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VSR, an independent platform

VSR stands for Vereniging Schoonmaak Research (Association for Cleaning Research), an independent platform for all parties in contract cleaning. Among them Cleaning companies, Clients, “In House” services, Suppliers and Consultants. VSR 's goal is to promote professionalism in the cleaning industry. The association does this by taking initiative and being active in the fields of research, training and education.

Cleaning as a science

What is clean? The answer to that question is less obvious than it seems. Contractors, clients, “In House” services, suppliers and consultants may have very different opinions on the notion of cleanliness. Differences in opinion can origin in the cleaning methods, the used cleaning agents or materials etcetera. Not only the condition a site is in, as far as maintenance is concerned, also the nature of a site plays a vital role. For example, in hospital cleaning a different standard is to be maintained, compared to the cleaning of an office building. Before the actual cleaning can be started a lot of knowledge is required. Know-how of the management on all aspects of cleaning maintenance, knowledge on systematic approaches and methodical work, know-how on people, materials, and machines. In short knowledge on a great number of topics. This is obtained through research, training, and education.

Basis for VSR

Thus, the need for knowledge led to the founding of the Vereniging Schoonmaak Research (Association for Cleaning Research) in 1979. To everybody in the marketplace, that has a direct or indirect involvement in cleaning services, VSR offers a unique opportunity to cooperate with each other. A place to confer, to initiate or commission research. Further they maintain systems for measuring cleaning performance and customer satisfaction take care of the necessary training and education. Partly due to this the professionalism in the Dutch cleaning industry is remarkably high. In no other European country, an organisation like VSR can be found.
There is more to cleaning than meets the eye.
VSR holds the opinion that effective cleaning maintenance contributes to the preservation and general maintenance of buildings and sites, improves the work climate and therefore the motivation of personnel, both with the client and the contractor. In general, it is seen that good cleaning contributes to improved performance. Whether it is a child at school, a secretary in an office, a passenger on a train or production staff in a factory: a clean environment works!


VSR commissions research in various fields, which benefits the joined organisations, companies and institutions. Research into cleaning in different types of buildings and sites like offices, hospitals and schools lead to tailor-made quality measuring systems. Market research into the buying and tendering behaviour of clients offers more insight into the way they decide to use a cleaning company. Structural engineering research shows the relation between the way a building is constructed and decorated and the costs of cleaning. Further research is done into the effectivity of different cleaning methods and equipment, the influence of dust on human health and floor care on various types of surface. For their technical research VSR uses very often the Institute for Cleaning Technology TNO. In other areas VSR co-operates with a variety of independent research institutes. Within this research there is mostly co-operation of the associated members, which gives them a direct participation in the ongoing research.


Scrubber drier hygiene: VSR has commissioned research into the possible spread of micro-organisms by scrubber driers, which are then spread in the air together with dirt. The results of the study are now available here.


On behalf of VSR the Foundation for Quality in Cleaning (SSK) organises various training programmes based on their quality measuring system.

Quality Management

In the field of quality management VSR offers the market their system for final inspection QMS (Quality Measuring System), for process control DCS (Daily Checking System) and their customer survey CSB (Customer Satisfaction Benchmark).

QMS (Quality Measuring System)

Both for the clients as well as for the contractors, over the last decades the need has grown for an objective assessment of the quality of the delivered cleaning service. For this reason, VSR developed their Quality Measuring System. This QMS describes a method, as agreed between clients and contractors, which leads to objective conditions of compliance for the cleaning performance. By means of inspection of cleaned elements according to specified requirements, carried out on a statistically based sample, it is possible to distinguish between "well cleaned" and "not well cleaned", according to a previously agreed quality level. Generally, the quality levels 97%, 96% and 93% are applied, which have proven to be satisfactory in practice. QMS is a useful instrument to improve the quality of cleaning services significantly. With QMS it is also possible to assess based on objective criteria if actual performance complies with the contract specifications, and to adjust these when necessary. In conclusion, it can be stated that the quality measuring system, detailed in this standard, gives objective information on the quality of cleaning services. Under a VSR label, software solutions for the QMS were developed, guaranteeing a swift and correct processing of inspections and preventing incorrect registration.

English documents:

Clean or disinfect. And: which products are effective? 10 definitions, claims and recommendations, click here

Proper cleaning in times of covid, click here

Research on the hygiene of scrubber driers, click here

The ABC of microfibre, click here

Lectures on indoor air:
- Effective cleaning methods for reduring biocontaminant levels
- Cleaning reduces personal exposure of office staff by tens of percents
- The influence of activity on indoor fungal levels. A novel technique for simulating disturbed conditions

Efficiency of multi-use micro fibre mops versus disposable ones, click here

Feather duster hygiene, click here

The influence of cleaning quality on employee productivity in office environment etc., click here

Hygiene of refillable spray bottles II, click here

BICSc stands for “The British Institute of Cleaning Science”. BICSc is the largest independent, professional and educational body in the cleaning industry, with more than 45,000 individual and corporate members.
The mission of BICSc is to increase the number of trained people and the level of education in the cleaning industry. In addition, BICSc strives to make the cleaning industry aware of the importance of professional standards and accredited training to (among other things) protect employees, ensure a clean and safe environment and promote sustainability.
BICSc and VSR have maintained close contacts for a long time. BICSc focuses more on training in the cleaning industry, while VSR focuses more on research. Both organizations can therefore complement each other with their specific expertise. For example, VSR is given the opportunity to bring the English-language publications to the attention of the BICSc members.
More information about BICSc can be found here.