P&G Professional knew its online training program, P&G Professional University (PGPU), provided high-quality continuing education for cleaning professionals. But when PGPU earned Cleaning Industry Training Standard (CITS) program verification in October 2014, the designation underscored that the program offers top-notch training.
PGPU was the first training program to earn the designation of a CITS Verified Program after ISSA launched CITS verification in 2014. Renee Buchanan, communications manager for P&G Professional, explains how CITS validation gave the PGPU program a boost.
“While P&G Professional makes the university accessible to everyone, the CITS verification bolstered our existing content while enabling ISSA members to pursue their professional goals,” she says. “Many of our P&G Professional employees and experts are CIMS I.C.E.-certified, so we appreciate the value of ISSA’s educational programs.”
Verification Gives Validation to New Program
PGPU (pgpro.com/university-issa) offers free, easily accessible online educational content to those seeking to further their professional development in the cleaning industry.
P&G Professional developed the university to share expert insights, training, and tools with cleaning professionals looking for information and opportunities for continuing education credits. Registered users can choose from a number of courses and topics, participate in webinars and/or chapter-based training programs, and—after completing the associated quiz—can easily present an automatically generated completion certificate to earn continuing education credits.
Buchanan explains why P&G Professional sought CITS verification for its training program.
“P&G Professional’s primary goal for achieving CITS verification was to help members of the cleaning industry further their professional development, either by reaching training goals or meeting continuing education requirements,” she says. “P&G Professional values ISSA’s commitment to education and training—and we knew their ability to reach cleaning professionals was top-notch.”
Tips for Acing the Assessment
As part of the verification process, a third-party verifier reviews a training program and/or training materials. Verifiers first review the standards. They also ensure that all materials follow a logical order. Once the verifier is done reviewing the training program, he or she writes a report that notes the program’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas for improvement. Common mistakes include the sequence of steps or pictures that don’t match up with what is in writing. Sometimes it’s as simple as a module being promoted as 30 minutes but taking an hour.
Buchanan also offers some advice for organizations seeking verification.
“One tip would be to ensure that companies are aware of the CITS standard requirements before submitting programs and to talk with the education department, which was very helpful in our initial submissions,” she says. “For instance, PGP typically develops self-checks with 10 questions for our online university’s knowledge checks, whereas CITS requires 15 questions. Before we submitted for verification, we made sure we knew the requirements and, in several cases, we needed to develop some additional material to meet ISSA’s requirements.”
Buchanan adds, “The verification process was smooth, and the verifier was professional and worked with us directly on any questions he had during the verification process. It was a quick turnaround.”
Verification Raises Program’s Profile
Once a program achieves CITS verification, ISSA sends the following materials to help companies promote their commitment to training excellence:
An official letter confirming the achievement and listing the specific programs to which verification applies
A letter from the verifier outlining identified strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement
A CITS certificate
A file containing the CITS Verified Program logo in various formats
A copy of the CITS logo-use policy, outlining how the logos may be used
Once the PGPU program earned CITS verification, P&G Professional notified customers through its representatives as well as via a personalized email. Since then, P&G Professional has also submitted other programs for CITS verification.
“Our customers see the CITS accreditation as one more endorsement of the content and training available at PGP University,” Buchanan concludes. “Customers recognize the value of a qualified training program.”
For more information about CITS and CITS verification, visit issa.com/citsverify.