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APPA Leadership in Educational Facilities’ Custodial Staffing Guidelines… The New Standard for “Clean”?
One of the greatest challenges a building/facility manager can face when outsourcing janitorial services is the specification phase. Creating specs that exactly match the needs of the facility, taking into consideration such things as “Class” status, budget-ary constraints, building occupancy, etc. can be an arduous task to say the least. Requiring the procur-ing agent to become an “expert” in the field of janitorial services, the end result is often a spec that is cumbersome, redundant, excessive or inappropriate. So what is one to do? Thanks to the APPA, the answer is now close at hand.
Founded in Chicago in 1914 by representatives from fourteen Midwest learning institutions, the APPA has grown to 1,500 strong in the US and Abroad, and has expanded its focus on standards applicable to a breadth of facility types. The US Green Building Council (USGBC), which is the foremost leader in GREEN Cleaning standards, has recognized the APPA’s efforts by including its published “Custodial Service Levels” in the USGBC’s Green Building certification process. Also known as “LEED” certifi-cation, this designation is quickly becoming the benchmark for responsible building construction, ownership and manage-ment across the country.
So what’s the buzz about? Well rather than require a complicated grid or matrix stuffed with confusing cleaning tasks and frequencies, the APPA’s cleaning guide uses 5 simple levels of “clean” that a facility should mirror in order to meet the chosen expectations. Ranging from Level 1 (Orderly Spotlessness) all the way down to Level 5 (Unkempt Neglect), the guide uses such descriptions as “Washroom and shower tile and fixtures gleam and are odor free” to convey the result rather than the means. This novel approach allows the service provider (who is after all the expert) to judge how often and by what method surfaces are to be treated. It also takes the pressure off of the facility to “capture” everything in a spec, allowing for a more competitive solicitation, and the elimination of potential “misinterpretations” which can all too often lead to contentious relationships between vendor and manager.
You can find more information on the APPA guidelines at their website http://www.appa.org.