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BACHE 2010 Annual Conference & Exhibition


This year’s bache annual conference 15-17 June was held at Keele Hall in the grounds of Keele University which provided a convivial setting for Cleaning and Facilities Managers from across the university sector to network with colleagues and sixteen exhibitors and to take ideas from keynote sessions and workshops back to their respective universities. A number of thought provoking sessions included ‘How low can you go?’ (on paring back Facilities provision), ‘Cleaning Apprenticeships’, ‘An Industry Perspective’ (on the credit crunch in FM) and a keynote address on Employment Law led by Hilary Crook of Hatch Legal.

Parallel session workshops ranged from ‘Carbon Reduction and Savings’, Benchmarking and ‘How to Survey Customers’ led by speakers from the University sector, Commerce and Training Institutions and many lead to lively interaction with delegates bringing their own experiences to the table.

The conference also provided an opportunity for Catherine Anderson, Chair of bache, Director of Residential and Leisure Services at the University of Liverpool to announce that she would be stepping down from the role of Chair following Conference, having served in the role for three years. Catherine was a founding member of bache and has done much to promote bache over the years. She handed over the reins to Anthony Tyrrell, Head of Estates and Facilities at the Institute of Education - University of London.

Two major changes to membership of bache were discussed at Conference; the expansion of membership to the 352 Further and Higher Education Colleges in the UK and the creation of a new category of Associate Membership allowing Cleaning Managers employed by cleaning contractors in those universities where cleaning services have been out-sourced to become members of bache. The thinking behind both initiatives is to strengthen the value bache brings to the sector.  With the amalgamation of many regional FE Colleges into major organisations conferring degrees, the distinction between FE and HE has blurred somewhat and thus, offering support and sharing best practices is viewed as a positive way forward.  The proposal to create an Associate Membership category is to recognise that indirectly employed front-line managers and supervisors face the same issues as directly employed, thus, sharing issues and best practices should in turn help strive to enhance the student experience.

One of the highlights of the conference was the Gala Dinner (in part sponsored by Ocean Contract Cleaning Limited) and the bache Awards presentations. Delegates were entertained by a pianist during pre-dinner drinks and enjoyed a casino event after.

The Awards sponsored by Birmingham Metropolitan College were won by Portsmouth University - Best Practice Award and Newcastle University - Value for Money Award.   These awards will be available in 2011 alongside a new award category “Cleaner of the Year”

On a more sombre note, the conference acknowledged that these are indeed in turbulent times and frontline services will continue to attract greater attention than ever before.  But it stressed that delegates should remember that they are not alone:  bache is there provide advice and ideas, through its networks and events.  


If your university or college is interested in joining the membership of bache please contact Debbie Smith at [email protected]. Details about the bache 2001 Conference will be available on the website www.bache.org.uk shortly.