Improving standards through qualifications in cleaning

01 October 2013

Qualifications matter – whatever industry you work in. Training and skills-based learning not only raises standards, leading to better service delivery and higher rates of customer satisfaction (and retention), it also inspires and motivates staff, engendering loyalty and enthusiasm for personal and career development. Improving skills can help to improve productivity and profitability...

As the foremost awarding organisation in the waste and resource management, cleaning and street cleansing, parking, and facilities management sectors, WAMITAB knows the value that relevant qualifications have for employers, employees, clients and customers. 

Working across a wide range of industries, but with a common theme of environmental sustainability, WAMITAB has developed qualifications to provide the essential skills in an area which is not really appreciated until it doesn’t happen – whether that’s an office not being cleaned, a light bulb not being replaced, waste or recycling not collected, or the town centre not being kept litter-free. These are all key components in delivering sustainable development, and with current EU and central government policies focusing on a mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, this means that efficient and effective facilities management, waste and resource management, and cleaning have never been more important.

Cleaning and/or cleansing is a hugely important service for today’s businesses, and with implications for health and safety, hygiene, social well-being and company image, it has to be done correctly. We believe that practical and managerial skills in this crucial service sector should be recognised and rewarded, and to this end WAMITAB offers a range of qualifications from our entry level Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services, up to our Diploma in Cleaning Supervision Skills.

However, the annual population survey in 2011, showed that the level of qualifications held by the cleaning workforce is typically low – 27% of all staff do not hold any qualifications (compared to 7% across all industry sectors) and just 10% of employees hold a qualification at Level 4 or above (compared to 38% across all industry sectors). So it shows that we’ve still got some work to do in encouraging the take up of learning in the industry.

To raise the profile of training and learning opportunities even further, we recently launched the Skills Village initiative at RWM 2013, which brought together leading experts in training, consultancy and qualifications to offer guidance on a broad skills-related agenda. 

Its success has provided us with the encouragement and inspiration to further develop the Skills Village initiative in 2014 – and who knows, that might mean a similar presence at a dedicated cleaning show.

We are also keen to find out what the cleaning sector thinks about workplace skills development. The WAMITAB Skills Survey can be accessed via our website and we’d love to get your feedback. The survey closes on 14th October so please contribute to the debate and help us shape the qualifications and training that you need to make your businesses more successful, and raise industry standards.


Written by Chris James, CEO of WAMITAB