TORONTO — As lodging companies scramble to prepare for the new normal, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, SQM is preparing to add an important layer of protection through its newly developed Lodging Trust Audits.

The Trust Audits focus on various physical-distancing and cleanliness practices that many companies are putting in place to ensure compliance and adherence to standards, guidelines, regulations and laws is occurring in their businesses on a consistent and ongoing basis. This may include monitoring such items as signage, directional decals, in-house announcements, maximum occupancy, proper distancing of individuals, use of face masks, cleaning protocols, use of sanitizers, protective shields and employee safety.

Presently, SQM offers businesses three program options:

  1. Brand Certification — auditing the company based on the brand’s standards
  2. SQM’s Certification — using checklists that are in alignment with government and professional association guidelines (including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  3. Hybrid Certification — a combination of government guidelines, professional association best practices and updated brand standards

In addition, to assist companies hard hit by the pandemic that are trying to reduce their expenses, while still properly operating their business, SQM is offering access to several innovative programs, including the expansion of its popular No-Fee model.

“Whether it is guest confidence, customer and employee safety, risk management or overall trust, the program provides a number of short-term and long-term benefits,” says David Lipton, president of SQM.

Lipton also mentions that while traditionally, the company’s programs have been implemented by senior management in Operations or Quality Assurance, in recent times, SQM has also been dealing with Chief Financial Officers and the Risk Management-department, as they are ultimately responsible for protecting both the short- and long-term health of the brand.


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