CIMS: Cleaning Industry Management Standard
The Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) is a certification program designed specifically for cleaning organizations and companies. In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of CIMS certification, including its significance, steps required for certification, benefits of implementation, and more.
What is a CIMS certification?
The Cleaning Industry Management Standard, created by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), “outlines the primary characteristics of a successful, quality cleaning organization,” according to the ISSA’s website.
The CIMS provides a comprehensive management framework for cleaning service providers to enhance their operational efficiency and demonstrate their commitment to delivering quality services.
Certification in the standard proves a company’s compliance with various aspects of a cleaning business, including quality systems, operational efficiency, performance systems, and human resource development.
Who needs a CIMS certification?
While not mandatory, a CIMS certification is beneficial for cleaning service providers looking to establish credibility, demonstrate adherence to industry standards, and gain a competitive edge.
How to get a CIMS certification
The full CIMS certification process is outlined on the ISSA’s website. It involves applying, conducting an internal review, then undergoing an external audit to ensure that your organization is in compliance with the standards
A CIMS audit evaluates an organization’s compliance with the standard’s key criteria, which is outlined below:
- Quality systems. Ensuring the implementation of efficient and effective management systems, policies, and procedures.
- Service delivery. Demonstrating a commitment to meeting customer needs and expectations while adhering to industry best practices.
- Human resources. Establishing proper training programs, human resource management practices, and employee development initiatives to ensure a skilled and competent workforce.
- Health, safety, and environmental stewardship. Implementing measures to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and clients, as well as promoting environmentally sustainable cleaning practices.
- Management commitment. Showing leadership dedication to continuous improvement, customer satisfaction, and the overall success of the organization.
Renewal requirements for a CIMS certification
A CIMS certification is valid for two years. After that time, an organization must reapply for recertification via the ISSA’s website.
The benefits of a CIMS certification
A CIMS certification offers several benefits to organizations. Some key advantages include the following.
By showcasing adherence to industry best practices and standards, the certification enhances a company’s reputation, fostering trust and confidence among clients and stakeholders, thereby leading to increased business opportunities and improved client retention.
With the CIMS certification, a company can distinguish itself in the market, setting itself apart from competitors. This distinction can attract potential customers who prioritize reliability, quality, and professionalism in their cleaning services, consequently leading to an expanded client base and increased revenue.
CIMS certification encourages the implementation of streamlined processes and effective management practices, leading to optimized operations, improved productivity, and better resource management. This emphasis on efficiency can result in cost savings, increased profitability, and higher levels of customer satisfaction, ultimately contributing to long-term business success.
Challenges in achieving CIMS certification
Earning a CIMS certification may pose several challenges to organizations. They include:
Meeting the comprehensive standards and criteria set by CIMS demands substantial effort, resources, and commitment, posing a challenge for organizations seeking certification.
Adapting existing processes to align with CIMS standards often requires significant operational changes, potentially leading to temporary disruptions and additional costs.
Securing the necessary resources, including time, finances, and manpower, for the certification process can strain a company’s internal resources, necessitating careful planning and allocation to ensure successful certification without compromising regular operations.
Tips and strategies for CIMS certification
Here are a few tips for preparing for a CIMS certification:
- Familiarize yourself with CIMS requirements and align existing processes accordingly
- Invest in comprehensive staff training programs to ensure compliance with industry standards
- Maintain organized records and documentation to demonstrate adherence to CIMS criteria
- Implement a culture of continual improvement, regularly reviewing and enhancing operational processes
- Consider engaging consultants or experts with experience in CIMS certification to navigate the process efficiently
Resources for CIMS certification
For more information and guidance on CIMS certification, you can refer to the following resources:
- International Sanitary Supply Association. The ISSA’s website has a section dedicated to CIMS certification, including steps required for certification, a certification guide, and more. It serves as the primary and most valuable resource for organizations seeking CIMS certification.
- Accredited CIMS auditors. Also on the ISSA’s website, this directory of accredited CIMS auditors is helpful to organizations that are ready to undergo their final CIMS audit.
- Cleaning skills matrix. AG5 offers a free cleaning skills matrix. You can use it to identify, track, and manage skills related to CIMS certifications in your organization.
Skills management for CIMS certification
AG5 stores all certifications in the cloud, providing all authorized personnel with access to the right version of approved certifications. This helps you easily keep track of all data and documentation related to a CIMS certification across your organization.
Using AG5’s skills management software, you can monitor the status of any type of certification that is relevant to your workforce, leveraging intuitive dashboards that provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what is needed to keep your employees skilled and safe.