By Ian Jackson, CAP Chief Assessor
The CAP Awards Platinum is a new level of accreditation that builds on the criteria for the CAP Gold standing. To qualify for CAP Platinum eligibility, an organisation must have achieved CAP Gold Awards in three successive years for the assessed discipline: housekeeping or catering.
Triple CAP Golds are still very rare. Make no mistake, our Gold awards are not handed out glibly. Neither are the Silver or Bronze awards for that matter. Triple Golds point to the continued success of an organisation that pursues the Continuous Advancement Programme. The Platinum level gives those high performers something new to aspire to.
A Platinum assessment is a rigorous process. Some would say ruthless. Before we look at that in detail, I want to point out that the CAP programme is not really about a podium position with a bronze, silver or gold award – even though those certificates are coveted by the catering or housekeeping staff. No, CAP is a longer game. Continual advancement cannot happen in one year. It takes successive assessments to measure and conclude that advancement has been achieved. And that’s where the Platinum comes in for teams who consistently advance and achieve CAP Gold.
When an organisation achieves its third CAP Gold in successive years, it will qualify for a Platinum assessment the following year. Teams and managers need to be careful what they wish for. CAP Platinum is a whole new level. Having landed three years of CAP Golds, they will be familiar with much of the CAP assessment process. However, the criteria are far more stringent.
Like the Gold, our assessment visit will be unannounced. Unlike the 90-day window of the Gold assessment, the Platinum visit can occur at any time in the 12-month period, without notice, and without the courtesy we extend to CAP Gold participants who can instruct us if key team members are away or off-site. We don’t take that into consideration for Platinum. The housekeeping or catering team, irrespective of holidays or other reasons for staff shortage, needs to be capable of performing to the highest standards at all times. No excuses!
In addition, the overall score from our inspection needs to be above 95%, with scores for each individual category of at least 76%.
For Housekeeping, the qualitative, hands-on inspection part of the assessment must return a score of 90%, again with no specific area registering lower than 76%.
In Catering, the qualitative part of the process relates to the meal experience of residents and patients, such that all three servings (breakfast, lunch and supper) must be sampled with every element delivering a score above 68%. The aim is simply to demonstrate the consistency of the service quality to residents and patients across a longer time period.
Should an organisation fall short in any area of the assessment, they will not achieve the CAP Platinum but would still be able to secure a further CAP Gold award.
Some healthcare organisations have been CAP Awards participants for many years, and virtually all demonstrate advancement year on year thanks to our 12-month action plans. On that basis, while triple Golds are rare, we don’t expect them to remain so. We look forward to assessing at CAP Platinum level more frequently.