Industry Leaders Forum: Bruce Whiteley, Operations Director, Daniels Associates

How was 2020 for Daniels Associates? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

Like for most, this year has had its ups and downs, however, our training division for the cleaning industry has remained steady throughout the year.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we released a Clinical Cleaning for Infection Control course through the BSCAA, and the Rapid Group; to date over 3000 people have complete these courses.

In June, a new competency unit HLTINFCOV001 was released, representing best practice and being promoted by the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment as the gold standard in cleaning hygiene skills and knowledge across a number of industries.

We currently offer 15 online courses covering all basic aspects of cleaning operations. These courses can be used to build an RPL portfolio for a Certificates III in Cleaning Operations qualification.

We have just released 10 new online courses focused on cleaning management for small cleaning businesses and supervisors in larger cleaning organisations.

Our most recently launched course, Marketing Commercial Cleaning Services is designed to provide a comprehensive guide for marketing professional cleaning services. These courses are all available on the Daniels Associates website.

What will be the immediate focus for Daniels Associates in 2021?

We want to develop our business to be more than a registered training organisation, offering training and HR solutions that support employees throughout their career life cycle and professional development.

There needs to be more focus on upskilling and succession planning in the industry and we would like to offer genuine training solutions to this area without the need for government funding.

Our recently released cleaning management courses are affordable to everyone. There is a pathway from the non-accredited courses to accredited units of competency, and a Certificate IV in Cleaning Management.

We are confident these new manage courses will offer a professional development pathway which has been missing from the cleaning industry.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for the cleaning industry in 2021?

The immediate challenge we hear is that many cleaning companies, in both metro and regional areas, are struggling to recruit workers due to the current government Jobseeker subsidies available.

Another challenge faced by the industry is the need for a stable workforce, particularly at a supervisor level.  Succession planning and career pathways are critical issues for industry due to the large number of overseas students and temporary visa holders working in the cleaning industry. We are hoping the affordable education pathways we have developed will support industry in addressing these issues.

There is now opportunity for the industry to lift its profile and be recognised as a critical service in maintaining public health. There is no doubt about a fundamental shift in the mindset across government, private and public facilities recognising the import of workplace hygiene.

Not to mention the Workplace Health and Safety risks associated with the potential spread of COVID-19 from inadequate cleaning standards. There is now great opportunity to keep quality and performance top of customers minds when reviewing their cleaning specifications and tenders.

Do you have a message you would like to share with the industry?

There is a great opportunity for the cleaning industry to change the way they communicate and engage with clients and start conversations around managing their client’s hygiene risks; cleaning being a function of this risk management process.

We should be talking about risks associated with functional areas, and in particular high touch surfaces, anywhere people congregate in a workplace or office environment pose increased hygiene risks and require more frequent cleaning of all contact surfaces.

We should be discussing the risk associated with various client groups and in particular the type of building and type of client (aged and other health risks) associated with chronic illness. We should be taking a new approach to cleaning specifications and reviewing them based on the various risks associated with each functional area.

This article first appeared in the January/February issue of INCLEAN magazine. 

Read the original article here.

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