CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes guarantee standards in the cleaning and hygiene sector
Buyers of cleaning and hygiene products can be certain they get what they pay for thanks to the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association’s (CHSA) Accreditation Schemes. The Schemes cover manufacturers of soft tissue, plastic sacks and mops and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products. The only way facilities managers can be certain the product they receive is not ‘short’ in number or size, common problems with non-Accredited products, is to specify Scheme Membership. It guarantees what’s on the box is what’s in the box.
Many end users already know and value the benefits offered by the Accreditation Schemes and demand their distributors provide CHSA Accredited product and adhere to the ethical principles that underpin the Schemes and the CHSA’s tough Code of Practice. Major purchasing organisations including the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) and the National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales are also benefiting from the guarantees provided by the Accreditation Scheme. A member of the Accredited Distributor Scheme the YPO says: “Being an Accredited Distributer means we can continue to pursue the best standard of product available in the in the industry, making sure our valued customers are getting what they pay for.” The NPS turned to the CHSA to support it Refuse Sack Tender Process, the CHSA tested samples to ensure they matched the specification.
Users of cleaning and hygiene products are demanding the best – CHSA Accredited product from CHSA Accredited Distributors.
Underpinned by Independent Inspection
An accreditation scheme is only as good as the standards it stipulates and the processes in place to make sure scheme members stick to the rules. This is why the CHSA invests in a rigorous auditing process, at the heart of which is the Independent Inspector. An experienced quality assurance professional, the Inspector has worked with the British Standards Institute and the European Standards Committee. He has been auditing CHSA Accreditation Scheme members since 2014.
The auditing process begins with a submission by the member or prospective member (passing the initial audit is a condition of membership) of a full product list. A site visit is then arranged. It starts with a review of the quality assurance procedures before an inspection of the warehouse and manufacturer’s facilities as required.
The Inspector selects product as he wishes and checks label compliance. Every label must be traceable to the manufacturer and batch. It must include the relevant Accreditation Scheme logo and indicate the product dimensions and count. Where required, an indicator of fitness for purpose must also be provided. For example, plastic refuse sacks must define light, medium and heavy duty according to weight. The Inspector also takes samples from the warehouse for offsite testing. In the case of manufacturing members, a few samples are also taken from the production line.
Back at his testing laboratory, the Inspector assesses each product against the specified Scheme Standard. The length and width of soft tissue products are measured, and the number of sheets counted. The dimensions of plastic refuse sacks are measured and the number in each carton counted. A representative sample is then put through the British Standards Drop Test. Each sack is filled with the specified weight and dropped from a defined weight and examined for tears or ruptures. The number of cotton mops in each box is counted and their weight recorded. Following the addition of System mops to Socket and Kentucky mops in the Scheme Standard, the length and / or circumference of the mop is also recorded. To maintain Accreditation, every member is audited at least once a year.
Accredited Distributors must sell only CHSA Accredited product or product that conforms to the specified standard. Therefore, only non-CHSA Accredited product is taken off site for testing.
Schemes with bite
Committed to the integrity of the Schemes, the CHSA’s governing Council will expel any Scheme member who, in spite of being offered the guidance required to correct issues, consistently fails to conform to the relevant Scheme Standard.
Each year the inspector audits almost 5,000 products across all four of the CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes. The results are published annually, compliance across all four schemes being shown to be consistently high.
Published in Spring 2019, the 2018 audit results showed excellent compliance. The results for the Accreditation Scheme for Distributors showed an average of 97.5 per cent of relevant products across all Accredited Distributors were from CHSA Accredited Manufacturers.
Label compliance in 2018 for the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Plastic Refuse Sacks is 98.8 per cent. Plastic Refuse sacks are tested to see if they are fit for purpose using the British Standards Institute Drop Test. Performance is assessed by combining the Drop Test results with the count and dimensions of the sacks. Compliance in 2018 was over 91 per cent.
The results of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue also showed high levels of conformance. Label compliance was 89 per cent or 95.9 per cent excluding minor infringements, and dimensional compliance is 92.4 per cent excluding minor infringements.
Members of the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Industrial Cotton Mops achieved near perfect conformance on label and product performance.
A long-standing commitment to standards
The CHSA’s commitment to standards spans more than 30 years, the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Soft Tissue being established in 1997 to combat the challenge of product that was undersized or not as advertised.
Since then the CHSA has introduced new Schemes, the most recent being the Accreditor Distributor Scheme launch in January 2017. With effect on 1 January 2020, every distributor member of the CHSA will also be formally Accredited.