The official voice of  The Cleaning Show

Training completed!

Published 29th September, 2023 by James Marston

James Marston

James Marston

Trainer and Inspector
The British Institute of Cleaning Science

Training completed!

James Marston, Trainer and Inspector at BICSc, reports.

Ticking boxes on your training matrix to signify your team has the knowledge and skills they and the organisation need is always gratifying. For those with the responsibility for seeing it done, the task is ever present with new appointments, products and processes. Not to mention health and safety and ensuring safe practice.

Training for cleaning teams can be diverse. Working in today’s towns and cities, old and new buildings and the surfaces therein require well-trained, informed staff. Safety awareness is vital. In some buildings, specific risks with drug abuse and poor behaviour by building users in toilets, washrooms and stairwells means staff will handle infectious materials and sharps.

Sadly, the use of illicit drugs remains high. The Office for National Statistics report June 2022 informs us that approximately 1 in 11 adults aged 16 to 59 years (9.2%; approximately 3 million adults) and 1 in 5 adults aged 16 to 24 years (18.6%; approximately 1.1 million adults) reported drug use in the year ending June 2022. Our frontline teams will come across used needles and need to take the correct action to keep themselves and the public safe.

Disinfection of surfaces remains a key objective for clients. The best techniques with cloths, new technology, concentrate chemicals or ionised water creates an advantage to organisations as long as staff know how to manage them and be effective.

Health and safety awareness, induction to the business and workplace essentials increase the training workload. Other essentials include COSHH, risk assessments and operating procedures or method statements. Staff need the right techniques and skills to clean all surfaces effectively without damage.

Beyond skills training, organisations need to invest in their team leaders and supervisors to ensure a safe, compliant team performance. The number of training courses required can be significant with varying levels of urgency which requires planning time and investment. If the organisation has the resources inhouse to deliver the objectives, then maybe it’s just a coordination job ensuring all is in place to succeed.

If external resources are necessary, then planning and mobilisation can become intricate. Controlling content and the goals for staff to understand the knowledge or skill required is a greater challenge. Questions arise – is the training suitable? Is the outcome accredited? Will it meet organisation quality standards? Cost, time and timely results. For larger organisations involving other stakeholders, geographical challenges and ensuring effective communications to pull it all together is make or break.

Training managers understandably might ponder such a project. Is it worth the investment? Will staff comply and evolve from training, and will the organisation see the benefits which is critical? Do I need a backup plan?

Training managers need clear indicators for success to warrant the whole exercise. Feeling confident throughout the process adds traction for all to achieve.

Key features of modern-day learning at work:

Workplace training.
Speed of learning to suit the individual and the organisation.
Options for online or face-to-face learning.
Flexible learning with opportunities to revisit less understood material.
Assessment of milestones.
Award or certification for achievement.

UK providers can deliver these learning models and the content necessary for organisations to train their workforce in a flexible way. Key advantages of such a partnership are updates on the latest techniques and technologies. They will have access to the plaforms and materials to deliver the courses necessary.

We all agree that training is vital to meet the challenges when cleaning our buildings. I would advise longer-term thinking when making training decisions of the future to meet the needs of your teams who will always reap the benefits of a successful training campaign.

About the contributor

James Marston

James Marston

Trainer and Inspector


Sign up to our newsletter

The weekly news e-cast – its unrivalled content places it way ahead of any other publication in the field.