Increasing cleaning standards in learning spaces and common areas for the winter 2024 term

This pilot will improve cleanliness this winter and help us focus our efforts going forward.

08 January 2024

The University of Alberta follows APPA cleaning standards, an established set of formalized standards and protocols which allows custodial staff and contractors to meet cleaning targets within a set budget. In response to an institution-wide imperative to reduce costs, the university realigned its cleaning standards from APPA level 3 to level 4 in 2020.

Consultations conducted as part of the Student Experience Action Plan have shown that students, instructors and staff care deeply about the standard of cleanliness on our campuses. To determine the impact cleaning standards have on the student experience, the Office of the Provost and Vice President (Academic) is funding a pilot to increase cleaning standards in learning spaces and common areas in the winter 2024 term. This pilot will help determine the impact increased cleaning standards have on the student experience and prioritize where we focus our efforts going forward.

From January to April 2024, learning spaces and common areas on our campuses will be maintained to an APPA level 3 standard. Here is the standard of cleaning you can expect: 

  • Floors are swept or vacuumed clean, but close observation may reveal stains and dirt build-up may be apparent in corners and along walls. In addition, there may be dull spots, matted carpet, and streaks on base molding.
  • Vertical and horizontal surfaces have dust, dirt, marks, smudges and fingerprints.
  • Trash containers have daily waste only.

Classrooms, teaching labs and libraries will receive three cleanings a week, as will lounges, kitchens and lunch rooms. You’ll also notice an increased standard of cleaning in gymnasiums and recreational studios. There will be an increased frequency of checks at entrances and along main corridors to prevent dirt from penetrating into buildings and you may notice an increased presence of porters doing more frequent washroom checks.

Students can submit feedback on the increased cleaning standards to

Caring for our campuses

Although cleaning standards will increase temporarily, the standards still require people to do their part in caring for our campuses.

  • Keep shared spaces like common areas, lounges, study rooms tidy, taking care to place waste and recycling in the appropriate containers
  • Proceed with care at building entrances and use of boot cleaners and entry mats to avoid tracking snow and gravel into university buildings
  • Avoid flushing paper towels, hygiene products or other inappropriate items down toilets

Thank you for taking pride in our spaces and doing your part to support a clean and vibrant environment across our campuses.