Design trends affect measurement of cleaning

31st of May 2018 Article by Jacco Vonhof
Design trends affect measurement of cleaning

ECJ Dutch correspondent Jacco Vonhof from VSR (Association of Cleaning Research) reports on how changes in office design are affecting cleaning.

Trends in materials and office design affect cleaning and therefore also the measurement of agreed cleaning quality.

When using the VSR Quality Measurement System (known as VSR-KMS) to assess the quality of cleaning, it is first necessary to carry out an inventory of the building. Differences can arise when dealing with new buildings featuring landscaped offices, new material applications and modern furnishings. After all, a wall is sometimes no longer simply one wall. And you can no longer rely on taps being attached to the basin.

This means there are increasing differences in the observations made by our quality controllers and inspectors when making or checking an inventory in a building, for the purposes of measuring cleaning quality. This can even occur in the same building with an identical cleaning schedule. We therefore asked ourselves: do we still share a common perspective?

This was a key question during our recent controllers’/inspectors’ day. Among the topics for discussion was a floor featuring adjoining carpet and laminate flooring plus an additional vertical edge. Should this be classed as one floor with an edge and a ledge; two floors with an edge and a ledge; or three floors? There is no right answer but we must be consistent.

Also, we increasingly see basins with a tap emerging from the wall; should the tap then be considered as a separate component? What about one locker unit with 35 doors divided over seven segments – how should this be recorded in your inventory? It is sometimes a matter of interpretation.

Tips to avoid discussion:

• Take into account how important a component is in the total inventory. If, instead of counting one locker unit you count 35 doors, this applies considerable weight to the cleaning of the locker unit during the inspection. While, for example, a well-cleaned floor is more important in terms of hygiene.

• If the controller is not the person carrying out the inventory, make sure they communicate about inventory decisions. This allows the controller to respect the same measurements as in the inventory

• Make a record.

The VSR Quality Measurement System is part of a national standard for the assessment of cleaning maintenance, ie, NEN 2075. VSR-KMS also complies with the European EN 13549 standard. Trained controllers and inspectors are the only ones allowed to carry out VSR-KMS measurements and approve or reject the result. This makes it even more essential for work to be consistent.

Furthermore, VSR-KMS plays an important role in the contact between the client and the cleaning company because this makes it possible to establish a minimum acceptable level of cleaning beforehand and for objective differences to be determined between good and bad cleaning.
By continuing to learn, our controllers and inspectors maintain standards of cleaning quality in the Netherlands.

After all, dirty and clean are subjective terms.


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