What is the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and its Certification?

by Lawton Brothers | Apr 11, 2022


The Cleaning Industry Management Standard is the first consensus-based management standard that outlines the primary characteristics of a successful, quality cleaning organization. This standard is primarily used as a guide for cleaning organizations and professionals as well as cleaning contractors to ensure quality, efficiency, and overall customer satisfaction. The Cleaning Industry Management Standard, also known as CIMS, is a management framework that provides third-party validation that a facility or service provider meets a higher level of cleanliness and safety. 

The CIMS is an ISSA-run certification that recognizes individuals and organizations that meet a long list of criteria, ranging from quality systems to health and safety. The certification checklist, comprised of six sections, is among the most difficult and rigorous levels of certification offered. The CIMS standard includes: 

Quality system: The organization must have a clear definition of cleaning service requirements and a written quality plan. 

Service delivery: This covers the organization’s written service delivery plan and purchasing procedures. 

Human resources: The criteria in this section include human resource policy, hiring practices, executive development, training format and language, security, and a documented timekeeping/payroll system. 

Health, safety, and environmental stewardship: (in addition to local and federal compliance) this includes having an organization policy/environmental management system. 

Management commitment: The organization must have a clearly defined mission, vision, and values, as well as responsibility and authority, a communication plan, and risk management. 

Green buildings and service: This section is only graded if the organization passes the first five standards and covers a written green cleaning policy, custodial effectiveness assessments, the purchase of cleaning products and materials, and solid waste management (recycling). 

Having a CIMS Certification is proof that your company is constantly improving the efficiency of its services while bringing value to their customers and contributing to public health. This gives customers reassurance that the building's cleanliness and safety are of top-notch quality. 

Go for the Gold Standard in Certification

When it comes time to invest in your cleaning regimen and you’re looking into hiring an organization, make sure to ask about the ISSA CIMS Certification! As of 2022, there are less than 300 companies internationally that have qualified for the CIMS Certification, most of which are located in North America and nationwide across the United States. Have more questions about the CIMS Certification? Give Lawton Bros a call today at: 800.432.0813.

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