Yesterday (6 July) saw training provider, InterLearn, launch a new qualification in the form of a trailblazing apprenticeship which has been greeted with open arms by companies in the cleaning industry. The Healthcare Cleaning Operative (HCO) programme comes at a time when businesses are keen to demonstrate their commitment to this standard of hygiene.
InterLearn is one of only a select number of training providers offering this apprenticeship, which was only approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships & Technical Education in February this year.
Developed by a ‘Trailblazer’ group of employers which was spearheaded by healthcare companies, with support from trade unions, universities, education, awarding organisations and a number of industry associations, the programme couldn’t be more timely for many businesses. With all property owners, facilities management companies and cleaning organisations fully aware of their responsibility to help maintain a safe and healthy Britain, the apprenticeship will provide all cleaning operatives across a raft of industries with the skills to deliver the most robust hygiene standards.
These leading employers all saw the value in an innovative apprenticeship programme, tailored specifically around effective cleaning schedules and systems. It also covers protective measures and controls against infection, which now more than ever provide a challenge to the workplace every day.
This new standard has been welcomed by the general cleaning sector, which has been crying out for a standard with direct relevance to the cleaning industry, and a regulated qualification which has essential healthcare cleaning aspects embedded within it.
The 12-month programme covers responsibility for routine and non-routine cleaning, including both deep-cleaning and rapid response cleaning to a hygienic standard of cleanliness set by organisational and policy guidelines. Completion of the apprenticeship will see learners cover a wide range of topics from managing risk and chemical competence to equipment use and the principle of the prevention and control of infection in healthcare settings.
Speaking of the apprenticeship, Chief Commercial Officer at InterLearn, Michael Bradshaw said: “We are proud to be one of the few providers to have taken the lead to deliver this trailblazing qualification, which is a hugely complementary programme for many of the businesses and sectors we already operate in. Offering this additional service line is part of the ongoing strategic development for our employer solution and is one for which there is a pressing need right now.”
Business Development Manager for Interlearn, Ross West, leading on the HCO programme added: “Effective tuition for cleaning operatives and supervisors has never been more essential within the cleaning industry than it is now, particularly as agreed standards
of hygienic service delivery become a prerequisite of successful contract fulfilment for all its deliverers. We’re really pleased to count this qualification as part of our service offer to clients within the vertical markets we already work across.”