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GBAC Accreditation to Help Ease Facilities into Reopening

Accreditation will assure visitors your building is clean and healthy

May 11, 2020

As facilities such as restaurants and shopping malls prepare to reopen, and others such as hotels and airports prepare for heavier traffic, facility managers are tasked with maintaining clean, hygienic buildings that inspire customer confidence. Despite the quality of products and services offered, many consumers emerging from their COVID-19 stay-at-home orders will not give their business to a company if its building does not meet strict cleanliness standards.

Survival of many of these businesses will depend on the skill of their cleaning teams, Forbes reports. Research by SEMrush, a data and trends tracking company, showed that Google inquiries seeking to learn “Is it safe to fly” increased by 3,693% from pre-pandemic to post-pandemic. Similarly, searches for “Are hotels safe?” rose 21,900%.

Facility managers are looking for ways to boost custodian cleaning skills, with many focusing on training. The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, last week introduced its GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program on cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. It is the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation. GBAC STAR establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Accreditation criteria and facility applications are now available at www.gbac.org.

Ideal for facilities like offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, convention centers, stadiums, and other public venues of all sizes, the GBAC STAR program assesses a facility’s preparedness and provides staff with training for biorisk prevention and containment. The program also establishes a framework for communication and awareness best practices.

Accreditation Criteria & Process
The performance-based GBAC STAR program enables facilities to create and maintain an effective cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program. To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Facilities will apply online and provide all documentation and supporting evidence with their application. The GBAC STAR Accreditation Council determines the status of all GBAC STAR facilities.

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the GBAC STAR accreditation program is exactly what facilities need to confidently reopen and keep staff, customers, and communities safe,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “The way the world views cleaning has changed overnight. To effectively recover from this crisis and prepare for the next, it’s essential that businesses take these necessary steps—and we’re thrilled to have a stable of top organizations that have already committed to the program.”

GBAC STAR Commitments
Several leading organizations have already committed to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation in their facilities. This first wave of leaders planning to pursue facility accreditation includes:

Additionally, these prominent industry organizations are among the first to commit their support for GBAC STAR with their thousands of constituents:

  • International Association of Venue Managers and its 7,000 member facilities globally
  • International Facility Management Association and its 23,000 members worldwide
  • Global Market Development Center, the premier global trade association for the retail industry, and its 400-plus members
  • Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association and its 400 hotels in the state of Illinois
  • Informa Markets and its 500 brands and expositions.
  • International Association of Exhibitions and Events and its 12,000 members in 50 countries
  • Professional Beauty Association and its 100,000 members
  • Media Edge Communications and its portfolio of media products, trade shows and conferences with association partners in Canada
  • Trade Show Executive Media
  • Go LIVE Together, a coalition of leaders from the live events industry that represent more than 4,000 companies with U.S. operations and 112 other countries.

To learn more about becoming a GBAC STAR accredited facility and submit your application, visit www.gbac.org.

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