean and disinfect audit of existing conditions, which means reviewing all practices, procedures, and products related to infection prevention. From this, you should receive a gap analysis telling you where improvements to your current program may be needed. From here, the right consultant will help you develop a Master Quality Cleaning Plan to:
- Develop cleaning and disinfecting protocols that meet or exceed CDC guidelines and OSHA requirements
- Work with your supplier network to assure access to the best products and equipment to help you reach your goals within your budget
- Establish infection prevention goals and performance metrics
- Educate and train your staff as needed to ensure you reach your cleanliness goals
- Create professional data-driven reports
- Assist you with stakeholder presentations upon request
- Ongoing support. Rather than stop once your Master Quality Cleaning Plan is in place and running smoothly, the right consultant will provide continuous monitoring and support. This assistance is crucial in the post-shutdown educational arena since many staff and visitors worry that once schools and campuses completely reopen, custodians will let their infection prevention guard down. The consultant you choose should help you address these concerns by monitoring, measuring, and validating your ongoing performance.
Contact Us For a Cleaning Audit
You and your team work too hard for your efforts to be shrouded in doubt. A trained infection prevention consultant can help show the world your campus is healthy, safe, and ready to get back to the business of education.
Does your university, college, or other complex academic institution need help reassuring stakeholders that your facility is a clean, healthy environment? Let Allynt Solutions conduct a pandemic risk assessment and provide the support and proof you need to get your school and campus back focused on education. Contact us today.