Global public health organisation NSF International has launched a new programme to help businesses take the necessary steps to reopen and stay open while minimising coronavirus risk for customers, guests and employees. NSF’s new Checked by NSF™ programme includes a wide variety of services – from a smart phone app that details COVID-19 prevention requirements for specific types of business to in-depth consulting services and customised reopening plans based on the latest public health government guidance.
“There’s no shortage of guidance from the government and other bodies,” said Rob Chester, Managing Director of NSF International UK. “People are swimming in guidance, but they need help to make the new routines work on the ground in their own unique situations.”
NSF is currently consulting with a variety of organisations and business in different sectors on COVID-19 prevention and reopening plans.
Separate from the guidance and consulting services, NSF also checks facilities to help ensure appropriate preventive measures are in place. The Checked by NSF™ service gives business owners and managers valuable data about their own preparedness for reopening and provides peace of mind to customers and visitors who may be concerned about exposure to the virus.
“Even the strongest brands seem to be recognising that a trusted third party, reviewing their processes adds value. The services are designed to be flexible because each business or location will have different needs and requirements,” Chester said. “For some clients, use of our app and an industry-specific checklist may be enough. But others are looking for more in-depth consultations on specific locations and issues. And some simply want us to check their locations to make sure they aren’t missing anything.”
Locations that successfully meet the requirements for each of three phases of the program will be granted permission to post the Checked by NSF™ signage on-site. Compliance checks are performed with self-assessments using the new Checked by NSF™ app, remote audits or on-site audits.
The three phases include required tasks and procedures to plan, implement and improve. A QR code on the signage helps customers validate the claims and understand what each location is doing to protect visitors and employees from COVID-19.
The three phases of the program cover the following requirements:
- Phase 1 (Plan):Completion of phase 1 means the location has completed development of the required safety procedures, policies and plans.
- Phase 2 (Implement):Completion of phase 2 means the location has successfully implemented the required safety procedures, policies and plans.
- Phase 3 (Improve): Completion of phase 3 means the location is successfully maintaining and improving the required safety procedures and policies.
“COVID-19 is new, but infection control and good hygiene requirements are not. NSF has been doing this sort of public health and safety work for 75 years,” Chester said.