Measurement and opinion

12th of July 2019
Measurement and opinion

Dutch reporter John Griep on how measurement and opinion relate in VSR-KMS quality monitoring.

In the Netherlands the client and the cleaning service provider agree an Accepted Quality Level (AQL) of cleaning. The independent VSR inspector/auditor measures whether this level is being achieved. Nothing wrong so far; in principle, this is just about straightforward (but careful!) measurement.

VSR-KMS also supplies the trend analysis to supplement this, whereby the number of mistakes and the deviation from the approval boundary are compared with one another over a period of time. It is important that the measurement data is for the same category in the same location and under the same agreements (eg, when the measurements will be taken). Doing things this way provides an insight into how the cleaning service provider is performing. Do the results show a steady improvement? Or is a result in a particular category declining over time?

Say, for example, that 20 mistakes are permitted in the ‘office space’ category across the whole building at company X. An initial measurement reveals that 15 mistakes have been made. This gives the cleaning service provider a (positive) margin of five mistakes.

If the inspector finds only 10 mistakes have been made a few weeks later, and only five mistakes the next time round, we can identify a positive trend in the ‘office space’ category, based on facts and measurements.

With trend analysis too, the essence remains: auditing. This is otherwise known as the approval or disapproval of the quality delivered, underpinned by figures and analysis. Results in different buildings and/or categories are not mutually comparable and would not produce a meaningful result.

What cannot be an integral feature of a report – in contrast to the trend analysis – is the personal opinion of a VSR inspector or auditor. If asked for it, they would then find themselves on thin ice. Personal expertise and experience are of great value, but must be in the service of correct execution and reporting in accordance with VSR-KMS. Subjective additions must therefore be kept out of the measurement and recognisable as such.

The comment “location looks reasonable to good”, for example, is not specific enough and insufficiently substantiated by figures. The following conclusions prior to a report are of value however: “In sanitary areas, comparatively more mistakes have been identified than during the previous measurements.” Or: “The wooden staircase is in need of thorough maintenance. This largely concerns the section leading to the first floor.”

So where is the line? Even though no figures have (yet) been mentioned, it must be clear  it is founded upon measured facts. It is also important that the auditor limits themselves to defined areas of the building.

Considered opinions are permitted, then, but not as an integral feature of reporting. The essence of auditing remains the approval or disapproval of the quality delivered, underpinned by figures and analysis. A trend analysis is, of course, a welcome supplement to this!


Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited