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Celebrating CIMS Double First

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

During this time of academic awards and sporting accolades it seems right and fitting to praise the achievements of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Metro Clean, Doncaster.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Metro Clean, the in-house cleaning services team for Doncaster Council are among the first in the UK to achieve CIMS, the Cleaning Industry Management System. Accredited by ISSA and recognised as a benchmark of excellence, each of these organisations has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, implementing the stringent CIMS standards, designed by the industry for the industry.

 Lynn Webster, as the ISSA-accredited independent assessor for each, has praised the dedication and commitment of the managers and teams concerned. “The drive demonstrated by everyone involved was truly inspirational. Carlos Alves, Housekeeping Services Manager at West Suffolk and Ian Taylor, Building Cleaning Manager at Metro Clean, together with their teams have certainly shown how effective CIMS is as a tool for genuine improvement and positive change.”

For more information on CIMS accreditation visit www.issa.com/standard. Lynn Webster welcomes queries about CIMS and the full range of consultancy and audit services that LWC Ltd can provide. Click through to contact.

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CIMS for Metro Clean Doncaster

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

It’s always a proud moment to see a hard-working team achieve recognition and Lynn Webster was particularly proud to be present when the Metro Clean Doncaster team received their CIMS accreditation; reported by the local press. CIMS, the Cleaning Industry Management System, requires an organisation to demonstrate a commitment to the delivery of consistent, quality services designed to meet their customer needs. Lynn, in her role as independent ISSA-accredited assessor, supported the team throughout the process. Metro Clean is the in-house cleaning services team for Doncaster Council.

Dianna Steinbach, Director EMEA for ISSA presents CIMS accreditation to Ian Taylor Building Cleaning Manager for Metro Clean.  Back row, left to right: Brian High Metro Clean Area Manager, Lynn Webster and Drew Oxley, Head of Service Facilities Management for Doncaster Council

CIMS_MetroClean_July16

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Celebrating at the Golden Service Awards

Monday, October 26th, 2015

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Our industry celebrated the Kimberley Clark professional Golden Service Awards on Friday 23 October, at The Hilton, Park Lane. The awards, dubbed ‘The Oscars of the Cleaning Industry, are an important means of recognising and rewarding the best performance across several categories.

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Cleaning operatives are not always acknowledged as the bedrock of what we do, so it was wonderful to see the spontaneous standing ovation for Cleaning Operative of the Year, Marian Pirgaru from DerryCourt Cleaning Services.

This year I was delighted to be a judging partner, with specific judging responsibilities in the Healthy Work category, an area which continues to develop in importance. I am eagerly anticipating the next Golden Services Awards in 2017 – keep a look out for details and the opening of nominations.

2015-10-23 15.10.15

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A celebration of ten fantastic years

Monday, April 7th, 2014

When I was reminded that February 2014 marked ten years of Lynn Webster Consultants Ltd I was amazed. It certainly hasn’t felt like ten years, it seems to have passed in a flash. I can remember every little detail of setting up the business and I can remember all the clients I have worked with in that time too! That could be because I have carried on working with quite a few of them over the years. Some of those clients have moved on in their careers and have kindly taken me with them. Others have introduced me new clients and brought me into new networks and associations. It’s down to this type of support that the business has grown.

I have a lot to be grateful for. I have terrific clients and many supportive colleagues and friends. I knew that celebrating these ten years was a must, and wanted to find the ideal way to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all the people who’ve helped and supported me along the way. At a networking event I was told about Goddards in York, this former home of the famous Terry family is a National Trust property, right next to York race course. When I found out that I could host an event, complete with afternoon cream tea, in Goddards’ lovely Drawing Room, I knew I’d found a perfect way to celebrate.

drawing room for tea

AFTERNOON TEA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to roam around the house and stroll through the gardens – the sun shone on us too! The afternoon tea was wonderful and I was pleased to see so many people who’ve played such an important part in LWC Ltd’s successful decade.

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone got a Terry’s chocolate orange as a small memento of the afternoon (though they probably didn’t last long!) and I know everyone enjoyed the fabulous cakes and scones.

chocolate oranges3

 

To those clients, colleagues and friends who couldn’t join me I would like to say ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you and I hope you can join me over the next ten years! Any ideas where we can celebrate in 2024?

Lynn

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Spot the ball in this shining example at ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2012

Friday, November 9th, 2012

I couldn’t resist taking this picture of these delightful cleaning operatives at McCormick Place during ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Chicago last month. Spot the (tennis) balls for a shining example of cleaning innovation.

 

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It’s show time!

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A guest blog from Deirdre Thackray, a friend and colleague, who describes herself as a communications adviser because she feels that’s a catchy umbrella title for most of what she does, paid and unpaid: writing in all its forms (including a bit of published poetry!), coaching and mentoring, blogging when she’s feeling cheery. As a frequenter of exhibitions, home and abroad, ftrade and consumer and for everything from baby and nursery products, travel, cleaning and FM, photography, plumbing, weddings, and all points inbetween, she’s got some interesting tips to share …

 

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It’s May so it’s show time!

ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Amsterdam and The Facilities Show at the NEC in Birmingham are the two major exhibitions that will be consuming a great deal of the industries’ planning and actual time over the coming weeks, and it seemed the perfect time to blog about the concentrated reality world of exhibitions.

Months of planning are about to be bear fruit, with exhibitors making sure new product, new service, new relationship news is placed in all the correct publications and is to the fore on their own websites. Boxes are packed, re-packed, suits are collected from the cleaners, cushioned insoles and hangover remedies have been purchased. The printing is done, the chat is polished: all systems are go!

Three or four specific days are the culmination of considerable effort and expense, offering the opportunity for showcasing and promoting all that the industry offers. Exhibitions are always exhausting for organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike; which is exactly as it should be. If you don’t leave a show feeling like a well wrung out dishcloth then you’re doing it wrong! Netherlands or Midlands the steps are the same, and your key visitor objective should be: to leave the exhibition having made several new contacts, handled several new products, and considered several new services – and of course, feeling like a well wrong out dishcloth. (Lynn Webster adds: colour coded, microfibre or disposable – the choice is yours!)

Your travel arrangements are made, your accommodation is arranged, you’ve booked your entry ticket, the cushioned insoles and hangover remedies can be easily located. So what’s the plan? Get there, get in, get around (there’s a Beach Boys song in there somewhere)? Try and catch up with Mike/Bob/Sarah/Katie who you’ve been dealing with for years? It’s a plan of sorts, but we all know that bunny in the headlights feeling that hits when confronted with aisles and aisles of shiny things and smiling people.

So here are my top tips for achieving that essential dishcloth (quite partial to bit of microfibre myself) feeling:

Tip 1: Have a MUST and SHOULD list: what MUST I see and do (products/seminars)? Who MUST I talk to (potential suppliers/clients)? What MUST I know by the end of my visit that I didn’t know when I arrived at the entrance (seminars/products/services/real potential suppliers/clients)? Your SHOULD list will comprise all those things and people that might be nice to see and meet should time allow, but that if you’re honest can be dealt with on another day.

Tip 2: Check out the floorplan pre-visit: how is the show laid out? Where are my MUST see products, MUST talk to people? Where are the toilets, the cafes, the seminars, the bar? Work out a walking tour of the floor based on your MUST list, particularly in relation to any seminars that you want to attend – you don’t want to be 10 aisles away from the most popular seminar of the day when queuing is a possibility in the run up to start time. Serious show goers can be found poring over their guide and floor plan in a corner or at a café for at least fifteen minutes before embarking upon their journey – watch and learn!

Tip 3: Only collect printed matter that refers in any way to items on your MUST list: of course you will have picked up the essential show recyclable carrier bags (which will already contain a fair amount of printed matter that won’t be relevant to your visit strategy) but avoid filling it with any more paper than you MUST. A nice smile and a headshake will serve you well as you dodge the leaflet filled exhibitor hand.

Tip 4: Move on and return or simply move on: Much time can be wasted hanging about aimlessly! Chances are other visitors want to speak to the same exhibitors that you do, so if you can’t get to speak to the right person, try out that new item of equipment, then leave and move on, but you need to schedule a return if that exhibitor is on your MUST list. However if you arrive at a stand and you are greeted by indifference, or not acknowledged at all, move on and don’t return! I firmly believe that exhibitor performance during a show is an indicator of business performance outside the show – I’m yet to be proven wrong. Cave cowerers, i.e. exhibitor staff lurking in a distant corner of their stand, avoiding eye contact with the world, don’t want to talk, in fact they don’t want to be there are at all, so walk away. Now!

Tip 5: Have regular sit and sort sessions: Remember I suggested finding the cafes and bars on your floor plan? Well now is the time to use them. Instead of carting home bags of leaflets, pens, mouse mats, bouncy balls and other exhibition flotsam and jetsam schedule ten minutes every couple of hours to sift through what you have collected. The only rule is MUST – if it relates to the MUST list keep it, if it doesn’t then gift it to the recycling. But remember one can never have too many pens, mouse mats or bouncy balls!

Tip 6: Enjoy the alternative exhibition universe: Really, I’m serious – enjoy! They are all-consuming, exhausting but most of all, enjoyable. A universe dedicated to a single subject where the population of that universe is only concerned with showing itself in all its glory! You are visiting royalty, bombarded with gifts and showered with information and attention – what’s not to like? … other than the sore feet, bad head (caused by the dastardly lighting rather than the copious quantities of alcohol consumed at the end of the day, of course!) and paper cuts resulting from all that shiny literature, that is.

Enjoy your moment in the exhibition sunlight, and remember: that alternative exhibition universe holds all manner of solutions for you and your business, and my six tips could be just what you need to find them.

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Cleaning Matters to FM

Monday, March 12th, 2012

LWC Consultants Ltd is delighted to welcome Martin Pickard,  Managing Director of FM Guru Training and Consultancy, and his blogpost on why cleaning matters to FM.  Your thoughts and comments are very welcome.

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Cleaning is one of the services that should rank among the highest of priorities for every facility manager. Every building of any kind, in any sector needs to be properly cleaned for hygiene and safety reasons and to preserve asset value but, often of more importance, for the message that it sends. A clean and well maintained working environment sends a positive message to customers, visitors and to staff.

Reducing dust, improving air quality and minimising the chances of infection has an obvious beneficial impact on sick absence and productivity, and asset values can be adversely affected by poorly maintained condition or by damage caused by an inappropriate cleaning regime. But the impact on reputation and business credibility caused by grubby toilets, scruffy reception areas or a litter strewn car park can place a business permanently in the lower leagues,discouraging new customers and fostering an image of incompetent or careless management.

Despite this,many facilit ies managers pay little or no attention to cleaning activities beyond the passing on of complaints or an annual moan about the cost. Cleaning often takes place outside of normal business hours and the actual cleaning staff and their supervisors are not thought of as part of the facilities management team. Property operators who take this view are missing out on the huge contribution that a great cleaning service can deliver.

These days cleaning activities are widely outsourced as part of a bundle of environmental services that might include sweeping, dusting and vacuuming, washroom and janitorial services, waste collection and recycling. Periodic or specialist cleaning may include windows, carpets, kitchen or computer room deep cleans. Consumables like toilet paper, roller towels, rubbish sacks and personal hygiene services are also commonly included.

This kind of bundling makes perfect sense and a good cleaning manager is perfectly positioned to manage such services on behalf of their client. Cleaning managers need an unusual combination of skills and personal qualities covering the technical aspects of cleaning, a robust understanding of safety and hygiene matters and strong people skills to motivate and manage large teams of front line workers.

However, the continued trend towards the inclusion of cleaning in ever larger bundles of facilities services alongside catering, security, mail, reception and other ‘soft’ services can lead to the dilution of that skilled resource as efficiencies are pursued by the reduction of management and administration levels. The pressure to do this becomes even greater when these ‘soft’ services are combined with ‘hard’ services like M&E, grounds or fabric maintenance in a full facilities management contract.

The temptation to combine management roles is great and there is some merit in the idea. Several of the skills needed by a cleaning manager and a security or catering manager are common requirements especially in areas like leadership and safety. However each discipline requires very real specialist knowledge, the impact of which can be easily underestimated. The impact of this on the quality of cleaning can be easily observed in many FM contracts.

A professional 21st century cleaning service requires a high level of training and expertise in the safe and effective handling of chemicals and equipment. There is also significant potential for negative environmental impact through the use of non biodegradable products or the incorrect handling of waste. Serious damage can be caused to valuable assets by the use of the wrong cleaning methodology. The cleaning manager has to understand the science involved and be up to date with the latest innovations and market offerings.

Despite all the new technology and science involved in modern cleaning it is still a discipline dominated by people factors. There are over 250,000 people employed by the UK cleaning industry most of whom are part time unqualified women. A large percentage of the workforce is migrant workers and a lack of basic skills and language  difficulties are common problems. 83% of cleaning companies employ fewer than 10 people and staff retention is low with some companies reporting turnover rates as high as 90%.

The negative image that many people have about cleaning makes it hard to attract and retain new employees, especially good managers. Leading cleaning companies are working hard to address these issues through investment in training programmes and improved management practice. Facilities management companies and their clients  must do the same or put their whole contract at risk by failing in one of the critical core support services.

Martin Pickard is Managing Director of FM Guru Training and Consultancy who provide advice, support and inspiration to those involve in facilities and property management www.fmguru.co.uk

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GreenClean Education

Monday, February 27th, 2012

LWC Consultants Ltd is delighted to welcome its very first guest blogger. A hearty welcome to Dave Thompson, President of Green Clean Institute (GCI), who brings us a fascinating insight to the work GCI has been carrying out in schools and how this filters into life and workplace attitudes on the environment.

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Over the past 25 years, I have worked with educational facilities predominately and in all this time I have worked with clients to improve the conditions of the existing indoor environments.  Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of 7th graders from one of the schools using our Green Clean Institute (GCI) educational programs.

It was great to hear the teacher and staff already knew something about Green Cleaning before I arrived as they are involved in working with the custodial staff as a result of their participation in the “Final Five”. This refers to the final five minutes of the school day where in every classroom the students stack the stand alone chairs and move them to the back of the classroom and pick up any major debris. At GCI, we educate students of our courses that Green Cleaning is in part a team cleaning program. Communication and participation by the building occupants are paramount to a successful and efficient operation. This was clearly understood by this group of children at this middle school.

Education does not stop when you graduate, high school or college. However, it has been my experience that this is precisely what happens. Once we enter the job market Education changes to “On the Job Training” (OJT). Many times this comes with inherent issues such as the proliferation of habits. At GCI we focus on educating the frontline worker as to the “Why’s” of Green Cleaning and how this will have a positive impact on our personal health. During the two 20 minute sessions with these students, they learned a few things about just what we do once they leave the building.

They were very interested in the science and technology which is being used to provide safe surfaces and atmosphere within the building they use all day long. They saw the use of an ATP meter which we use to test the microbial removal of the Green Cleaning products and practices being used in this school district. Children are the ones more at risk to the lingering effects of what we use and they understood that Green Cleaning was cleaning to reduce those impacts. What GCI students learn is that reducing these impacts for others also provide a better working atmosphere for them as well.

These students were able to see how we use modern communications to reach around the globe and how this is not just an issue within their local environment. Cleaning for appearance is not cleaning for health. I have said for nearly a decade, “To say a building is clean does not mean it is healthy, however if a building is healthy; It is clean”.

In an effort to help individuals, organizations and operations figure out what shade of Green Cleaning they are providing, we have the 180 Degree Self Assessment program. This is engineered as a checklist complete with a points reward system for you to identify what your building, program or operation is currently doing right. We all like to know what we are doing compared to others and this will outline it for you.

We encourage you to take a look and see where you feel you are in your efforts to provide that safe, healthy facility through your programs. There is a global need to have a foundation of Green awareness by which we all can build from. Greenwashing has unfortunately now become an increasing issue as more and more operations claim to provide Green and Healthy services, however their gauge for these claims are many times based on just having a certified product or using a HEPA vacuum. While both are good attributes, a Green program they do not make.

I would like to thank Lynn Webster, a fellow IEHA member, for letting me be a guest blogger on her new website and we look forward to introducing you to all of the Green Clean Education we have to offer. We are a worldwide operation with organizations applying this Green education throughout Africa, Canada, the Middle East and the United States; and soon in the UK. You can learn more about us at http://www.greencleaninstitute.co.uk/ and join our network of over 3000 individuals and 400 certified firms who are “Changing the Notion about Cleaning, for Health”.

Dave Thompson
GCI-President

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Bringing the LWC LENS into focus

Friday, February 10th, 2012

I start 2012 with a new look, one that builds on the past and shines a confident light on the future. New possibilities, new ideas, renewed energy and heightened enthusiasm are currently being brought to bear on the development of my business. I enter the next phase of my business knowing that all good things are possible.

LENS… Learning, Energising, Networking and Supporting … is my personal acronym for my business platform and will form the foundation of this and future blogs.

Learning is the keystone to what we all do whether this is through formal involvement in training programs or picking up ideas during a meeting, seminar or conference, and all opportunities in between. We can only help our clients if we recognise what we need to learn and take steps to somehow acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. The next trick of course is to take what we have learned and apply it in some useful and beneficial way for our own and our clients’ businesses! We then become energised and can give our clients and their employees the added impact and energy to move forward with new ideas and skills. Future thoughts will talk about quality assurance and business improvements and the steps LWC is taking to make this standard practice.

Networking is incredibly important in our sector, and as business people we should reach out and grab every chance for constructive networking. There are some fabulous opportunities for networking in the cleaning and facilities management industries. We are always delighted to share our news and best practices with each other, and I see this blog as an excellent networking tool, with Linkedin and Twitter playing an important role too. It is impossible to underestimate the value of networking to any business person, whether this is through face to face meetings and encounters or via the technology which becomes an increasing feature of our working lives. Local networks are valuable too in terms of keeping your finger on the regional pulse. Forward Ladies is one such network that does great work in many regions and in which I am determined to be more involved this year.

As the year progresses the support that LWC consistently offers its clients continues, with an increased recognition that it is essential to work hard to fully understand the issues that face. It will be a challenging time for most, and at the forefront of everyone’s mind is how best to ensure consistent quality service. This is certainly at the forefront of my own mind as I develop my plans for the year ahead.

I recently contributed to a debate for making savings in cleaning services and cost cutting measures. It is a time to be brave, stand up and be counted and actually say “we cannot cut any more!” There is a danger of service providers being tarnished with poor cleaning outcomes through no apparent fault of their own when frequencies are reduced and SLA’s are slashed to the bone. It could be time to suggest ‘which page of the spec should I tear out’ or ‘which area of the building do you not want cleaning’ …..? LWC looks to help and support clients in asking the hard questions and making the difficult decisions whilst maintaining a ‘best value’ and ‘compliant’ service.

The start of a new year is always a time of reflection, and as I cast an eye back over 2011 I have to say that it was an amazing time for me personally. 2011 was a year of personal achievement and recognition that has left me feeling both honoured and proud.

A spring highlight was being listed as one of the Top 100 Most influential Women in Hospitality, Travel, Leisure and Tourism by People 1st. The awards ceremony at the recently refurbished Savoy Hotel gave all the guests a night to remember and a great platform for moving forward. Women 1st was launched in January and we look toward developing mentoring schemes for other women in the sector, helping them to strive for success and achievement. I am personally hoping to become a mentor inYorkshire, so if anyone is interested in pursuing this please contact me.

It was the second year of my term in office as the National Chairman of British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) where we embarked on the celebrations of the Institute’s Golden Jubilee; from formal lunches and a church service, to an Educational Conference and various regional events culminating in the Annual Awards Dinner it was a fabulous high on which to leave the Chair.

The question of what does one do with a wardrobe of evening dresses remains unanswered! And a word of advice for other female professionals: try and negotiate a dress allowance if you take on a similar role. Men can wear the same dinner suit and black tie (and hopefully a clean shirt) but women will always need a different outfit for the photographs – someone is sure to comment if they wear the same dress too often! I may venture onto Ebay with my fairly extensive collection.

The standout feature for me, and not just for the year, was to be awarded the Sholom Gordon award, for Outstanding Contribution to The Industry, as I stood down as the Chairman. This is a great honour and one that I treasure.

As I bring the LENS fully into focus for this year I find myself asking, ‘what will it bring for each of us?’ I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the year ahead.

 

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Testimonials

I have been in the cleaning industry for 18 years but over the past 4 years wanted to be involved in BICSc.In January 2010, I went onto the BICSc website to find a trainer who...

Wendy Beniston, Soft Services Manager, Vinci Facilities

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“When Lynn Webster first came to do a training course for myself and three other members of my staff , I can tell  you myself and my colleagues were really nervous. As with any course...

Denise Cook, King's School, Pontefract

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Lynn has worked for Interserve in her capacity of training provider for several years, training cleaning and supervisory staff at Interserve Education in BICSc accredited training including COPC and BICSc supervisory skills scheme. The COPC...

Jillian Roberts, Cleaning Manager, Interserve FM

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“After a series of discussions between Lynn Webster and members of the Environmental Services team at The Trafford Centre, Lynn Webster Consultants Ltd was commissioned to provide a comprehensive cleaning training programme to Trafford Centre staff....

Doreen Hutton, Environmental Services Manager, The Trafford Centre

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Professional and customer focussed service; Lynn uses her vast knowledge and experience to tailor the course/training to your specific needs – very flexible and approachable....

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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We have used the services of Lynn Webster for a number of years to facilitate the training of staff with a range of different skill levels and needs, this has been from basic BICSc training...

Sue Allen, Campus Services Manager, Leeds Metropolitan University

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“Lynn Webster has provided a series of specialist Healthcare Training cleaning courses for Minster Cleaning Services. Our Regional Directors have found these courses highly valuable, informative and Lynn’s technical knowledge, in areas such as infection...

Mike Parker, Managing Director, Minster Services Group

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“Lynn’s enthusiasm for this business is sky high she is a dynamic communicator and an excellent trainer who is dedicated to achieving results through hard work. She is very knowledgeable, helpful and encourages continuous training....

Elaine Boyce, Cleaning Services Manager, Hull City Council

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Lynn has worked closely with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust for the last several years. It was Lynn that introduced to us to BICSc. She carried out the Supervisory Skills certificate with all...

Ruth Bradburn, ABICSc, Assistant Hotel Service Manager, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust

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