Independent inspection guarantees standards

09 May 2019

There are plenty of stamps of approval and quality marks in business, but they are only ever as good as the requirements they stipulate and the auditing process that underpins them, explains Mike Stubbs, chairman of the CHSA’s Accreditation Scheme Panels.

"A mark you can really rely on has to have clear and valuable measures against which members can be assessed. Importantly it also needs bite; sanctions need to be in place for those who fail to comply," he adds.

"The Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) Accreditation Schemes for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue, Plastic Refuse Sacks, Cotton Mops and for Distributors deliver exactly that. With an independent inspection process at their heart, we demand applicants achieve a high standard of compliance to gain admittance and then re-audit every member at least annually. Each year the inspector audits almost 5,000 products across all four of the CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes. Anyone who fails to comply is formally warned, the ultimate sanction for continued non-conformance being expulsion.  

"Admittance demands commitment. Every applicant must first provide their full product range and information on their quality assurance procedures. They are then visited by our Independent Inspector. For manufacturers, he selects product at random from the warehouse and occasionally the production line. He confirms the labels comply with the relevant Scheme’s specification, giving buyers the confidence 'what is on the box is in the box'. The label must be traceable to the manufacturer and specific batch, include dimensions and count and, where relevant, indicate the product’s fitness for purpose. Distributors are audited to confirm they supply only CHSA Accredited product or product that conforms to the specifications of the relevant Scheme standard.

Compliance across all four schemes in 2018 was excellent. The results for the Accreditation Scheme for Distributors showed an average of 97.5% of relevant products across all Accredited Distributors were from CHSA Accredited Manufacturers.  

Label compliance in 2018 for the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Plastic Refuse Sacks is 98.8%. Plastic refuse sacks are tested to see if they are fit for purpose using the British Standards Institute Drop Test. Performance is assessed by combining the Drop Test results with the count and dimensions of the sacks.  Compliance in 2018 was over 91%.  

The results of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue also showed high levels of conformance. Label compliance was 89% or 95.9% excluding minor infringements, and dimensional compliance is 92.4% excluding minor infringements.