ORLANDO — The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., recently became the first convention center to receive reaccreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association. The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation is an annual process and the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation.
More than 1,000 facilities achieved GBAC STAR accreditation in 2020, and many are now beginning the process of reaccreditation, according to GBAC Executive Director Patty Olinger, who anticipates a reaccreditation rate of 80% to 90%. OCCC, which has served as a model for the industry, has hosted more than 100 live events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and has 52 more contracted for the rest of the year.
GBAC STAR Facility Reaccreditation builds on the initial accreditation to ensure that facilities continue to improve their processes as new information is released and best practices are introduced. Among the many developments of the past year are surface protectants that are antiviral rather than antimicrobial, new spraying techniques, and the use of robotics.
“Their basic commitment statement won’t change, but we ask what has changed,” Olinger said. “It’s not mandatory, but we’re finding that facilities have added things like electrostatic sprayers or robotic systems or implemented some kind of improvement to their indoor air quality systems. We encourage them to look at continually improving.”
Since the program started, GBAC has also added accreditation for service providers and a program for destinations, in addition to facilities. “What we’ve found in the past year is that there isn’t an industry that is not touched by what we’re providing,” Olinger said. “I’ve been encouraged by the community — it really does take everybody to be successful in dealing with COVID, as well as with whatever comes next.”
Reach Patty Olinger at (847) 982-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org