The Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF) is an independent entity comprised of representatives from across the cleaning supply chain, including
- property investors, owners and managers
- cleaning companies
- employee representatives
- industry associations.
The objectives of CAF are to:
- identify best practice tendering and compliance approaches in the cleaning industry that support quality-focused cleaning services, fair wages and labour standards
- recognise stakeholders who have implemented best practice standards.
CAF is run by a Steering Committee. Steering Committee members have identified key issues in the cleaning supply chain and developed a shared understanding of how these need to be addressed.
They understand that the ‘race to the bottom’ mentality in the industry has led to:
- poor quality cleaning outcomes
- unsustainable business models
- irresponsible contracting and employment practices
- unreasonably low contract prices and very low profit margins.
These practices have ultimately resulted in high levels of industrial non-compliance and exploitation of vulnerable workers.
CAF recognises that in order to put the industry on a more sustainable footing, all those invovled in the cleaning supply chain have to work together. CAF also acknowledges that there are leading companies who have adopted best practice procurement policies, contracts and auditing tools and that these need to be recognised and promoted.
CAF has formed a number of subcommittees to develop the core components of the framework, including:
- a Code of Conduct
- a procurement toolkit (pricing schedule and industry benchmarks)
- compliance and auditing tools
- certification scheme
- three, four and five star standards
A supply chain certification scheme is at the heart of CAF. It requires all stakeholders to agree to the CAF Code of Conduct and provides a mechanism for property owners to certify individual sites within their portfolios to three, four or five star standards.
From August 2016, CAF will pilot the framework enabling those in the industry to further:
- test and refine the tools, standards and certification scheme
- identify any gaps in tools or additional evidence needed to demonstrate compliance with the standards
- promote the benefits and increase awareness of CAF as a sustainable supply chain solution and business model.
The framework will then be ready for an open market launch on 1 July 2017.