GBAC STAR Accreditation Program Launched to Address COVID-19 at Venues
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, unveiled its GBAC STAR facility accreditation program on cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.
GBAC STAR is an outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation. The program establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
Three of the biggest convention centers in the United States – the Las Vegas Convention Center, Chicago’s McCormick Place and Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center – have signed on to achieve the new accreditation.
Accreditation criteria and facility applications are now available at www.gbac.org.
“GBAC STAR is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger.
She added, “Accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to deliver clean and healthy environments that are safe for business.”
Ideal for facilities like offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, convention centers, stadiums, and other public venues of all sizes, the GBAC STAR program assesses a facility’s preparedness and provides staff with training for biorisk prevention and containment.
The program also establishes a framework for communication and awareness best practices.
The performance-based GBAC STAR program enables facilities to create and maintain an effective cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program.
To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures.
Facilities will apply online and provide all documentation and supporting evidence with their application. The GBAC STAR Accreditation Council determines the status of all GBAC STAR facilities.
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the GBAC STAR accreditation program is exactly what facilities need to confidently reopen and keep staff, customers, and communities safe,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “The way the world views cleaning has changed overnight. To effectively recover from this crisis and prepare for the next, it’s essential that businesses take these necessary steps—and we’re thrilled to have a stable of top organizations that have already committed to the program.”
Several leading organizations have already committed to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation in their facilities. This first wave of leaders planning to pursue facility accreditation includes:
- McCormick Place in Chicago
- Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- VisitDallas, the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas and Dallas city-owned arts and cultural institutions
- Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida
- Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority – Las Vegas Convention Center
- Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.
Additionally, these prominent industry organizations are among the first to commit their support for GBAC STAR with their thousands of constituents:
- International Association of Venue Managers and its 7,000 member facilities globally
- International Facility Management Association and its 23,000 members worldwide
- Global Market Development Center, the premier global trade association for the retail industry, and its 400-plus members
- Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association and its 400 hotels in the state of Illinois
- Informa Markets and its 500 brands and expositions.
- International Association of Exhibitions and Events and its 12,000 members in 50 countries
- Professional Beauty Association and its 100,000 members
- Media Edge Communications and its portfolio of media products, trade shows and conferences with association partners in Canada
- Trade Show Executive Media
- Go LIVE Together, a coalition of leaders from the live events industry that represent more than 4,000 companies with U.S. operations and 112 other countries.
To learn more about becoming a GBAC STAR accredited facility and submit your application, visit www.gbac.org.