How to get cleaning certification

Aside from certification, lots of cleaning experience can help you establish your business.

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Want to establish your cleaning business? Knowing how to get a cleaning certificate should be at the top of your to-do list, whether you’re looking to start a cleaning company or become a professional cleaner. 

This guide walks you through steps to getting cleaning certification, as well as organizations that provide cleaning certificates. 

How to get a cleaning certificate

Step 1: Identify the type of cleaning certificate you need. 

Before anything else, it’s important to choose what type of cleaning you want to specialize in. You may opt to pursue a generalized certification or get one for a very specific type of cleaning. 

Do you want to get a certificate for house cleaning? A cleaning sanitation certification? Or a janitorial certification? Choose your niche to narrow it down, as each specialization comes with its own certification requirements. 

Meanwhile, if you plan to launch a cleaning company, you can also take cleaning business courses offered by reputable organizations.

You might also like: How to become a housekeeper

Organizations that give cleaning certifications

“What is a CIMS certification?” “How long does ISSA certification take?” These are some of the questions we aim to answer in this section. 

Here’s an overview of government-owned and private agencies that grant training and certificates for cleaning.

1. International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA)

ISSA is the industry leader responsible for crafting the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS). Businesses that meet ISSA standards for effectiveness receive the CIMS certification. Meanwhile, individuals trained under ISSA receive the CIMS Certified Expert (CCE). 

Other types of ISSA certifications include:

  • Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) Cleaning Professional 101

  • Certified Custodial Technician (CCT)

The whole application process for an ISSA certification does not have a definite timeline, but you should assess whether your business needs this certificate type since you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time and money on this. 

> International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) website

2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

This US Department of Labor agency grants the Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate to individuals who complete their workplace safety and health management training. You’ll have to go through seven courses and four electives to get this certificate.

> Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website

3. International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association (IJCSA)

The IJCSA claims to provide one of the most inexpensive yet outstanding online cleaning trainings for professionals. It offers a Residential Cleaning Specialist (RCS) certification – perfect for cleaners servicing clients and owners of residential properties.

> IJCSA training & certifications

4. Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI)

ARCSI is a division of ISSA that specializes in training businesses and individuals in residential cleaning. If you want to know how to become a certified house cleaner, then these certifications are great options to consider: 

  • Professional House Cleaning (PHC) certification

  • House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification

> ARCSI online learning portal for residential cleaning companies


This web-based certification issuer offers property housekeeping courses compliant with the WHO, CDC, FDA, and OSHA standards. According to the website, modules only take 30-45 minutes each.

> Cleaning Certification courses

Step 2: Prepare the course requirements. 

Organizations that issue cleaning certifications usually specify requirements on their websites. But here’s what you can expect to prepare before taking a cleaning course: 

  • A detailed summary of your cleaning experience, if applicable

  • Time - Any applicant for whatever type of certification would have to undergo at least an hour of training. The exact duration will depend on the specialization you choose. 

  • Money - Some cleaning courses will require fees to get yourself or your staff certified; Expect application and exam fees, course fees, badge fees, and more.

  • Prerequisite courses - An applicant may be asked to take and complete a prerequisite certification before taking an advanced specialized program.

Note: While there aren’t many platforms offering free cleaning certificates, you can still find free online courses from websites like and OSHAcademy. Afterward, you can opt to pay for a digital cleaning certificate to showcase your achievement. 

Step 3: Apply for your desired cleaning certification.

For this step, follow the application process as instructed by the issuing agency. You can check the official website if there’s an option to apply online.

Step 4: Undergo cleaning certification training.

Depending on the type of certification you’re after, you may have to attend face-to-face training or complete online modules. Some courses can be completed at home, while others can be a mix of both.

Once you’re done with training, that’s pretty much it! As long as an exam isn’t a requirement, you can secure your certificate immediately.

Extra step: Take the certification exam, and aim for a passing score!

There are some cleaning courses that do require an exam. In some cases, you can take the exam as soon as you finish the online modules. Meanwhile, for other courses, exams should be scheduled and accomplished at a testing center. Don’t forget to review important points before you take the exam. Good luck!

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FAQs on cleaning certification

Becoming a certified cleaner can boost your cleaning career. When you get either a commercial or residential cleaning certification, you can have a competitive edge over other service providers without one. Since a cleaning job is based on trust, a certificate helps boost your credibility and legitimacy. 

Other advantages include the following:

  • Receive industry-standard training on cleaning, disinfection, sanitation, and more
  • Learn up-to-date best practices relevant to the post-pandemic era
  • Become more efficient in the job—time and resources-wise
  • Use your certification to improve your credentials

You can showcase your cleaning expertise on Airtasker by including certifications on your profile. 

Yes, some cleaning jobs don’t require formal qualifications, although certification will give you an advantage. Cleaners without certification can sign up on Airtasker to find cleaning jobs that match their skills and qualifications.  

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