What is CAF Building Certification?

CAF Certification is an independent assessment of a building’s cleaning supply chain against our rigorous 3, 4 and 5 Star Standards. We are currently taking applications for our benchmark 3 Star Standard, which incorporates these key assessment areas:

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Labour

Wages, job security and the right to work in Australia.

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Responsible Contracting

Ethical pricing, responsible subcontracting and transparency of contracts.

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Workplace Health & Safety

A safe working environment including relevant insurances and WH&S procedures.

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Financial Viability

The financial checks and balances undertaken when engaging cleaning contractors.

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Worker Engagement

Education and consultation with cleaners including freedom of association.

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Remediation

Investigation and resolution of compliance issues throughout the cleaning supply chain.

View our 3 Star Standard

Why should you certify your building with CAF?

A CAF Star rating on a building provides assurance to investors, building owners and their tenants that cleaning services at that building are being procured, managed, and delivered in a manner that foregrounds respect for cleaners’ labour rights.

Through CAF Certification, stakeholders benefit in the following ways:

For property owners and investors, CAF:

  • ensures that you and entities in your supply chain aren’t inadvertently supporting unlawful labour practices;
  • minimises time spent assessing tenders and managing contracts;
  • drives the delivery of cleaning services that attract and retain tenants;
  • is an anti-slavery mechanism which can be included in Modern Slavery Act statements; and
  • reduces the risk of being involved in a contravention of workplace laws through accessorial liability provisions under section 550 of the Fair Work Act.

For building managers, CAF:

  • provides tools to deliver and maintain competitive and compliant cleaning contracts to property owners;
  • ensures that entities are not inadvertently supporting unlawful labour practices; and
  • reduces the risk of being involved in a contravention of workplace laws through accessorial liability provisions under section 550 of the Fair Work Act.

For cleaning contractors, CAF:

  • contributes to a sustainable future for the cleaning industry by balancing price and performance instead of rewarding ‘rock-bottom’ pricing; and
  • recognises those participants that are adopting better and best practices within the cleaning industry.

For cleaners, CAF:

  • ensures correct wages, rights and entitlements have been applied in the workplace
  • helps drive improvements in labour standards; and
  • gives a voice in upholding quality cleaning and decent work.

For tenants, CAF:

  • provides quality cleaning by experienced cleaners who are respected and safe at work and are receiving their minimum legal pay and entitlements;
  • minimises the risk of potential reputational damage for significant tenants where exploitation of cleaners is uncovered;
  • is an anti-slavery mechanism which can be included in Modern Slavery Act statements; and
  • demonstrates ethical sourcing strategies and company due diligence over indirect supply chains.

Simple steps to CAF Certification

(1) Audit and Worker Engagement

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CAF will appoint an auditor to assess cleaners’ employment records and conduct the desk-based audit against the CAF 3 Star Standard. CAF will assess the pricing schedule for the building to verify whether the cleaning contract is sustainably priced in a manner that enables the correct payment of cleaners’ wages and entitlements and is within CAF productivity benchmarks.

At the same time as the desk-based audit takes place, CAF undertakes worker engagement with cleaners at the building in order to verify compliance with labour standards. This includes face to face meetings in paid time, a survey about cleaners’ working conditions, and the nomination of a CAF Representative. 

CAF’s worker engagement processes and remediation processes are codified in the CAF Worker Engagement Protocol and the CAF Remediation Procedure which have been developed in consultation with stakeholders from government, academia, business, the cleaning workforce and their union. CAF’s unique approach to worker engagement is considered best-practice as it relies on direct verification from cleaners on workplace compliance, and aims to equip cleaners with the tools and support to maintain ongoing compliance beyond the audit.

Where issues are raised by cleaners through the worker engagement process that require further investigation, relevant stakeholders will be guided through the CAF Remediation Procedure to ensure that appropriate investigation and remediation occurs in a manner that protects cleaners’ anonymity and mitigates the risk of negative repercussions for speaking up. The CAF Remediation Procedure is based on best-practice methods to provide:

  • assurance of remediation, 
  • access to justice for cleaners, 
  • improvements to employment practices, and 
  • other proactive risk mitigation strategies to ensure that labour rights violations reported by workers are addressed in a manner that promotes sustainable compliance, and supply chain transparency and accountability.

At this stage of the process, remediation only occurs for issues identified through worker engagement. Remediation related to the desk-based audit report is outlined in the next step.

(2) Assessment

CAF has a Certification Panel comprised of workplace relations experts from employer/business groups, unions, academia and government. The Certification Panel is appointed by the CAF Steering Committee and is responsible for determining whether a building has qualified for a CAF Star Rating.

In practice, the CAF Certification Panel will consider the audit report, the worker engagement report and any other relevant material (i.e. remediation reports related to issues raised through worker engagement)  and on this basis provide advice on any steps that may be required to be taken pre- and post-certification to demonstrate compliance with the CAF Standard. Stakeholders will also receive copies of the above-mentioned reports.

Where remediation of issues discovered through the desk-based audit or any other assessment/investigation is required to achieve certification,  CAF will direct stakeholders on what evidence to provide to CAF demonstrating that the requirements have been met within specified timeframes.

(3) Certification

Once a CAF 3 Star rating has been awarded, the applicant will be provided with a certificate and access to CAF branding (subject to the terms of the CAF Licensing Agreement and trademark usage guidelines). CAF will work with stakeholders at the building to promote certification across CAF’s channels.

Certification is valid for 3 years subject to ongoing compliance with the CAF Standard and CAF Terms and Conditions.

(4) Ongoing Compliance

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In order to maintain certification, stakeholders must demonstrate ongoing compliance over the 3-year certification period. This will help to ensure that compliance is not simply determined at a moment in time but is sustainable and verifiable throughout the certification period. CAF’s ongoing compliance tools and mechanisms also ensure that there are clear processes in place that allow stakeholders to raise and address any issues that impact on cleaners’ labour rights that may arise during the certification period. 

CAF conducts annual health checks after the first and second year of certification through the worker engagement process, seeking evidence of implementation of CAF recommendations, and conducting a payroll compliance check. 

CAF’s ongoing compliance and annual health check processes ensure that CAF certification provides a higher level of assurance than a point in time audit, and contributes to our goal of systemic improvement of labour standards in the industry.

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“The management team at 720 Bourke is thrilled to have achieved a CAF 3 Star Standard certification. This collaborative achievement demonstrates our commitment to improving labour standards across the cleaning industry. We at 720 Bourke are pleased to support best-practice initiatives and ensure our on-site cleaning staff are working in a safe environment with fair work conditions. We would like to congratulate all parties involved.”
JLL – 720 Bourke Precinct Management

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