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Cleaning Operative (Level 2)

Who is this Apprenticeship for?

This apprenticeship is for any eligible candidates, who wish to earn a wage while developing their skills and knowledge needed to be able to pursue a career within the hygiene and cleaning industry. This occupation is found in a range of workplaces where specialised cleaning techniques and skills are needed to maintain a safe and hygienic environment. 

There are two routes to this apprenticeship, which are:

  • Healthcare cleaning and hygiene operative
  • Commercial cleaning and hygiene operative

Cleaning hygiene operatives will work both independently and as part of a team. They will report to a cleaning supervisor or service leader. They will work both during normal working hours and outside of normal working hours, depending on the environment they are in. They may also need to provide services immediately throughout the day. Healthcare cleaning and hygiene operatives work in places where infection control and sanitation are important for the wellbeing of service users. High levels of cleanliness are needed to avoid the growth of bacteria and the spread of diseases and viruses.

Places a healthcare cleaning operative may work in include:

  • Hospitals
  • Care homes
  • Doctors or dentist surgeries
  • Healthcare settings within prisons.

Commercial cleaning and hygiene operatives work in environments where people mix and that must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure they are always safe and hygienic. This could include environments with heavy footfall. These environments need high levels of hygiene and cleanliness to prevent the growth and spread of micro-organisms and bacteria.

Places that a commercial cleaning operative may work in include:

  • Food and delivery premises
  • Hotels and accommodation
  • Shopping centres
  • Offices
  • Public transport and stations
  • Public spaces
  • Factories
  • Education buildings
  • Leisure facilities
  • Government buildings

Are there any entry requirements?

Must be a UK citizen, or have the right of abode in the UK, or is a citizen of a country that is within the EEA and have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the EU or the EEA continuously for the previous three years before the start of learning.

Candidates will have achieved a minimum of GCSE Grade 3-2  (D-E) or equivalent in English and Mathematics  We also offer Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1 and Level 2 for those needing to gain these qualifications prior to enrolment.

Apprentices must be employed, normally for a minimum of 30 hours, in a role that suits the skills requirements of this apprenticeship. If you are not already employed, in this type of job role, you could search our apprenticeship vacancy page at:

New applicants will be contacted by a vocational delivery tutor to determine suitability/ eligibility prior, give information and advice on the next steps.

Shortlisted applicants will be sent to the employer, to then follow their recruitment procedure. Unsuitable applicants will be signed posted to other areas of our service to develop transferable/ employability skills, with a view to ensuring they are suitable for other apprenticeship positions in the future.

What is the curriculum intent of this Apprenticeship?

The structure and delivery of the course curriculum will enable you to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to reflect the needs of local and regional employers, gain qualifications and be successful in this area.

The curriculum is planned and sequenced to enable learners with previous knowledge and experience to develop the new skills needed to progress to the next stage of their career, training, education or employment.

The curriculum is flexible and responsive to learner demands and can be tailored to suit individual needs, arising from any current and dynamic issues affecting their role, which can be addressed during workshop sessions.

As an apprentice you will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and practical skills at the end of your apprenticeship training programme and understand how this reflects the needs of the local, regional and national economy.

What will the Apprenticeship cover?

The Healthcare Cleaning Operative Apprenticeship will

Develop the knowledge and understanding of:

  • Managing risk and identify when there is a need for change from routine to enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • Selecting and use the most appropriate cleaning agent for different surface types.
  • Handling, using, and disposing of cleaning chemicals following Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
  • Disposal of routine and non-routine waste, including segregation of waste into appropriate containers for storage, and disposal in line with environmental disposal legislation.
  • Selection and safe use of cleaning equipment and machinery for routine and specialist cleaning tasks.
  • Clean cleaning equipment and machinery after use.
  • Principles of infection prevention and control.
  • Recognising and report the signs of pest infestation.
  • The principle of rapid response cleans.
  • The principles of scheduled work priorities and periodic cleaning.
  • The difference between disinfection and cleaning.
  • Correct storage of equipment, chemicals, and consumables.
  • The reasons for security of premises, cleaning equipment and materials, and the implications of a security breach.
  • Soil classification, soil contaminant removal methods appropriate to levels of soiling.
  • The importance of accurate data reporting.
  • The importance gaining guidance and support.
  • The principles of colour coding.
  • Sustainable practices in the workplace.
  • The principle of reporting shortages, incidents, accidents, and issues with delivering cleaning services.
  • The principles of using supplied data to inform the demand for cleaning.
  • Auditing and quality assurance processes.
  • The principles of personal hygiene and PPE requirements in the workplace.
  • Data protection legislation.
  • The use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in line with national healthcare standards.
  • Disassembling and assembling a range of service user and patient equipment for cleaning.
  • Different ways to appropriately interact with a range of service users who may have complex needs or illnesses.
  • The importance of preparing areas of work to be cleaned in line with contract requirements.
  • The principles of cleaning according to specialist commercial requirements.
  • Routine cleans according to a contract.

Develop the skills in:

  • Conducting tasks according to documented safe ways of working.
  • Selecting and use the most appropriate cleaning agent appropriate to different surface types.
  • Using and disposing of chemicals following COSHH regulations and apply safety data sheets and dilution rates.
  • Dealing with routine and non-routine waste in line with organisation policies and environmental disposal legislation.
  • Preparing cleaning materials and machinery and check that all electrical equipment complies with PAT testing requirements.
  • Clean cleaning equipment and machinery after use.
  • Identifying potential sources of infection and put controls in place.
  • Recognising the signs of infestation and report and monitor the problem according to local procedures.
  • Recognising and respond to rapid response clean requests.
  • Conducting scheduled and periodic cleaning, prioritising work where required.
  • Conducting cleaning and disinfection tasks.
  • Delivering housekeeping services including maintaining a clean storage environment, maintenance of equipment, stock control and rotation.
  • Taking measures to ensure the security of cleaning equipment and materials, and premises.
  • Communicating with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders professionally.
  • Using visual checks and objective auditing techniques to ensure that cleaning has been completed to contractual standards.
  • Identifying and use correct methods for removal of contaminating material.
  • Complying with data protection legislation.
  • Using procedures for obtaining support.
  • Applying colour coding correctly to conduct cleaning safely and effectively.
  • Applying sustainable practices when carrying out duties.
  • Applying procedures for reporting shortages, incidents, accidents, and issues with delivering cleaning services.
  • Carrying out and record different types of cleaning methods.
  • Using supplied data to plan cleaning tasks.
  • Engaging with the audit and quality assurance process.
  • Using PPE and comply with the organisational uniform policy to maintain required levels of hygiene.

Develop and demonstrate the following behaviours:

  • Working with respect and professionalism.
  • Working independently and as part of a team; escalating areas of concern and working to evidence based best practice.
  • Working in a consistent manner, taking responsibility for your own actions, and completed work.
  • A flexible approach to your work when required.
  • Working in a sustainable way, considering the environment, and making best use of products and materials.

On completion of the on-programme element of the apprenticeship you will enter gateway to the End Point Assessment, which is the final assessment. This will be conducted by an independent end point assessor who will grade the assessment.

End Point Assessment Methods

To trigger the End Point Assessment, you must:

  • Have proof of English & maths GCSE minimum grade 2+ E+) or equivalent level 1 qualification.
  • Submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

The End Point Assessment consists of:

Knowledge Test (paper based or online): A 50-minute test, consisting of 24 multiple choice questions.

Observation with questioning: A 2-hour observation, with at least 5 questions asked during the observation.

Interview: A 30 minute discussion, consisting of 5 questions, to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours not covered in the observation and questioning.

This standard will be graded as Distinction, Pass or Fail

What could I do when I have finished this Apprenticeship?

You may gain employment with your employer and / or decide to complete the Level 3 Diploma in Cleaning Supervision Skills further education course or Team Leader/ Supervisor Level 3 Apprenticeship.

 You will also be given information and guidance to continue onto other courses.

Where and when will I learn?

During the course you will be expected to, normally, attend work a minimum of 30 hours per week where you will learn the skills and knowledge required to continue through your qualification. This may include shift working, bank holiday working and weekend working. You will be supported in the workplace through regular visits with your tutor and you will also be expected to come into the training centre (Coleridge Centre, DL1 5AJ) for support sessions. These sessions will allow you to complete coursework, receive instant feedback and ensure you are ready for the End Point Assessment

This on-programme taught element will typically take 12 months, but this is based on a vocational initial assessment to determine prior learning in this area and may be reduced. The course duration is based on the apprentice working 30 hours per week but will be extended if the apprentice works less hours. The End Point Assessment will be completed within 3 months of completing the on-programme taught element.

How much will the Apprenticeship cost?

There are no fees for this apprenticeship.

What do I do next?

You can:

View our latest vacancies

Or you can:

  1. Apply for this apprenticeship area to be entered into a 'pool of candidates'. When a relevant vacancy becomes available we will contact you.
  2. If you are already employed in this area and wish to join the apprenticeship training, or have identified an employer wishing to start you as an apprentice in this area, please contact us

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