Upstream - The Newsletter of Incentive FM Group

Just a cleaner?

By Bob Crowhurst

Some time ago I wrote about Security Officers in today’s world and how the advent of licencing and improving professionalism has moved us on from the days of limited scope, ability and prospects. Today’s professional Security Officer is the product of careful selection, intense training and the expectations of a rewarding career in an expanding and diverse industry.

Training starts with the universal SIA licencing course, a must for anyone wishing to work in the industry. This is a packed four-day course during which the basics of the industry are taught. The course covers many subjects, the 4 Ps, patrolling, law and conflict management to name but a few - probably far too much in too little time if the truth be told!

It is very true that the real training starts when an officer joins one of Incentive Lynx’s site teams. This is where he/she learns the ‘nitty gritty’ of the business from experienced colleagues and gets to put into practice lessons learnt on the basic course.

Having settled in and mastered the site training programme, an officer’s development is enhanced by attending courses in anti terrorism (Project Griffin – Project Argus – Operation Fairway – Suspect Packages), security procedures (Customer Service) and health & safety (First aid – IOSH – Fire awareness), which in the fullness of time and experience leads on to those courses that prepares for promotion – NVQs, Supervisory and Management training.

All the above works to give us the professional, rounded officers we have today, but let’s turn our attention for a few moments to another group of colleagues in Incentive. I refer to those who work in the cleaning division, a group who rarely get the recognition they deserve from those they serve.

I have worked with several cleaning teams now and on first meeting, most individuals tend to introduce themselves as ‘just a cleaner’, but I ask you are they ‘just a cleaner’? The members of the public who benefit from the ministrations of those teams probably have no idea of the expertise these guys and girls possess, and the training they go through to give the service they do. Also, let’s not forget they often form part of the emergency teams on site, providing first aid cover and delivering customer service.

As well as basic cleaning routines, which can include training in COSHH (Data sheets – use and storage of chemical cleaners), colour coding to avoid cross contamination, dealing with various spills (chemicals, bodily fluids, sewage) dealing with sharps, needles and environmental waste, our operatives can undergo training in manual handling procedures, fire awareness, first aid and the use of defibrillators. Also available are NVQs in cleaning practices and Team Leading.

So, just a cleaner or a well trained rounded professional just like their colleagues in the security division?