Indegenous commercial cleaning company, Spaklean Limited, has successfully completed the renewal of its Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification with a higher compliance score. The company scored 97 percent compliance in the latest edition of the globally acclaimed CIMS certification for cleaning industry operators worldwide.
In 2021 when Spaklean emerged as the first company in Africa to be certified, it scored 95 percent compliance.
Managing Director of Spaklean, Dinah Owusu-Kissi, revealed this during a stakeholders’ engagement luncheon at the forecourt of Spaklean head office in Accra this month.
She said the certification was an assurance that offices and buildings that Spaklean manage were maintained at the highest hygiene standards. The event, dubbed ‘Raising the Bar,’ was meant to celebrate the achievement of the company and the contribution of its staff, clients, and the Contract Cleaners Association of Ghana (CCAG) for the successes over the years. It was attended by board and staff, clients and industry stakeholders.
CIMS is an international industry-specific standard comparable to the International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification but deals with the unique issues of cleaning organisations.
Mrs. Owusu-Kissi explained that to achieve certification, an independent, accredited assessor normally verifies the firm’s compliance with the industry standard for quality systems, service delivery, human resources, health, safety and environmental stewardship and management commitment.
The Spaklean CEO explained that the certification was issued by ISSA, the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide, to compliant companies and required renewal every two years to assure sustainable compliance. Following the recertification, she said Spaklean would continue to issue a CIMS Certified Building certificate to clients as a quality service pledge of commitment to service a building in accordance with international standards.
The Chairman of Spaklean’s Board of Directors, William Ocran Kyei, encouraged the management to continue training, coaching and mentoring to raise the bar of professionalism. Mr. Kyei disclosed that Spaklean had incorporated the Institute of Custodial Management Studies (ICMS) to raise the standards of professionalism in the industry.
He said the curriculum would allow cleaners, janitors, custodians, maids and housekeepers to pursue a career in custodial management services to become Chartered Professional Custodians (CPC).
Giving details of this strategic decision, a board member, Obed Owusu-Kissi, explained that the CIMS certification process involved series of documentation and training of Spaklean staff. Consequently, Mr. Owusu-Kissi said the board decided to make these resources available to the public through ICMS. “Hopefully this will fix the yawning gap of professionalism in the custodial management industry in Ghana,” he said.
Chairperson of CCAG, Lorraine Ababio, called for national cleaning standards as an antidote to some of the challenges of cleaning companies in Ghana. Ms. Ababio also commended Spaklean for its stellar achievements over the years, describing the company as a ‘trailblazer’ in elevating the cleaning industry in Ghana to new levels of professionalism.
She said it was unfortunate that cleaning professionals were often undervalued and disrespected. “The absence of clear standards allows for subpar practices and unprofessional behaviours to go on unchecked. CCAG, in collaboration with ISSA, provides industry-wide regulations and certifications to guide members and promote professionalism,” she added.
At the event, the Purchasing Manager, Indirect Spend – Barry Callebaut Ghana, Franklin Ofosu, observed that Spaklean had raised the bar on cleaning and hygiene services at the factory. Mr. Ofosu, however, charged the company to also raise the bar to meet the increasing demand for sustainable sourcing by going green.
The Absa Head of Facilities Management, Augustine Affum Sarpong, joined the call, indicating that ABSA, at its head office, had commenced waste segregation in line with sustainability demands, and would soon extend this to various branches.
In response, the Managing Director of Spaklean called on clients to provide the needed support by paying sustainable commercial fees so that cleaning companies can invest in sustainable cleaning products and equipment. Mrs. Owusu-Kissi said Spaklean Limited was determined to pursue the CIMS Green Building certification for companies that were ready to go green.