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Managing a Successful Cleaning Organization Is No Easy Task

ISSA’s (International Sanitary Supply Association) Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS-GB (Green Building) criteria describe the procedures and principles to be considered when designing and implementing quality management/environmentally preferable programs for cleaning organizations or departments.  CIMS was developed through a consensus-based process and provides the framework to assist cleaning organizations develop a customer-centric, quality program and CIMS-GB provides the elements needed or a Green Cleaning Program which we would rather refer to as a “Cleaning for Health” program.  The CIMS standard applies to an entire cleaning organization or department and focuses on the management system and processes used to deliver the services.  The CIMS standard does not specify products or equipment types or brand, it does not recommend procedures or system recommendations and it gives the flexibility for you to choose how you can meet the standard.  The five sections of management best practices include:

  • Quality Systems
  • Service Delivery
  • Human Resources
  • Health, Safety, and Environmental Stewardship
  • Management Commitment

Becoming certified to the standard is a process and you must demonstrate your compliance to an independent, accredited assessor.  An assessor is an independent third-party that has earned accreditation by demonstrating that they can competently and independently verify that an organization meets the Standard’s requirements.

What is the process?

  • The organization or department decides they want to develop a quality management system that complies with CIMS and requests an application.
  • The organization conducts an internal review to be sure it meets CIMS certification requirements or perhaps a GAP analysis to determine what is missing that needs to be developed or worked on.
  • The organization undergoes a comprehensive assessment by the assessor and demonstrates compliance. Those seeking certification must demonstrate compliance with all mandatory provisions and at least 60%, per section, of those provisions that are recommended elements.
  • Re-certification is required every two years to maintain certification.
  • You must become CIMS certified before you can achieve CIMS-GB (for Green Buildings)

How can Nichols help? We have two ISSA Certification Experts (I.C.E.) on staff that can help you prepare for your assessment.  We can assist with training, documentation, quality assurance and suggest best practices.  For more information on CIMS, visit the ISSA website

Drop us a note to find out how Nichols can help you too – we are a business resource for our customers.