Michael Divers, managing director of managed cleaning firm ACT Clean, has signed a Primary Authority Partnership with Westminster City Council, the first hospitality support services firm to do so. He tells Janie Manzoori-Stamford what it means for the company
How did the Primary Authority Partnership (PAP) come about? We'd been looking at how we could drive the health and safety agenda and issues of total compliance for some time. We engaged a health and safety consultancy, Hands Partnership, which works with many of the country's top-quality hospitality business in the space we work in, and it seemed sensible to take advice from the people our clients trust.
One of our founder owners, Robert Beaugié, suggested the PAP as being something that shows great commitment to the very best practice, which is what we always aspire to in everything that we do.
ACT Clean is the first hospitality support services firm to sign up. What does that mean to you?
We were so proud to join an elite group of businesses working with Westminster City Council, including John Lewis, Pret A Manger and Marks & Spencer, and we were honoured to become the first hospitality support services company to engage with Westminster in this way.
Obtaining assured advice on our policies, procedures and training materials will give us additional peace of mind and the quality assurance our clients and team members expect.
Ensuring customers and colleagues enjoy the highest possible levels of safety is key to us and we are always looking to use best practice. Our partnership demonstrates our commitment to always doing the right thing with professionalism and integrity.
How does a PAP work? PAPs give companies the right to form a statutory partnership with a local authority, which will provide advice to their business. Advice is also given to other councils for them to take into account when carrying out inspections or dealing with non-compliance.
We are reviewing our health and safety journey and documentation and we are soon to relaunch our mandatory training method statements as "assured". We don't believe there is anyone else delivering this level of comfort, protection and safety.
What else you would like the partnership to help you with?
We are still at the review and assure stage. Soon we will be arranging visits to client premises to see our documents brought to life. We are trying to make a difference to our team members and see this as a very important way of becoming an employer of choice.
Would you recommend the partnership?
Absolutely. As much as we would like to remain the only hospitality support services provider involved, we find that our competitors tend to follow our lead and, in the interests of increasing safety of team members and health and safety within the industry, I wholeheartedly recommend the PAP to all in the hospitality sector.
We believe it's only right to always want to improve, which is where this partnership started.