What to Know About GBAC Star™ Accreditations

A male is seen mopping the entryway of an office building with a wet floors sign behind him
ISSA Cleaning Certification

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The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed how businesses approach the cleaning and maintenance of their buildings. As many businesses shifted to adopt better health and safety practices, many sought to achieve the highest standards of evidence-based cleanliness protocols possible through commercial cleaning certifications and accreditations.

The most widely adopted among them is the GBAC Star™  Facility Accreditation and Services Accreditation. Our guide to ISSA cleaning certifications and accreditations covers what you need to know about how to become a certified cleaner and or facility to demonstrate cleanliness standards through cleaning validation procedures.

What is the GBAC Star accreditation? 

The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) is a world-leading trade association that standardizes and accredits the global cleaning industry. ISSA offers several janitorial certifications, each reflecting different types of facilities, such as schools, hotels, or office buildings. 

One of the certifications ISSA issues is the GBAC Star™ Facility Accreditation, which sets the standards for how to prevent and respond to biological outbreaks in facilities. 

Designed by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC) a division of ISSA, this accreditation program trains cleaning companies and internal facility maintenance teams on essential protocols like:

  • Disinfection techniques
  • Cleanup practices for biohazard material
  • Workplace practices that promote occupant health

The GBAC Star™ accreditation is a performance-based certification that requires participating entities to meet 20 different elements of quality management. After initial accreditation, reaccreditation occurs on a recurring annual basis.

Benefits of Commercial Cleaning Accreditations and Certifications

Obtaining a GBAC Star™ cleaning service accreditation has numerous financial, social, and health benefits that help businesses establish themselves as reputable janitorial service providers.

Below are some of the top reasons to pursue commercial cleaning certifications, like the GBAC Star™ accreditation: 

  • Ensures standardization: GBAC Star™ accreditations set standards of cleaning across multiple different industries, both public and private. By adhering to a single standard for cleaning practices, occupants, staff, visitors, and other stakeholders are never left feeling uncertain about the cleanliness and sanitation of a space.
Our commercial cleaning validation products suit the needs of a variety of industries including:

  • Improves workplace safety: Janitor certifications such as the GBAC Star™ accreditation foster workplace health and safety by setting high standards for cleanliness and sanitation. Staff who work inside buildings can rest assured they’re carrying out their job duties in a clean and healthy environment.
  • Provides third-party validation: Since ISSA provides cleaning certification courses as a third-party accreditor, there’s higher certainty that businesses that are GBAC STAR-accredited are actually meeting a set of standards consistently. Third-party validation prevents businesses from misrepresenting their cleaning standards.
  • Boosts customer confidence: When high-traffic buildings are cleaned and maintained by a GBAC STAR-accredited cleaner, it gives the general public or building occupants the reassurance to use the space without fear of encountering biorisk. Restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality-driven establishments can welcome in customers confidently.
What Is ISSA Cleaning Certification

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What Businesses Need a Commercial Cleaning Certification or accreditation?

GBAC Star™ Accreditation program is designed for cleaning companies that serve any size of facility. Whether it’s a public or private building, any space with regular occupants can benefit from the highest standard in commercial and industrial cleaning.

Below we’ll look at some of the categories of facilities that use certified commercial cleaning.

Educational facilities:

  • Daycares
  • K-12 schools
  • Higher education centers

General service providers:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Restaurants
  • Retail centers and shopping malls
  • Grocery stores

Healthcare providers:

  • Doctors and dentists offices
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Assisted care facilities
  • Chiropractic and physiotherapy practices
  • Massage clinics and spas

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Religious and events buildings:

  • Churches and places of worship
  • Convention centers and conference buildings
  • Stadiums and arenas

Transportation sector:

  • Airlines and airports
  • Car rental agencies
  • Public transit authorities

How to Achieve ISSA Cleaning Certification

To achieve ISSA cleaning certifications, interested parties must go through an application process administered by the ISSA council. For organizations interested in pursuing the GBAC Star™ Accreditation program, the application process includes the following steps:

  • Complete and submit the online application
  • Receive an accreditation handbook and implementation guides
  • Submit accreditation documents to the council for review
  • Upon successful review, business is deemed compliant and GBAC STAR-accredited

The GBAC Star™ accreditation cost varies based on organizational size and complexity, ranging from $600 to $16,500. During the process, a deposit is due at the time of initial application, with the balance to be paid upon accreditation.

Achieving the GBAC facility or service accreditation doesn’t end once you receive the accreditation. Facilities must continually demonstrate adherence to the program’s standards. Demonstrating cleaning validation is essential to obtaining and maintaining certification.

Cleaning validation procedures help businesses establish evidence for cleaning and sanitation practices in order to continuously prove the necessary standards to meet accreditation. 

ISSA certification cost

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With the help of cleaning validation consultants, businesses can ensure they are properly documenting and demonstrating their work. Some of the cleaning validation procedures that help businesses achieve cleaning certifications and accreditations include:

  • Using evidence-based technology to identify surface contamination 
  • Adopting a software platform that documents and schedules cleaning protocols
  • Maintaining a history of cleaning to support the evidence and documentation that’s needed

Not only do cleaning validation practices make the certification process more efficient by saving you time and money during documentation, but they also streamline your internal cleaning protocols.

Cleaning validation technology and procedures remove the guesswork from commercial cleaning so that staff can work in an efficient and effective way.

Obtain ISSA Cleaning Certifications With Optisolve Cleaning Validation

ISSA cleaning certifications are world-renowned certifications and accreditations that can help your business demonstrate to stakeholders your commitment to a clean and sanitary environment. Accreditations like the GBAC Star™ program allow businesses to continually meet the highest standards in biorisk management.

If you’re pursuing a certification or accreditation for your cleaning business, consider how to make the process easier and more manageable by adopting cleaning validation tools and technology.

Optisolve® cleaning validation tools include Pathfinder™ surface imaging technology and SAVI® cleaning quality management software. Both technologies are GBAC Star™ registered producs and technologies. They work together to help your business achieve the highest cleaning standards and maximize cleaning protocols and efficiencies. 

Contact us today to learn more about our approach to cleaning validation.