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:

CAF Icon Labour 1

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.

CAF Icon FinancialViability
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.

CAF Icon 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 the length of the contract subject to ongoing compliance with the CAF Standard and CAF Terms and Conditions. Where a contract change has occurred that retains the incumbent supply chain, CAF Certification will continue with some additional minor checks.

(4) Ongoing Compliance

In order to maintain certification, stakeholders must demonstrate ongoing compliance for the duration of the cleaning contract. 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. 

While CAF has a number of processes in place to maintain oversight of ongoing compliance, the primary method of verifying this is through annual health checks. The check includes worker engagement, evidence of implementation of CAF recommendations, and a payroll compliance check. 

(5) Fees

Cost of Certification

CAF Certification encompasses an initial supply chain audit and assessment of working conditions at a site, as well as ongoing education and compliance activities with all stakeholders (owners through to cleaners), and any promotional activities throughout the year.

The first-year application fee includes the external auditor fee. Subsequent years’ fees are not inclusive of any external auditor fees.

There are additional fees associated with CAF Certification, mainly related to the worker engagement component and payroll audits. You can find more information on these costs in the following section. All fees are exclusive of GST.

Building category Application fee (year 1) Subsequent years (until change of contract)
Small building
(NLA* up to 20,000 sqm)
$11,000 (members)
$12,500 (non-members)
$5,000 (members)
$6,500 (non-members)
Mid-sized building
(NLA* 20,001 to 40,000 sqm)
$13,000 (members)
$15,100 (non-members)
$7,000 (members)
$9,100 (non-members)
Medium-large building
(NLA* 40,001 to 80,000 sqm)
$16,000 (members)
$18,700 (non-members)
$9,000 (members)
$11,700 (non-members)
Large building
(NLA* 80,001+ sqm)
$19,000 (members)
$22,600 (non-members)
$12,000 (members)
$15,600 (non-members)
Small Precinct**
(total NLA* under 100,000 sqm)
$17,000 (members)
$20,000 (non-members)
$10,000 (members)
$13,000 (non-members)
Large Precinct**
(total NLA* 100,000+ sqm)
$20,000 (members)
$23,900 (non-members)
$13,000 (members)
$16,900 (non-members)

* NLA = Net Lettable Area
** A precinct is two – four buildings under the same contract (for precincts that include more than four buildings, the certification fee will be priced on application).

Building category Application fee (year 1) Subsequent years (until change of contract)
Small centre
(GLA* up to 20,000 sqm)
$12,000 (members)
$13,800 (non-members)
$6,000 (members)
$7,800 (non-members)
Mid-sized centre
(GLA* 20,001 to 50,000 sqm)
$13,000 (members)
$15,400 (non-members)
$7,000 (members)
$9,100 (non-members)
Medium-large centre
(GLA* 50,001 to 99,999 sqm)
$15,000 (members)
$17,400 (non-members)
$8,000 (members)
$10,400 (non-members)
Large centre
(GLA* 100,000+ sqm)
$17,000 (members)
$20,000 (non-members)
$10,000 (members)
$13,000 (non-members)

* GLA = Gross Lettable Area

Note on additional costs

CAF Payroll Audit

Following the first year of Certification, CAF will conduct an Annual Health Check in every subsequent year for the life of the cleaning contract which will involve a payroll audit.

CAF currently works with a panel of external auditors to undertake the payroll audit on our behalf. Costs vary depending on the auditor and size of the cleaning workforce, however, typically will be around $1,000 for most buildings. The auditor will invoice the applicant directly for the cost of the payroll audit.

CAF Worker Engagement

CAF Worker Engagement meetings (paid by applicant/owner)
Part of the audit includes 1 hour in paid time annual meetings with all cleaners. The organising of these meetings will require extra hours/staff to be rostered on to avoid increasing the workload of cleaners on those days. For example: a building with 20 cleaners who are all working a 4-hour shift will be approx. $600 (labour cost) per year for the worker engagement meeting.

CAF Representative Allowance (paid by applicant/owner)
The CAF Representative will receive an allowance to compensate them for performing additional CAF duties and to provide recognition of their role to represent and advocate on behalf of their colleagues. The CAF Representative Allowance hourly rates for July 2020 – June 2021 are set out below:

Number of cleaners at the site Allowance payable
1 to 10 employees $1.27 per hour, up to a maximum of $48.29 per week
11 to 20 employees $1.64 per hour, up to a maximum of $62.14 per week
over 20 employees $2.00 per hour, up to a maximum of $75.98 per week

For example: a part-time CAF Representative that looks after 20 employees will have an allowance of approx. $1,712 per annum.

CAF Representative training (paid by cleaning contractor)
CAF Representatives receive training to equip them to undertake their role in promoting ongoing compliance at a CAF-Certified building. The CAF Standard allows for paid release for up to two training sessions per year. For most cleaners, this will be 2 x 4-hour shifts, or a total of 8 hours of paid training. The cost of releasing a CAF Representative for 8 hours amounts to approximately $241 each year (incl. super).  

Sub-contracting of core cleaning services

Where there is sub-contracting of core cleaning services, the Certification fees will increase to account for the additional audit of subcontractors. In this case, the certification fee will be priced on application.

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Want to know more?

“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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