GMP Cleaning: It’s All About the People

Life sciences facilities are among the most heavily regulated. As such, they demand exact, detailed cleaning that meets the U.S. FDA’s strict good manufacturing practices (GMP) standards. To comply with these regulations, it is necessary to recruit, train, and retain top cleaning technicians who are well-suited for the job.

Recruitment: More Than Meets the Eye

Securing the best GMP cleaners starts with recruiting the right people. While precise and thorough training is paramount, without certain personality traits, new hires will be a poor fit and not stay on the job. This constant revolving door can result in compliance issues, fines, and even production shutdowns, costing thousands of dollars and jeopardizing time-sensitive research.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the unique characteristics GMP cleaning technicians must possess.

Good hygiene. Cleanrooms can’t contain any form of bacteria, including fingerprints or sweat. But proper cleanroom hygiene also includes no:

  • Make-up
  • Nail polish
  • Jewelry or piercings
  • Cell phones, private computers, or other personal electronic devices
  • Personal clothing or items like wallets or purses
  • Food or drink

This requires individuals who are comfortable without these items for the entire workday, which includes fewer people than you might imagine.

Appreciation for the mission. The best cleaning technicians understand the importance of their role and believe they are integral to the desired outcomes. One of our GMP cleaners who works at a life sciences lab that develops potential cancer-curing drugs had breast cancer. She loves her work because it supports the discovery of a drug that might one day prevent her family and others from going through what she did. This kind of appreciation of our mission as GMP cleaners increases employee satisfaction and reduces employee turnover.

Meticulous attention to detail. While all cleaning technicians should be detail-oriented, this is especially true of GMP cleaners. A speck of dust, dirt, or invisible bacteria in a cleanroom can contaminate product, skew research, stop production, and even cause illness. Yet this attention to detail doesn’t stop with cleaning. Nothing can shut down a life sciences facility faster than inaccurate logbooks, which means that technicians must log every detail, every time—no exceptions.

Comfort. Not everyone is comfortable working in the full personal protective equipment (PPE) that must be worn in cleanrooms.

GMP Cleaning

Training to Keep

Once the right recruits are found, they must be thoroughly trained to be successful. Without the proper training, GMP cleaning technicians don’t understand the importance of their roles, are ill-equipped to perform their jobs, and lack confidence, which leads to job dissatisfaction, mediocre performance, and high employee turnover.

Like all Servicon employees, new life science hires start with a full-day orientation. This includes an in-depth explanation by top executives of who Servicon is, what our values are, what we do, and why we do it. On the second full day, we review the fundamentals of GMP cleaning, good documentation processes (GDP), and compliance regulations. This is followed by our GMP experts demonstrating how GMP cleaning must be performed and answering questions throughout the process. Now, the hires are ready for hands-on training, with supervisors looking on and providing any necessary feedback. Only after hires complete their shift of duties correctly can they go to our clients’ sites to learn their standard operating procedures (SOPs).

This intensive training is not restricted to the GMP cleaners assigned to a particular site. To ensure our clients’ peace of mind that they never have to worry about production delays caused by insufficient cleaning staff, we have backup GMP cleaners thoroughly trained and on call to fill in should an unexpected absence arise.

The Value of Support

GMP cleaners receive ongoing supervision and support from our site supervisors and executive team. This support is key to our success and sets us apart from competitors. Many companies train their employees, only to leave them to fend for themselves. At Servicon, our leaders stay involved. Our workers have leaders’ personal cell phone numbers. They know they can call when they have a question or an issue. This support includes the knowledge that the entire Servicon team has their back, professionally and personally, which we have found breeds an incredible sense of loyalty and commitment.

Essential Validation

In life sciences, validating that cleaning is done to exact specifications is crucial. The most important measurement of cleaning quality is the data collected through environmental monitoring (EM).

EM includes the nightly and weekly cleanroom validation tests sites perform to ensure contamination protocols are below the bioburden compliance threshold. In other words, it contains vital data, ensuring GMP cleaners are doing their job.

In addition to consistently passing this stringent testing, our validation process includes supervisors visiting our clients’ sites on an ongoing basis and conducting regular Client Business Reviews to ensure we are meeting or exceeding our mutual goals.

Servicon, a National Leader in GMP Cleaning Services

Are you a life sciences facility looking to improve cleaning outcomes for enhanced compliance and increased peace of mind? We have over 50 years of cleanroom cleaning experience, including in the stringent aerospace industry. We invite you to review our website or contact us to discuss our GMP expertise and your cleaning needs. Or contact me directly at

Posted by: