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Manchester Metropolitan University presented with Best Practice award

Manchester Metropolitan University were presented with a Best Practice Award for their consistent approach to cleaning

The awards event at the annual British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE) Conference 2014 held at Glasgow Caledonian University saw Manchester Metropolitan University’s Facilities team win the Best Practice Award.

The award recognised sweeping changes throughout the team which was introduced as part of a significant campus consolidation programme culminating in the opening of a new campus for the forthcoming academic year and seeing the rationalisation of seven campuses to two – one in Manchester and one in Cheshire.

Within the Facilities teams, the consolidation programme was introduced to drive improvements in the following areas:

  • the introduction of micro fibre cleaning systems
  • implementation of BICSc Standards to demonstrate a consistent approach to cleaning
  • recognised professional qualifications for Domestic Assistants
  • the development of an in-house BICSc training centre
  • environmental sustainability
  • a review of all job roles to eliminate duplication in areas such as cleaning, maintenance, and security
  • the provision of new uniforms to all staff

To implement the new systems of working, a solid campaign of in-house training was developed, ranging from sessions around the expectations of the new roles through to skills training for each role.

A key part of the training for domestic teams was the implementation of BICSc, which began with the training of a team of in-house assessors to roll out and assess the training programme to over 200 domestic assistants across all sites.

It was decided to use a pilot group to take the qualification forward, rather than rolling out a new way of working en masse. Workplace Champions were approached for their willingness to learn and ability to embrace change. The pilot group attended an introductory session, which included presentations from the departmental Training Manager and the assessors themselves to outline the benefits of the training, from a systems improvement viewpoint and also for their personal development.

To establish best practice from the outset, the assessors developed a plan to ensure they had suitable training facilities including sluice rooms and identified training areas that would cause minimum disruption to building users. The assessors also planned their approach to the units to be undertaken, scheduling them to enable a logical assessment schedule for their candidates.

As a result of the implementation of new ways of working, MMU has now become an exemplar institution for others looking to introduce the BICSc standard into their workplace. Colleagues from Manchester United, Keele University and NHS (Property Services) Manchester have visited to find out more about BICSc standards in practice.

A celebration event was held where the achievements of the Facilities team were recognised by the Vice-Chancellor and senior managers across the University plus representatives from BACHE and BICSc. Facilities team members including the Team Leaders and Domestic Assistants who were the ‘Workplace Champions’ in the first round of BICSc implementation were invited along to afternoon tea to celebrate their great achievement.

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