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Cleaning sector celebrates "a great event"

04 January 2023

The inaugural Cleaning Excellence Conference & Awards was attended by hundreds of delegates who praised the event as "a great event". Organised by Western Business Media, publisher of Cleaning Matters magazine, the success of the show means it has already established itself as a regular must-attend event in the cleaning sector calendar.

THE CLEANING Cleaning Excellence Conference & Awards took place at the CBS Arena, Coventry on 7 December 2022 and attendees enjoyed CPD seminars, top level exhibitors, networking opportunities, and a day celebrating excellence and innovation in the sector. The Cleaning Excellence Awards was particularly well-received with hundreds of entrants putting forward nominations.

The event was supported by a range of sponsors, including: 

• Headline Sponsor: 2Pure
• Catering Sponsor: SOAP2O
• Cleaning & Hygiene Team of the Year Award Sponsor: uComply

• Cleaning Operative of the Year Sponsor: Jangro
• Conference Programme Sponsor: Lucart Hygiene
• Registration & Badge Sponsor: RAMS FM
• Sustainability Award Sponsor: Robert Scott

The conference
The conference programme featured a broad spectrum of high-profile speakers who delivered informative seminars on the latest innovations, sharing key insights and advice to aid the task of cleaning, maintenance and hygiene.

Opening the day's proceedings Neil Spencer-Cook, chief operating officer at the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) was accompanied by head of technical services Denise Hanson. They discussed the importance of training, education, enhancing skills and sharing knowledge which continues to drive higher standards within the professional cleaning industry. Citing apprenticeship schemes, Neil and Denise shared the best approaches in order to help empower the cleaning community.

Mike Jenkins, clerk of the Livery Court, The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners’ (WCEC) described how the charity has made grants of almost £300,000 to varied causes. Supporting young people, established cleaning industry professionals, the elderly, infirm and those with disabilities, Mike explained how the charitable foundation supports personal and professional development by providing educational and self-improvement opportunities. It also supports the Armed Forces, with a focus on those involved in environmental health.

Delegates were provided the latest updates in the world of Right to Work with the advent of Digital ID in October. Stefan Sosnowski, operations director at uComply shared his insight on best practises seen when onboarding candidates around compliance with employers’ policies, procedures and ensuring a good experience for candidates.

The pandemic impact has meant that frequent cleaning and disinfecting have never been so critical to keeping commercial and domestic environments hygienically clean and safe. With more organisations looking to reduce their environmental impact, finding products that have the right sustainable credentials and efficacy to kill germs and viruses can be a challenge. Steve Courtney, product specialist at Robert Scott demonstrated the latest in sustainable product development and chemical-free cleaning systems that are designed to reduce costs and single-use plastic waste - as well as cutting carbon emissions.

Paul Pearce, technical & training director of the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA) teaches carpet and upholstery cleaning, along with other industry-specific courses for the NCCA. Paul discussed a course he recently developed on The Fine Fibre cleaning of cellulosic textiles which has proved popular given the current Designer climate.

As an approved instructor with the IICRC for CCT, UFT, RCT, CCMT & HCT, Paul also teaches for WoolSafe in the UK, as well as many private companies. Paul has been president of the NCCA twice, president/chairman of IICRC & chairman of the British Cleaning Council - and is currently the chair of instructors & schools for IICRC.

OXONOX technology and invention was inspired by rocket scientist Dr Tom Frame who worked with the new technology, cold plasma, in the manipulation of satellites in space, then into medical space with plasma at the forefront of burns remediation. As Stephen Pascoe, chief executive officer at OXONOX explained, this has now been adopted into the everyday environment, continuously and effectively protecting people as they move about in areas of high-risk of infection transmission, namely lifts and escalators.

Closing the conference, Jim Melvin, chair at The British Cleaning Council described the latest updates on the work by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the cleaning and hygiene Industry. In a passionate talk, Jim extolled the virtues of cleaning operatives and the challenges - both at Government and tabloid press level - to fully appreciate their status. 

Networking and awards

Following the conference, delegates enjoyed The Cleaning Excellence Awards, which celebrated the most innovative products, services and individuals. From technological innovations and smart solutions to sustainability and individual commitment, the awards demonstrated the best in the professional cleaning and hygiene sector - and highlighted the important work undertaken by cleaning operatives across the UK.

The day culminated with free networking drinks and fun-money casino tables in the exhibition area, in partnership with the renowned cleaning industry networking organisation The Hill Club.

Dave Wheadon, chief executive of the NCCA said: "Thanks for giving the NCCA the opportunity to speak at your event, we both thoroughly enjoyed the day, some very interesting talks, and a great event. We appreciate the amount of work that goes into organizing events so well done."

Paul Pearce added: "First of all congratulations to all at Cleaning Matters on sticking your heads above the parapet to put on the conference & awards show. I enjoyed the day. I’m always interested in what’s going on as I’ve been involved in the industry for 50 years I still care and absorb the knowledge. Well done to all."

Due to the success of the Cleaning Excellence Conference & Awards, the one-day, free-to-attend event will return to the CBS Arena in Coventry, so keep the date in your diary: 6 December 2023.