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Custodial Consulting for Colleges & Universities Quality Assurance Basics for In-House Custodial Professionals Part 4: Deciding How to Measure Quality

There are many different ways to measure quality. Today we’ll talk about four of the most common quality assurance formats.

The “1-5 scale,” also known as the “Likert scale,” is a fairly common format. It can be effective, but its weakness is its subjectivity. If you’re measuring a floor’s cleanliness, for example, one person’s “5” may be another person’s “3.” On its own, the Likert scale probably won’t suit a quality assurance program, but it might serve well if used alongside other formats, such as the “1-100 scale.”

The advantage of the “1-100 scale” is its familiarity. We all grew up with this system in school and it is familiar to most of us. It’s easy to understand and has the added ability to be precise – the different between a “3” and “4” is a lot harder to distinguish than the difference between “50” and “75.”

The “pass/fail” system is another popular format. It leaves less room for ambiguity and encourages consensus, which makes it a good fit for quality assurance programs. Pass/fail systems are almost always used in conjunction with other measuring formats. They’re useful at the micro-level, but not at the maco-level, where it would be inappropriate to give a simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” assessment.

Additionally, you should consider using a weighted-number system for your quality assurance program. You want to design a system that puts emphasis – weight – on the aspects of your cleaning operation that are most important. For example, one way to design a weighted-number system would be to assign 20 points for restrooms, 5 points for storage rooms, and 35 points for executive offices.

Next time, we’ll discuss how you might develop your own quality assurance program using these measurement formats. Stay tuned!