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Management And Training

Green Seal-Backed GS-42 Training Accreditation Program

September 19, 2010
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Remember your training!

A favorite phrase of drill instructors and business coaches alike, this admonition, while bordering on cliché, still rings true.

The well-schooled, well-trained professional stands a much better chance of success — or survival — than his ill-prepared counterpart.

Sometimes overlooked, however, is the quality of the trainers as well as the initial and ongoing training when the instructional program launches, develops and expands.

Pitfalls and opportunity
Two examples of common failure paths include:

  • If the foundational trainer and training are not well-prepared, the whole program suffers.
  • Even if the original trainer and program are exemplary, a training program''s effectiveness can erode over time.

It''s with this in mind that Green Seal authorized the development of a GS-42 Training Accreditation Program: To ensure that trainers are well-qualified to begin with and that GS-42-related training programs — those designed to assist companies to achieve GS-42 Certification — are maintained at a high standard of excellence through ongoing accreditation.

The GS-42 Environmental Standard for Cleaning Services is a certification program designed to refine, validate and promote green cleaning programs of building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house service providers (ISPs) that meet the GS-42 environmental leadership criteria.

Green Seal GS-42 Certification helps ensure that a service meets rigorous, science-based standards.

The certification also provides owners and managers of green cleaning operations the assurance to back up and market related environmental claims as well as gives purchasers sound reasons for confidence that certified services are better for human health and the environment.

The Training Accreditation Program helps solidify that advantage by establishing a system that allows stringent oversight of training materials and trainers, resulting in a recognized, consistent approach to training in the GS-42 Standard leading to GS-42 Certification.

The rationale
Green Seal realized early on that as more and more organizations embrace GS-42 — and seek to implement the standard and become certified — the network of materials, trainers and trainees would grow more and more complex.

To ensure that the training of companies seeking GS-42 Certification is being performed at a consistently high level, a process was needed by which the materials and the trainers could be reviewed, tracked and verified.

According to Liam Keane, the principal of the non-profit association (separate from Green Seal) that is being formed to spearhead the GS-42 Accreditation Program and serve as registrar and administrator under Green Seal''s purview, "In order to maintain a ‘chain of custody'' with regard to the training process, we need to be able to verify a trainer''s credentials to establish that they are meeting high standards on an ongoing basis."

While the final accreditation criteria are still under development, the concept is relatively simple: A client who wishes to become accredited as a trainer approaches the non-profit accreditation firm.

The client''s training materials are reviewed for appropriateness as well as accuracy and any technical issues.

The prospective trainer(s) are also interviewed and their teaching methods observed to ensure they have a full understanding of the material and deliver it proficiently.

The program''s mission is to qualify as many trainers as possible to green the cleaning industry in a consistent and sustainable manner.

A database system will be established to track accreditation and ensure timely renewals.

Trainer and training tracking will maintain the high levels of competence and performance associated with those assisting companies to achieve certification.

"This tracking system is crucial to ensuring the ongoing integrity of the trainers and training," concludes Keane.


Allen P. Rathey is president of Boise, ID-based InstructionLink/JanTrain.

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