Frequently Asked Questions
How is the organization structured and funded?
PCHF™ is a non-profit corporation seeking federal 501c3 exemption. It is governed by a voluntary board consisting of school maintenance professionals. PC4HS is funded by consortium membership fees and revenue from PC4HS implementations. PC4HS consortium membership is open to school facility management, product manufacturers, distributors, building service contractors and others interested in supporting healthy, high performance schools in a budget-constrained environment.
Is this just another way to sell products to schools?
Definitely not. PCHS™ schools adopt systems that work and that can be continuously improved. Certain types (not brands) of equipment are initially required to facilitate standardization and system benchmarking between schools. Continuous improvement will always be part of PC4HS, and the consortium will always be on the lookout for better products and technologies to make part of its standardized processes.
Do we need to use certain product brands recommended by the Consortium? How are
product recommendations arrived at?
No. Schools can use whatever brands they like, although certain products are preferred based on field experience and testing performed by the University of MA Lowell Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) lab – one of the world’s leading labs for performance testing of green cleaning products.
How does a school convert to PCHS?
An initial onsite two-day assessment provides the district with a basic implementation outline based on cleanable square feet, building layout, special needs, current staff and desired reductions. Net savings (subtracting total program implementation investment and costs for district-wide deployment including labor, supply and equipment needs) are estimated by this initial assessment and provided in writing and on Excel spreadsheets.
What costs are involved in implementing the program?
Fees are modest since PC4HS is a non-profit and covering operating expenses is the objective. A cost estimate is provided based on each school’s or district’s individualized needs. In most cases, net savings will be significant.
What makes this program different from other popular cleaning systems such as Team
PC4HS, like other successful programs, is built on specialization, simplification and workloading via a total systems approach. Unlike team and other specialist programs, PC4HS is backed by a non-profit structure and is adapted for K-12 schools.
How does PC4HS measure performance and health-related outcomes? Which performance
and health-related elements are tracked and measured?
PC4HS strives to apply the principles of Integrated Cleaning and Measurement (ICM) (a trademark of the non-profit International Executive Housekeepers Association or IEHA) to track virtually everything important that can be measured. Metrics include productivity, customer satisfaction, removal of organic material (via ATP tests), particles (via particle counters and ELISA allergen testing) and more. Measurement initially demonstrates how PC4HS is improving the health of the school environment at reduced cost, and ongoing measurement will show that the program continues to work and make environments healthier – fiscally and physically.
What kind of recordkeeping is involved?
A variety of log sheets are incorporated into the program to track daily and periodic cleaning and outcomes. These are made available for schools to use and reproduce.
Will school staff need to work harder?
No. The work will actually be easier in most cases, just better organized and defined.
What is the average savings to districts?
Initially, small districts can save in the low six figures annually. Large districts will save even more. As schools get more efficient, we expect improvements to be largely health-related which will yield learning, attendance, financial, and other benefits.
How are the savings initially achieved?
Eliminating wasted motion, using better tools and standardized processes are key elements. PC4HS gets control of the labor by isolating each task and taking the “fat” or wasted effort out of the process, then standardizing that method throughout the school or district. This streamlined approach accompanied by training saves an enormous amount of money, and enables a better, healthier environment at lower cost.
What kind of long-term support is available to ensure success?
Schools can opt for long-term support to include onsite training and consulting, or they can simply take advantage of train-the-trainer programs. In addition, schools will be invited to attend an annual symposium to compare notes with their peers for benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes.