Environmental Cleaning

Health care organisations are complex environments where the provision of care to large numbers of clients results in increased microbial burden and contamination of surfaces and equipment with microorganisms. Contaminated surfaces and equipment may potentially contribute to the transmission of microorganisms and health care-associated infection.

Each Health organisation must use a risk management framework when considering cleaning of the health care environment. The aim of determining risk is to ensure appropriate controls are implemented due to the variety of problems that inadequate cleaning can cause.


The Cleaning of the Healthcare Environment identifies the functional areas in healthcare facilities that require cleaning and/or disinfection and outlines the frequencies to achieve the minimum cleaning standard for those areas. It also outlines key performance indicators for measuring cleaning service performance in achieving a uniform approach to environmental cleaning.

It is the responsibility of each local health district to identify all functional areas within each facility and to ensure the cleaning and auditing of those functional areas is in accordance with policy.

Environmental Cleaning Standard Operating Procedure

Healthcare facilities should comply with the Environmental Cleaning Standard Operating Procedures, which contain detailed best practice procedures for environmental cleaning in healthcare facilities.

The Standard Operating Procedures are divided into modules that cover processes required to implement a comprehensive environmental cleaning program.

The Environmental Cleaning Standard Operating Procedures are periodically reviewed and updated. Users should check that they have the most recent version.

  • Introduction - Definition of Terms
  • Module 1 - Frequency of cleaning
  • Module 2 - Personal protective equipment
  • Module 3 - Work procedures for cleaning - Overview
  • Module 3.1 - Building
  • Module 3.2 - Fixtures
  • Module 3.3 - Patient related equipment
  • Module 3.4 - Environment
  • Module 3.5 - Operating theatres
  • Module 4 - Work procedures for cleaning in specialised patient conditions
  • Module 5 - Cleaning equipment
  • Module 6 - Cleaning agents
  • Module 7 - Evaluation of cleaning
  • Module 8 - Supporting documents
  • Chart - Colour coding reusable cleaning equipment
  • Environmental Cleaning Audit Tool

    The Environmental Cleaning Audit templates have been developed to support internal audits of cleaning services in all functional areas across all risk categories.

    The templates outline the basic requirements for auditing, and can be adapted to local needs. However the core functional areas, the acceptable quality level and frequency may not be changed.

  • Template for Exterior Environmental Cleaning Audit
  • Template for Interior Environmental Cleaning Audit

  • For further information and resources on environmental cleaning, visit Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.