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Management And Training

Training For A Healthier Tomorrow

September 19, 2010
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The Building Wellness Institute, formerly PenguinCare, was established in 2005 to provide comprehensive training, consulting and assessment programs that are designed to facilitate GS-42 certification, gain points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and support a wide range of environmental wellness goals.

A Systems Approach

As the first in the nation to receive accreditation in compliance with the GS-42 Training Accreditation Program (GS-42 TAP), Building Wellness Certification Training provides building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house staff the training they need to meet the requirements of the Green Seal GS-42 certification program and ISSA''s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS).

"Our program is supported by an advisory board of environmental health experts with extensive experience in occupational and environmental medicine, public health, industrial hygiene, toxicology and chemical engineering," asserts Marion Stecklow, executive director of the Building Wellness Institute.

Consisting of a combination of classroom instruction, interactive discussion and live, hands-on demonstration of equipment and techniques, the program is 24 hours long and divided into six four-hour sessions.

Each session is preceded by a review of the previous session and a quiz to ensure that trainees retain information; the last session includes a final exam and issuance of training certificates for those who pass the exam.

According to Stecklow, those who have completed training will affirm that standardizing cleaning products and applying discipline and best practices to cleaning processes has resulted in measurable cost savings by increasing efficiency and reducing waste.

Wellness Is Ongoing

The goal of the GS-42 compliant training program is to increase the health, safety and general well-being of all building occupants.

Annual refresher training, required to maintain GS-42 certification, provides updates on current legislation and any revisions to green standards

"Through our training and consulting services, we also help organizations navigate an often-confusing certification landscape," proclaims Stecklow. "For example, we''re often faced with the following question: ''Aren''t GS-42 and

CIMS certification essentially the same?'' Our position is that educating clients on the differences among the three leading green standards — GS-42, CIMS and LEED — is an essential first step toward achieving their environmental wellness goals."

Building Wellness Certification Training takes a "train-the-trainer" approach to provide facilities management and supervisory personnel the tools and knowledge they need to make a vital contribution to public health and the environment.

As Stecklow notes, cleaning personnel that are GS-42 certified provide building owners and property managers the ability to differentiate their facilities with the Green Seal logo and help them gain points toward LEED certification.

By helping to elevate the job of cleaning to a higher level of professionalism, Building Wellness Certification Training is transforming the long-held conception of BSCs and in-house staff as simply cleaners to that of stewards of health and safety.

"On a fundamental level, we believe that procuring green cleaning supplies is an important first step toward environmental wellness — and several states are now mandating this for their schools — but without a firm understanding of best practices, equipment use and how to execute healthy, hands-on procedures, we can never optimally protect the health of the people who occupy our buildings," concludes Stecklow.

For information on scheduling and pricing, please contact the Building Wellness Institute at 301-728-3908 or

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