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Custodial Consulting for Colleges & Universities Quality Assurance Basics for In-House Custodial Professionals Part 2: Considerations Before Deciding on a Quality Assurance Program

So, your cleaning organization has decided it needs a quality assurance program. In our last article, we outlined the key features of a good program. In today’s article, we’re going to take a step back and encourage you and your organization to ask a very important question: “Are we ready to develop and implement a quality assurance program?”

This may be more difficult to answer than you’d think. As an in-house custodial organization, you have some considerations to make before you invest your time and money into a quality assurance program. The first question you should ask: Are we ready to commit to a long term quality effort? A good program will succeed only if your organization makes it part of its culture. You’ll need at least one person (or a team of people, depending on the size of your organization) to take ownership and leadership of the program. Which brings us to our next consideration:

Who will manage the quality program? If you’re not going to add a staff member, then someone from your team will need to make time in their schedule. This is essential, because a quality assurance program will always fail if no one follows up on the results of an audit or inspection. You need someone to hold people accountable and make a plan for the future. Do you have a history of stop-and-go projects that never quite reach fruition? Most organizations do and, because of past failures, your team may become cynical if they see the same pattern taking shape.

Finally, you must ask, how much time do we have to commit to the quality program? Ideally, you don’t want to put more time into a formal quality assurance program than you’re already investing informally. Most cleaning organizations spend a good deal of time dealing with quality issues. Bad quality assurance incurs many hidden costs and wastes a good deal of time.

A good quality assurance program will ultimately return that time and money to you. A good program will pay for itself and keep on adding value to your organization for years to come. But you need to choose the right one and you need to implement it correctly! In our next article, we’ll discuss some further considerations you should make before you decide on a quality assurance program.