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A CIMS Year of Success
By Daniel Wagner — posted 12/11/2007
Wow what a year 2007 was for ISSA! Dynamic tradeshows in Orlando, FL, Singapore, Italy, Poland, and China, the launch of a brand new Web site, and the creation of a new association logo were among the exciting events that certainly made it a year to remember.

Yet surely one of the most memorable accomplishments in 2007 was the official launch and continued development of the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and certification program. Let’s take a look back at the successes of CIMS during the past year and what to expect in 2008.

The Standard

Since CIMS release in late November 2006, more than 3,500 persons have downloaded a copy of the Standard from ISSA’s Web site. The Standard continues to be recognized on an ever-increasing basis as the seminal management document for the cleaning industry and, as one certified organization put it, “the blueprint for where a company needs to go.” Click here to download your own copy of the Standard.

CIMS Case Study Program: Certified Organizations


During the first 10 months of 2007, ISSA conducted a CIMS certification case study program. As part of the program, cleaning organizations went through the certification process and underwent third-party assessments in hopes of becoming charter CIMS-certified organizations. A total of 24 organizations from the United States and Canada—representing a cross-section of various sized organizations and geographic locations—were originally accepted into the program and, as of this writing, 18 have successfully achieved certification. Of the six remaining organizations, five are continuing to pursue certification and expect to complete the task by early 2008.

Representatives of the 18 certified organizations were recognized immediately preceding the keynote address at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2007 in Orlando, FL. Copies of case studies describing the experiences of the organizations in going through the certification process were also widely distributed at the show. A full list of certified organizations is available here. Copies of the case studies are available for download here.

To achieve certification, an organization must undergo a comprehensive assessment conducted by an ISSA-accredited, independent assessor. To date, 10 individuals have been accredited as official CIMS assessors, each of whom is required to abide by a strict code of professional conduct. The assessment includes documentation review, interviews with management, staff, and customers, and customer site visits to ensure implementation of CIMS-compliant policies and procedures. Organizations are required to comply with 100 percent of CIMS’ mandatory elements and at least 60 percent of the recommended elements per section. Those organizations that fail to pass their assessment are permitted to remedy their nonconformities within a certain period of time. In fact, three case study organizations successfully took advantage of the corrective action policy after nonconformities were identified during the initial assessment.

Certification is now open to the industry as a whole and cleaning organizations are encouraged to sign up today! To download an application, click here.

ISSA Certification Experts Are Here to Help

Four ISSA Certification Expert (ICE) workshops were held in 2007, and 163 individuals achieved ICE certification. Becoming an “ISSA Certification Expert” positions an individual to provide training or consulting services to those cleaning organizations interested in complying with the Standard and preparing to certify to CIMS. A full list of persons who have achieved ICE status is available here.

To become an ISSA Certification Expert, professionals within the cleaning industry must attend a one-day workshop and pass an examination regarding the management elements contained in the Standard. Workshops were held in 2007 in Las Vegas, NV; Chicago, IL; and Iselin, NJ,. The workshops drew substantial attendance, consisting primarily of representatives of manufacturer and distributor organizations. In addition, a session was held exclusively for Spartan Chemical Co., which became the first company to have its entire sales force ICE-certified.

Additional workshops will be scheduled for 2008, including a session in Orlando on February 20 and others in Chicago in June and in Las Vegas in September, the later in conjunction with ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2008., which takes place September 8-11. Please click here for more information on these sessions.

Facility Managers Find CIMS Useful


The Standard has received an official endorsement from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and CIMS certification has begun to be cited by facility managers, building owners, and purchasing representatives as a prerequisite for being considered for a cleaning service contract. In fact, toward the end of 2007, both the Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base (ANGRC) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport issued requests for bids that require CIMS-certification. You can learn why the ANGRC has elected to rely on CIMS as a powerful pre-qualification tool. Click here to read their case study.

ISSA is committed to raising awareness of CIMS in the facility management and purchasing communities. In 2007, ISSA and CIMS representatives spoke at more than 20 events, including IFMA chapter meetings, International Executive Housekeepers Association regional sessions, and numerous facility management and cleaning industry tradeshows. ISSA staff expect sto speak at an equal number of events in 2008. For the latest schedule of events where ISSA will be speaking about CIMS, click here.

With so many facility managers beginning to require CIMS certification, the time to apply is now!

Join the Elite CIMS Crowd—Today

The ISSA CIMS certification program has proved to be a tremendous success over the past 12 months and will continue to grow in 2008. Now that certification has been opened to the industry as a whole, every cleaning organization is encouraged to pursue certification and prove its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction!

For more information on the program and how to become CIMS certified, please contact ISSA Director of CIMS Dan Wagner at daniel@issa.com; phone, toll free 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.

Dan Wagner is director of the Cleaning Industry Management Standard—CIMS—and director of facility service legislative affairs for ISSA. He can be reached at daniel@issa.com; phone, 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.