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5 Tips on How to Go Digital with Your Cleaning Audit Checklists

Cleaning audit checklists are used by cleaning companies and janitorial staff to demonstrate that cleaning compliance standards are met.

Schools, colleges, universities, leisure centres, doctor surgeries, and many other places still complete their cleaning audit checklists on paper.

In a world where sustainability and going green are among the top priorities for organisations, going digital is the best way forward. But where do you start? Our top tips on what to do when considering your digital options are below.

1. Review your current process

The first action is to review how you currently complete your cleaning audit checklists. You need to look at the who, when, how, and where.

  • Who completes your cleaning audit checklists? Are the cleaning staff in-house, or does your business use a contractor to come in and do the cleaning audits for you?
  • When do they get done? Look at the cleaning frequency of the different areas in your business, e.g., toilets often get cleaned three times a day.
  • How are they currently completed? Is it a list of questions that require a tick box? If there are actions for the maintenance team, how are these assigned?
  • Where are the surveys stored? Do they get completed on paper and then uploaded to a computer, or are they purely paper-based and get filed somewhere?

2. Establish your audit goals

Define the purpose of the cleaning audits you’re doing, identify the areas of concern, and set measurable targets. Setting targets means you can then evaluate the effectiveness of your audit process and the cleaning audit checklist. Check that your current cleaning audit checklist is fit for purpose.

Do you want your cleaning audit checklist to link to another application? For example, if a cleaning audit identifies an issue, e.g., a broken tap, do you want the application to raise a ticket for the FM/maintenance team to action?

Digital providers will ask you what data you want to collect and for what purpose. This is why  you need to understand what you want the audits to achieve before moving on to the next step.

3. Do your research

A cleaning audit checklist is essentially a survey. There are many software providers out there that provide digital survey solutions. There are self-service online options such as Survey Monkey where you can create the surveys/checklists yourself. However, these options can result in a resource issue. The online/self-service survey options take time to build and don’t always provide you with the analytic tools required.

The cost of paying for a company to create a survey in an application can be better value for money than a staff member’s time. Some companies have off-the-shelf packages, and others provide a more tailored service. Be careful of the hidden extras. An off-the-shelf (SaaS) option may seem the cheaper deal, but if you need to make amends or add extra information, then there can be additional costs that make it more expensive than first thought.

This is why it’s important to research providers. Once you have completed a review of your process, a digital cleaning audit checklist may not be the only application you need. Research what is available and who has the flexibility to build something bespoke for your business. Create a shortlist and then contact each one with your requirements, which you’ll have following steps 1 and 2 above.

4. Involve the right people

9/10 companies will offer a demo of their software. If they don’t, ask for one. Screenshots on a presentation don’t always reflect how the application will work. Cleaning audit checklists are easy to complete on paper, and you want to ensure the digital checklist is just as easy to use.

Not everyone is comfortable using mobile devices for work, so check the right people are involved in the demonstration process. By including those who intend on using the application, you can then ascertain whether the application does what it needs to. If the application aims to raise tasks for the FM/maintenance team, then they should be included in the demo to understand how tasks will be allocated. Their feedback is important because the digital provider will use it to help tailor the application.

5. Test, test, test

A complete cleaning audit checklist aims to ensure cleaning standards across a building are met, including corridors, conference rooms, kitchens, washrooms, staircases, external areas, etc. When provided with a demo/test version of the application, it is important to test how it reports on the cleaning standards being met.

Make sure you have a selection of staff to test it, from the tech-savvy to those who aren’t as comfortable with tech. Check the entire process, from completing the audits to managing the task referrals, and checking the analytic dashboard gives you the required information.

What Asckey can offer

Asckey has two cleaning audit tools available. The first one is fmfirst Cleaning, designed to meet the National Cleaning Standards of the NHS. The second is fmfirst Survey, the perfect solution for a more generic audit tool. fmfirst Survey has the flexibility to grow with your business and has the functionality to create various survey templates. The application collates and analyses the results and provides a one-stop-shop platform for all the data. The comprehensive reporting function allows users to identify high-risk areas, trends, and opportunities for development.

We’d love to be on your shortlist of providers, and if you’d like to arrange a demo then please email us at and we can get the conversation started.



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