CAP Awards Latest News
Catering Award adds to the Stowe School Collection

Stowe Catering Department CAP Award

Stowe School is set within 750 acres of beautiful, inspiring landscaped gardens in the County of Buckinghamshire. The School is therefore no stranger to inspiration and the resultant accolades whether within its the award-winning Music School, in its academic results or on the sports field.

Stowe now has another Award to place alongside its many recognised achievements. The Catering Department have been awarded the GOLD CAP Award following their recent unannounced inspected.

The Continuous Advancement Programme (CAP) recognises excellence in catering and is regarded as the highest measure of quality, ‘safe best practices’ and service within Catering and Housekeeping. The Programme incorporates and supports the further progression of the service on an on-going basis so as to ensure that the pupil experiences gets better and better

Dr Anthony Wallersteiner was delighted at the success of the School’s Catering Department and said “I am so pleased for the team. They work tirelessly to meet the pupils’ expectations across three services at seven days a week and in addition cater for the School’s requests for special occasions, Sports Teas and other events such as the recent Speech Day”

The CAP inspector commented “the Catering Team should be commended on their ambition. They are proactive in seeking pupil opinion. Importantly they can also demonstrate converting the feedback into actions such as with the recent changes to the Breakfast Service. In talking with the pupil about the catering service, their comments were also found to be positive with the new additions at Breakfast (avocado, smoked salmon and bagels) being much enjoyed as are the regular themed suppers”.

The Award has also demonstrated the importance that the School ( )places on the well-being of boarders and day pupils plus the staff. It caters for allergies and special diets on request plus regularly produce special menus to introduce pupils to different cultural dishes. They also cater for all sports and school functions.


St Luke’s Nursing Home, Cork awarded Gold for housekeeping and cleanliness



Mahon, Cork: St Luke’s, the 128 bed Care Home for the elderly is celebrating the receipt of a Gold award in recognition of its excellent Cleaning and Housekeeping standards. The Gold Award is the highest possible award achievable as part of the CAP Programme – the Continuous Advancement Programme for Cleaning and Housekeeping.

St Luke’s, determined to create a Home like environment in which residents can attain their optimal potential for physical and mental health, invited independent auditors from the CAP Award Programme to assess their cleaning and housekeeping standards. The auditor arrived unannounced to inspect the standard of cleaning throughout the building. This included the bedrooms, secure internal courtyards, restaurant, hairdressing and physiotherapy areas, rooms for recreation – art, crafts, music, library etc. and the Chapel.

Ian Jackson, CAP Assessor said, “The audit at St Luke’s was exceptional. It was good to see the friendly interaction between the carers, housekeeping team and residents. The level of cleanliness was very high and the robust systems in place to ensure the maintenance of these standards were very impressive.”

The cleaning at St Luke’s is undertaken by cleaning specialists Neylons Facility Management. David O’Brien CEO at St Luke’s Care Home, said “I am delighted that the Housekeeping team has been recognised for their dedication to exceptional standards of cleanliness and their approach to resident care.”

CAP awards are presented only to organisations who meet the highest standards in the Housekeeping and hospitality industry. To qualify for the award, establishments undergo a rigorous, unannounced one day inspection. After the inspection, each organisation is graded and notified as to whether they have met the required standards and given an action plan to further develop their services. Around 40% of organisations fail so to receive a Gold Award is an achievement worth celebrating.




Beacon Hospital Dublin wins top housekeeping award

Beacon Hospital, one of the most advanced private hospitals in Europe, with over 1000 Consultants, nurses and healthcare professionals is celebrating the receipt of an award in recognition of its excellence Housekeeping standards. Beacon Hospital received a Gold CAP Award, the highest available from independent assessors of Housekeeping standards.

CAP awards are presented only to teams who meet the highest standards in the Housekeeping and hospitality industry. To qualify for the award, establishments undergo a rigorous one day inspection. For establishments aiming for the highest standards, the inspection is unannounced so the on-site housekeeping teams have to ensure that the exacting standards are upheld at all times not just for a one off visit. After the inspection, each organisation is graded and notified as to whether they have met the required standards and given an action plan to further develop their services. Around 40% of organisations fail to meet award winning standards but join the CAP (Continuous Advancement Programme) to improve standards. Beacon Hospital was awarded the highest possible award Gold during its first inspection but is still striving to raise its standards even further.

Beacon Hospital was assessed earlier this year by an independent auditor who carried out a full appraisal of the Housekeeping department. This included looking at the systems of works, audit tools, staff training, assessing working practices and examining the financial records so as to gain an all-round picture of the efficiency and quality of the service.

Beacon Hospital who are committed to being the highest-quality and safest provider of acute care services was delighted to receive notification of their Gold award. Mr Michael Cullen, CEO said “With 183 acute care beds, nine operating theatres, and two linear accelerators the housekeeping facility at Beacon Hospital is vast and complex. The housekeeping team play a vital role within the hospital. I am delighted that they have been recognised for their hard work and achievement.”

“The CAP award inspection was a meticulous procedure which involved the study and assessment of every area of the service, so we were thrilled to receive the GOLD award in recognition of all that we do to deliver the best possible housekeeping standards. It’s good to be told by an independent outsider that we are offering patients such high standards at Beacon Hospital.”

Ian Jackson, independent assessor from CAP which inspects hospitals, schools, hotels and businesses throughout Ireland and the UK was impressed with what he saw at Beacon Hospital. “We have a set of strict criteria based on government and industry guidelines which I am pleased to say that Beacon Hospital more than met,” comments Mr Jackson. “I was particularly impressed by the robust systems and evidence of performance that I witnessed during my visit.”


ACADEMIC achievements and extra curricular activities may dominate parents’ thinking when choosing a private school, but the condition of the facilities is rarely far behind.
The cleanliness of rooms, and the physical state of the buildings, creates a powerful first impression on any prospective parent or pupil.

At the CAP Programme we help schools achieve excellence in housekeeping, and also catering, so that the pupils receive the best experience during their time at the school and the facility is also well placed to attract future students.

Over the years some of UK’s leading independent schools have won a prestigious CAP (Continuous Advancement Programme) Award in recognition of their housekeeping and/or catering teams.

Recent winners include Roedean School, Northampton High School, Harrogate Ladies’ College, Stafford Grammar School, Bishop’s Stortford College, Ipswich School, Westonbirt School, Vinehall School and Hollygirt School.

All of these schools would agree that winning either a Bronze, Silver or Gold CAP Award has differentiated them from the competition, allowed them to clearly demonstrate the quality of their pastoral care in terms of cleaning and food, and crucially evidenced the quality of service being experienced by the pupils.

So what makes a winner?

Top of the list is always attention to detail. Excellent housekeeping requires meticulous focus on a multitude of daily tasks to ensure that a high standard is always maintained.

Secondly we’re looking for evidence of good practices. In the kitchens this would mean safe food practices in operation such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and training on mandatory and daily tasks.

Cleaning procedures should have set daily, weekly and annual time slots, for instance there should always be daily room cleans of soft furnishings and a plan in place for effective mattresses and pillow management (in boarding schools).

To achieve the highest level of recognition, a Gold Award, all inspections are unannounced and in term time.

The financial health and viability of the housekeeping department is an important award criterion. The feedback at this stage can also provide invaluable insight to improve budgetary management.

We’re looking to ensure that schools are getting great value for money from their materials and staffing against industry benchmarks.

Awards inspectors want to see astute financial practices at work from controlling waste food in kitchen production, at service and on plate returns, to the strict stock control of cleaning materials and disposable products, i.e. bin bags.

Beyond having the best procedures and systems in place, winning schools demonstrate high performance based on actual real-life delivery. So how clean is the school on the day of the inspection, what do the pupils think of the food on offer that day, is it the right temperature, taste and nutritional balance?

Naturally we’re also looking to see compliance to legal guidelines and industry benchmarks, although this is very much the bare minimum we expect from winning schools.

Head teachers have told us that members of the housekeeping and catering teams take great pride from winning an award and the recognition they receive is wonderful for staff motivation and retention.

The achievement of the award is very much the start of the journey of continual improvement in the housekeeping and catering functions.

Our specialist support to these departments aids progression and compliance. Last year our schools were immediately up to speed on the new allergen guidelines issued by Government and the legal implications of these new rules.

Being a CAP Award-winning school is a mark of quality and an indication to parents and pupils that you as a Head Teacher put as much emphasis on the perhaps less high-profile elements of the schooling experience, which are nonetheless vital to the happiness of pupils.

We have no doubt that the commitment to continually improve the way your school is cleaned, maintained and catered for is a crucial element of its broader success. Could you be our next winner?


Housekeeping team at International Clinic achieve top award for cleanliness

Dublin, March 2, 2017– An unannounced audit of the cleaning standards at the prestigious clinic was undertaken by an independent assessor from the CAP Award Programme (Continuous Advancement Programme for Housekeeping) and was awarded the highest merit – GOLD for the exemplary standards of cleanliness.

CAP Inspector, Ian Jackson said “The Gold Award demonstrates the level of importance that the Sports Surgery Clinic places on the well-being of patients, staff, visitors and consultants.  The Housekeeping team perform a vitally important role at the Clinic.  Their attention to detail was impressive and the supporting systems and evidencing of works completed was exceptional.”

The cleaning at the clinic is undertaken by a highly trained team from independent Cleaning Contractor Neylons.

The CEO of the Sports Surgery Clinic said “The CAP Award is a welcome addition to the Clinic’s excellent healthcare record and its achievements in the fields of sports medicine.” He commended the housekeeping team on their achievement and added that  “the Clinic appreciates their drive to continually progress the housekeeping standards.”

February and March 2017 Success

Many congratulations to those Housekeeping and Catering Operations that have come through their assessment visits in February and March and to those joining the programme with ambitions for an Award further down the road

Watch this space for more details on the Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, the Wellington Hospital in London, the Beacon Hospital, St Luke’s in Cork and St Joseph’s in Mount Desert amongst others.





The Housekeeping Team is gleaming with success and are celebrating their November achievement as they collected a national award in recognition of the excellent standard of cleaning provided at the school. The team achieved the highest standing within the programme at the GOLD Award and became the first stand-alone Prep School in the UK to achieve the Award within the programme.

Set in 47 acres of parkland in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the East Sussex/Kent border, Vinehall School nurtures and educates boys and girls aged 2 to 13. The Housekeeping team is responsible for ensuring the insides of the array of buildings is kept clean to the desired standards and the supporting administrative needs are in place for the protection and due diligence to all.

The Headmaster Richard Follett praised the Housekeeping team and Management for their achievement. He said ‘we are so proud of their achievement at not only achieving GOLD but also being the first Prep School in the UK to achieve this standing. They provide a vital role within the School and the dependence on their ability to deliver cannot be understated’.

An assessor from the Continuous Advancement Programme (CAP) visited the School unannounced in November to audit the service being delivered by the team and in turn being experienced by the pupils. This involved assessing the works across the School from the boarding facilities through to Pre-Prep and from the Library to the classrooms and onto the Sports Hall and theatre.

CAP inspector, Ian Jackson said “the Housekeeping team clearly have real pride in their performance. They participated in the assessment of their own areas and were pleased to be able to show them off. An absolute credit to the School”.



An independent assessor from the CAP Awards Programme (Continuous Advancement Programme for catering) visited Northampton High School unannounced earlier this year to audit the catering team and the service experienced by the pupils. The team passed with flying colours and were awarded the GOLD AWARD by CAP – a national programme regarded as the highest measure of quality, ‘safe best practices’ and service.

CAP inspector, Ian Jackson said “The feedback from the pupils across the age ranges was excellent. The pupils commented on the helpfulness of the Catering Staff and the range of food on offer. The menu choice was well balanced and the soup was particularly good. The attention to detail shone through and worthy of particular note were the luscious green beans that remained appetising and firm throughout the service”.

The Headmistress Dr Helen Stringer commended the Catering Team on their achievement and added that ‘the School appreciates their hard work and effort including their drive to continually progress the service’.

The CAP Award is a welcome addition to the School’s excellent academic record and its achievements in art, drama, music, science, technology and sports. The award has also demonstrated the importance that the school places on the well-being of pupils and staff.

The Catering Team at Northampton High School serves approximately 750 meals to pupils and staff on a daily basis with healthy eating menus and homemade meals, all of which are produced on site.

The Catering Teams use local suppliers and ethically sourced produce, catering for allergies and special diets on request, and regularly produce special menus to introduce pupils to different cultural dishes. They also cater for all sports and school functions.