Applications for membership of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) soared in the past year as companies sought the mark of approval conferred as membership of the association.
Demand for cleaning and hygiene products, including hand sanitisers, gloves, soft tissue and aprons rocketed in the coronavirus pandemic. The unscrupulous made the most of the opportunity. They created new businesses overnight, claiming expertise, knowledge and product excellence. To gain credibility many applied for membership of the CHSA, only to find gaining admittance is demanding.
Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association, explained: “We know membership is a stamp of approval, so we are thorough in our process of assessing new members.
“We access marketing claims and request test data to support these claims and obtain trade references from both customers and suppliers. Once we are satisfied with these the independent inspector visits to conduct an audit to inspect all products being offered for sale. Only after all the checks are complete is membership granted.
“Accreditation guarantees the products are fit for purpose and ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’. Our members prize this and buyers and end users of cleaning and hygiene products can rely on it as a mark of approval. Maintaining this standard is at the heart of everything we do.
“Many applicants fell at the first hurdle, while others have not been able to comply with the specifications of the relevant accreditation scheme. We have been delighted to welcome those who have successfully passed and are now fully accredited members of the CHSA.”
Every CHSA member being accepted into the relevant accreditation scheme and a signatory to the association’s code of practice means each member:
- trades ethically and sustainably
- provides quality, fit for purpose products
- and makes sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.
Our Standards. Your Guarantee.
Once in the CHSA, members continue to be audited by the independent inspector annually. Auditing continued throughout 2020. A total of 146 audits took place, equalling the number of audits conducted in 2019. Members across all the schemes achieved compliance of 93 percent or more.
The CHSA’s independent auditor checked 11,969 product lines in distributors. He audited 1,160 individual cotton-based products for compliance. He checked more than 472 labels on plastic-based products and 126 individual products. 740 labels on paper-based products were audited and the dimensions of 242 paper-based products confirmed. In addition, the Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers of Cleaning Chemicals was launched in September 2020, 18 members being checked before receiving formal certification.
Accredited manufacturers: All CHSA manufacturing members commit to making sure the labelling on every product clearly indicates dimensions and quantity, guaranteeing ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’.
- of paper-based and woven products guarantee the dimensions and count of every product and other required information is as indicated on the label
- of plastic-based products guarantee they are fit for purpose and the dimensions and count and other required information are as indicated on the label
- of cotton-based products guarantee the weight, absorbency and, where relevant, the cotton content. They also guarantee the dimensions and count and other required information are as indicated on the label
- of cleaning and hygiene chemicals guarantee the product volume and other required information is as specified on the label and fully supported by relevant test data. In addition, they guarantee the containers and plastic bottles holding the chemical products are recyclable and clearly marked with the relevant recycling symbol.
Accredited distributors: Have committed to buy cleaning and hygiene products from a CHSA accredited manufacturer, where possible. They also guarantee cleaning and hygiene products not covered by a CHSA Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers conform to the clear and rigorous commitments within the code of practice.