Campus Cleaning Standards and Schedule


Working together to care for our campuses

As One University, creating a clean and healthy campus environment is everyone’s responsibility. The University of Alberta acknowledges and thanks our passionate community for taking pride in its spaces and doing their part to support a clean and vibrant environment across all campuses.

We adhere to established professional cleaning standards within a set budget to support teaching, learning and research across our campuses.

The University of Alberta follows an established set of cleaning standards in accordance with the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA). These formalised standards and protocols allow custodial staff and contractors to meet cleaning targets within a set budget, aligned with the One University strategic direction.

How to do your part

Cleanliness and care

  • Keep shared spaces on campus tidy (common areas, lounges, study rooms, kitchenettes, etc.).
  • Proceed with care at building entrances (use of boot cleaners and entry mats to avoid tracking dirt/mud/snow into university buildings).
  • Avoid actions that could result in injury or damage (flooding sinks, flushing feminine hygiene products, paper towels or inappropriate items down toilets, graffiti, etc.).

Waste management and recycling

  • Faculty and staff must complete actions related to employee area cleanliness and follow guidelines related to waste management, recycling and office cleanliness.
  • Waste management responsibilities for staff include properly sorting waste and recycling, using Zero Waste Stations and emptying workstation trash bins.
  • Expectations of staff when emptying workstation trash bins include disposing of organic/wet waste in central bins, avoiding leaving bins outside workstations, and retaining the bag liner when emptying your bin. All recyclable waste (in-office blue bins) must be placed in the central recycling bins.

Keep sustainability in mind

  • Turn off lights and unplug small electronics when not in use.
  • Reduce heating wastage by closing doors and windows in the winter.

Maintenance requests and reporting issues/vandalism/damage

Submit general maintenance requests online using

Please do not submit a maintenance request for regular cleaning. Instead, contact your supervisor for additional cleaning services if required.

Report urgent maintenance requests by calling:

Get more cleaning tips »

Responsibilities of cleaning staff

Our cleaning staff and contractors follow a set of cleaning standards, in accordance with APPA.

Cleaning and sanitizing

  • High touch surfaces
  • Daily cleaning of washrooms with spot checks during the day
  • Emptying Zero Waste recycling and garbage stations

Taking care of common areas

  • Common areas and lounges are fully serviced twice per week with ongoing checks and spot cleaning weekdays
  • Cleaning entrances and lobbies twice per week
  • Adding sanitizing stations at main entrances to buildings
  • Increased sanitizing of high touch points like doorknobs and railings

Did you know?

From classrooms and labs to study spaces, offices and lounges, university custodians are responsible for cleaning over 12,500,000 sq. ft. on our campuses.

APPA Level 4 cleaning standards

The current cleaning standard for the majority of campus spaces is APPA Level 4.0 (moderate dinginess). Impacted by the University’s reduced operational budget, the cleaning standard was decreased from APPA Level 3.0 (casual inattention) on April 1, 2020.

Over the winter 2024 term the university will be piloting increased cleaning standards in learning spaces and common areas. Learn more »

Alternative cleaning levels

Although Level 4.0 is the set standard across the institution, some spaces and facilities have alternative levels assigned. For example, patient treatment areas are cleaned daily to a Level 2.5. A complete list containing required cleaning performance level by space type and cleaning frequency can be found in the Cleaning Service Standards.

Cleaning quality assurance program

Quality assurance inspectors work in conjunction with area supervisors and cleaning teams to ensure cleaning tasks are completed in accordance with APPA standards. Each building undergoes a pre-scheduled cleaning inspection every two months or up to six times per year. Spot checks are completed between scheduled inspections to provide an overall assessment of cleanliness throughout the year. Trends and anomalies are identified through data analysis to optimize our service delivery model, while ensuring that required service levels are achieved and consistently maintained. View data from past inspections and how U of A has managed cleaning over time with the F&O Custodial Inspections Dashboard.

Request customized custodial services

If you would like to arrange customized cleaning services beyond our current cleaning standards, please submit a department work requisition. Our team can customize your custodial services to best fit your department or faculty budget.

For questions or assistance, contact your facilities services partner.

Cleaning schedule and frequency

Site Cleaning Frequency
Washrooms Daily
Locker and change rooms Daily
Classrooms, teaching labs, seminar
rooms and libraries
Weekly with checks and spot cleaning
Lounges, kitchens and lunch rooms Twice a week with checks and spot cleaning
Offices (common, private and general) Monthly
Reception areas and waiting rooms Weekly with checks and spot cleaning
Gymnasiums and recreational studios Daily
Patient treatment areas Daily
Research labs Weekly
Entrances and lobbies Winter - daily
Summer - twice per week
Main stairs, stairwells and landings Weekly with checks and spot cleaning
Secondary stairs, stairwells and landings Monthly
Main corridors and elevators Dust mop daily. Wash twice a week or as needed
Secondary corridors Dust mop weekly. Wash once every two weeks or as needed
Bleachers As required
Loading docks and receiving areas As required
Storage rooms As required
Mechanical rooms As required