Committed to Being the Best
By Amanda Hosey
The carpet cleaning and restoration industry long ago accepted the value of certifications and accreditations, both as marketing tools for a company and as an assurance that employees are trained and prepared to represent and protect the company. Work trucks and company websites proudly proclaim technician certification and company accreditations, whether it be from the IICRC, RIA, or another association.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating a greater-than-ever need for cleaning professionals who are properly trained in pathogen response, many industry companies have further trained their staff through programs like the Global BioRisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) Fundamentals program, which teaches infectious disease contamination control measures for outbreak situations. As the need for COVID cleanup rose with rising case numbers, so too did the number of untrained or improperly trained companies promoting themselves as COVID cleaners.
GBAC created its GBAC STAR Service Accreditation Program as a way for companies to distinguish their biorisk protocols from those who are unqualified. The process is thorough and allows restoration, commercial cleaning, and residential cleaning companies to know their processes protect employees from pathogenic dangers and protect the company from legal troubles. At the same time, it provides clients assurances that the company they hire will perform work properly and safely.
The GBAC STAR Service Accreditation Program isn’t for just any company. It requires a cleaning or restoration company to have established itself in the industry. Applicants for the program must have been in business for at least three years and already have in place systems that reflect the safety, practices, and communication plans of GBAC STAR’s 20 Program Elements.
The accreditation process generally takes place over several weeks, though completion time depends on the preparedness of the applicant. The process plays out in a straight-forward way.
After a company submits its application, it receives its handbook and implementation guides to help it develop the necessary procedures and protocols that meet the requirements. It then begins demonstrating compliance with the 20 Program Elements.
Accreditation also requires at least 5% of front-line staff, as well as one front-line supervisor for every 10 technicians, to complete the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course. The course is included in the accreditation fee for the required number of workers.
When a company has the needed documentation to prove its compliance with program aspects, it submits the documentation to the program’s Accreditation Council for review. Once compliance is confirmed, the company receives its accreditation certification documents, marketing materials, and a listing in the GBAC STAR Directory.
Overall, the accreditation process shouldn’t be a difficult one for a well-run cleaning or restoration company that is already following proper protocols and has safety procedures in place. GBAC STAR Service Accreditation offers an industry business that is serious about its cleaning, disinfection, and infection-prevention program a way to prove commitment to its clients and staff.
For all of you who decide the program is right for you, I wish you luck!
Amanda Hosey is the managing editor of Cleanfax. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than a decade, including six years with Cleanfax. Reach her at [email protected].