Asckey Data Services

How cleaning audits are scored

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is about how cleaning audits are scored. The cleaning scoring system built into our cleaning audit tool is based on the one shared in The National Standards of Cleanliness, released in 2021.

Cleaning compliance

The NHS has earned a high reputation for the cleanliness of its environments, and rightfully so. With the introduction of the standards, NHS Managers have been able to measure performance in a uniform way and benchmark themselves against other healthcare environments.

Compliance with The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021, and the auditing processes, have become a standard addition to NHS contracts with cleaning service providers. We have also seen compliance with the standards as a mandatory requirement for suppliers applying for cleaning auditing software tenders.

Benefits of using a cleaning audit tool

As part of the NHS’s focus on digitising processes, using cleaning audit software has become the go-to tool to complete cleaning audits. A cleaning audit tool enables healthcare establishments to demonstrate how and to what standard they are being cleaned.

Cleaning audit software takes care of the maths, so you don’t have to! Making cleaning audits digital also provides users with the opportunity to identify trends and hot spots. Digital reporting offers greater transparency and a more effective way to share data within an organisation. Believe it or not though, not all cleaning audit software is the same and shouldn’t be something you purchase just to ‘tick’ a box. The right software, used properly, can be an integral part of your operation, especially when integrated with other tasking modules.

Scoring system for cleaning audits

As stated in the standards, the audit standard operates according to six Functional Risk (FR) categories and six target audit scores. Each cleanable clinical and non-clinical functional area in a healthcare facility is allocated to a FR category. The level of monitoring and auditing directly links to the allocated FR.

The audit scores for each functional area are represented in two different ways:

  1. Percentage score
  2. Star rating score

The percentage score is more for internal verification purposes, and the star-rating score is an external visual that is instantly recognisable and easy to understand for patients, the public, and staff.

The scoring system also accommodates for blended areas. A blended area is where there is a combination of FR categories based on the room type within the audited area.

The ability to have blended areas means you can assess an entire area or section while still reflecting the varying FR categories of different rooms. The blended area approach for functional risk areas is an option for healthcare organisations wanting more flexibility. It can also facilitate better use of resources by focusing on the risk of individual rooms rather than that of the entire area.

For blended areas, the overall score is based on the combined targets of the rooms in the functional area. The star-rating given is dependent on the target scores achieved.

Scoring using the raw data

We often have clients contacting us to seek clarity about the scoring system, specifically with the percentage calculations. The question being where the rationale comes from about not adding percentages together to get the average. This was how the previous standards were scored but the new standards need to use raw data to calculate the scores.

The percentage is a score or number that has derived from a previous calculation and therefore not an average. Within each audit, each element has a different percentage value depending on the number of elements in a room e.g., if a room has 10 elements that’s 10% per element but a room with 20 elements is only 5% per element.

If you add the percentages up, then you are getting an average of the percentages but not the average of the elements audited. To obtain the overall average, or percentage, of the audit you need to start with the raw data to give a truer reflection.

Asckey’s cleaning audit software produces a report that lists the room monitoring audits for specified filters. Let’s break the scoring down further; a ‘Responsible Group’ is assigned to each monitoring element, and the software sums up the total elements that have achieved a passing score. The responsible group score is then calculated by summing up the passed monitoring elements score and dividing it by the total available score of the elements.

Cleaning Scores Example


The standards seek to drive improvements while being flexible enough to meet the different and complex requirements of all healthcare organisations. The software should mirror this principle.

Asckey was part of the focus group that created the new standards. As a result, we have a unique and personal understanding of the standards and developed our cleaning audit tool around this.

fmfirst Cleaning has been purposefully built to have minimum click-through options and be an easy-to-use application. Its design automates report emails once audits have been completed and includes any corrective actions that are required. This method of providing instant fault reporting and the options for rectifying, allows users to act right away. This means time and resources can be proportionately allocated.

The application can be integrated with other programmes which can strengthen your auditing, and facilities management, toolkit. By collating the information together, organisations have all the insights they need at their fingertips, highlighting data trends that can then identify opportunities for improvement.

If you would like to discuss how our cleaning audit tool can benefit your healthcare organisation, then please get in touch.



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