Although cleaning is usually straightforward, and in most cases shouldn’t have unnecessary complications, this doesn't mean that people still don't need some form of training to get going. Even the basics of carrying out safely, doing it the right way, and using the right equipment and substances should be explained to some degree.
Of course, this is the case for commercial and business cleaning contexts, with references often made to adherence of 'COSHH policies' and making sure tick-lists are completed for induction training of new employees. But even with domestic and other capacities like volunteering for a local charity of interest group, it can still be not only needed but good practice.
Therefore, in whatever capacity you're looking at training cleaners, whether you're an employer or manager wanting to bring a new person up-to-speed quickly and easily, or you're wanting to help others just muck-in with things correctly, here are some of the main pointers to consider, with details at the end of how you can download a cleaner’s training checklist of these:
1. Risk Assessments
This should already be in place (and a must for any professional cleaning company) for each cleaner to go through and take note of. However, in some circumstances, they may have needs or issues that the risk assessment itself needs to then accommodate.
2. Data Sheets
These detail the nuts and bolts of how to use each cleaning chemical and substance, including for emergencies and accidents.
They can be very technical, so make sure the gist of each substance is truly understood.
3. COSHH and Health & Safety Policy
This is bedrock of your cleaning process, which needs to be read and understood by cleaners as it is supposed to be the ultimate procedure for how you truly carry out cleaning as a general business and activity (as opposed to the above Risk Assessment which drills down more into the unique job and location).
These can be very wordy, therefore it may need breaking down into easier-to-understand bite-sized chucks. We personally prefer a sort of top-ten points to go through with people which can refer to the main document for reference.
4. Schedules & Summaries
These will detail exactly what cleaning task needs doing, when it needs doing, and what issues like equipment or substances need considering (and End of Tenancy clean is a great example with multiple things to consider).
Also, make sure each cleaner knows which parts need completing and updating, and then how they log any issues as and when they occur.
5. Notices & Signs
These are often needed somewhere along the lines, whether permanent ones on, say, cleaning cupboards that need adhering to, or the flip signs that need erecting on, for example, hard floors after being mopped.
6. Cleaner’s Detail
Make sure you don’t forget the obvious point of noting details about the individual cleaner – whether basic contact details and address, or from any checks and references that have been established or requested.
Also, note any extras being required such as DBS checks, and that everything is safely stored according to data protection obligations.
7. HR Processes
Don’t forget some basic HR and employment obligations, including any basic contract, additional rules and policies, and any unusual circumstances like volunteers doing this without employment rights adhered to, and managing other interests like children and disabled persons.
In short, make sure they’re the right ones, and stored in the right areas.
Cleaners will need to know this and how they practically manage the process, including issues like requesting new ones, existing areas and procedures as with say office cleaning, dealing with accidents, and not leaving them hanging around somewhere.
Having the right tackle is of course crucial, right from using the correct cloths and how to get them cleaned, to the correct vacuum cleaners and mops.
And don’t forget ancillary issues on how to use them correctly, for example not letting cables go everywhere or buckets and handles be left in the way and cause a potential trip hazard.
10. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Making sure each cleaner has the correct clothing etc is key, and knowing whether this is supplied or expected to be provided by themselves.
Some may be permanent, and others shorter-term – for example disposable gloves.
11. Normal & Emergency Access
This can be taken for granted, whereas it can be a big issue where cleaners are often carrying out their duties out of normal living or working hours.
So right from the correct keys and codes to get in, to knowing the Fire Evacuation Procedure to get out – get it all communicated.
12. Workplace Safety
Carefully planning how a cleaner will effectively and safely carry out their duties is essential – right from lone worker considerations, to knowing the building procedures.
Even things like filling in the visitor book at the main reception can be a simple one to miss.
13. Additional Training
Even after you have completed an induction training, clearly note how this will be regularly reviewed and further training accomplished.
It may be individually or as a group, and can be just on-the-job with a supervisor checking up on standards and procedures and communicating back to the cleaner.
The Cleaners Training Checklist
After going through these above pointers you'll have a clearer idea of the sort of issues you need to address with any new cleaner to make sure they're correctly trained up. Of course these are not all applicable all of the time and in every situation, but to some degree they will apply in most cases.
Going through these with the cleaner in question will help effectively train-them-up in the basics and make sure they're then good-to-go with the actual cleaning. You'll still of course need to be making sure things are running okay after any initial induction training, through regular reviews, refresher training, or just on-the-job advice.
Click here to immediately download a helpful one-page cleaner's induction training checklist of these above points to help implement in reality. After adding basic details of the individuals involved you can then simply tick these off and add any additional notes in order to then show in writing that you've effectively completed a cleaner's training.
Also, click here to have a general cleaner's training summary for any ongoing training and reviews.