What is the Amenity Standard?
The Amenity Standard is a quality management benchmark, to ensure that public spaces are maintained to the highest professional levels; seeking to keep all amenity areas safe and healthy for all to use. Professor John Moverley, the independent Chairperson of the Amenity Forum explains; “Imagine going to your local park, with your children or grand-children. You want to know that those closest to you are safe at all times. This extends from park security, through to the grass, trees and the play areas that we enjoy. By visiting your local park and seeing the Amenity Standard logo on the entrance sign; you would know that the park is being maintained to the highest quality and safety standards within the UK”.
John continues to explain; “all amenity organisations that work within this standard belong to a recognised quality assurance scheme. The performance of the organisation is audited against the standard to ensure that operations and management plans are of the required quality and meet the expectations and latest standards of the industry.”
The Amenity Standard is overseen by the Amenity Forum, who have established processes and procedures to audit the various assurance schemes across the sector, to ensure they meet the level of professionalism required. Locations and organisations will only be able to claim adherence to the Standard if they can demonstrate consistent compliance to its requirements by application of recognised assurance schemes.
Why is the Amenity Standard important?
There are already assurance schemes in segments of the amenity industry. However, in order to give reassurance, and help build trust and understanding, the amenity industry recognised that an overarching standard needed to be implemented. John explained that “the standard is very similar to The Red Tractor scheme from the UK food and agriculture industry. When you purchase food from a supermarket or independent store and see the Red Tractor logo, you have reassurance that the food you are purchasing is to a high UK standard. The Amenity Standard offers the same reassurance to those using our public and sports areas”.
The standard will cover any amenity spaces that are looked after by both private companies and professionals employed by local councils or similar authorities. The amenity industry is dedicated to seeking to keep public areas safe, it’s vital that sustainable and effective practices are undertaken. A prime example is weed management; weed control in local parks allows our children to play safely in local parks and park runs to take place all year round. This is one thing that we all take for granted as we do for sports surfaces and recreational areas used for sporting activities. The unsung heroes that keep our streets, pavements, railway lines, sports pitches and indeed all our public spaces clean and tidy need recognition and likewise the public need assurance that they are professionally trained and certificated. When we hear on the news about chemicals, we do not think how, where and why these are used, and the impact they have one our daily lives, and that all such products undertake a rigorous authorisation process to ensure they are safe to use. The Amenity Standard, will give this reassurance, and help deliver a more sustainable future.
What does the Amenity Standard logo stand for?
Those amenity organisations that promote the logo show that they have a “licence to practice” and you can have confidence that work undertaken is to best practice standards and fully meet the legal requirements. This is vitally important, especially if you are having amenity work carried out in your home. For example, when a professional gardener helps maintain your grass or eliminate Japanese Knotweed. Ensuring they have the logo, allows you to have confidence that your property is being maintained using the highest standard methods.
How do I benefit from the Amenity standard?
As a user of amenity spaces, the Amenity Standard gives you a clear assurance that all those involved in creating and maintaining safe, healthy sports grounds and other amenity spaces, operate at the highest professional standards; and whether chemical or non-chemical methods are deployed, these operations are undertaken by competent, trained personnel following well designed and managed plans.
What are Amenity Spaces?
Amenity spaces range from your local parks, streets and paths, through to your local golf course and maintenance of the train tracks and local reservoirs. The Amenity Forum has launched the Get Moving campaign. This initiative showcases the vast amenity spaces, and how the amenity touches our lives every day. The getbritainmoving website, www.getbritainmoving.uk ,highlights the importance of amenity spaces in all our everyday activities and shows just how important the amenity organisations are, helping to provide safe, healthy amenity spaces and sports surfaces.
What do the Amenity approved workers do?
Amenity approved workers carry out a wide range of roles. Within the approved areas, there are grounds staff who look after local golf courses, and major football stadiums through to your turf care companies, who visit private homes, keeping your lawn in top condition. That is not to mention the park rangers, private organisations who keep the weeds from growing over the railway tracks so we can all commute to work every day and many more. The list is so broad. It is vital that we are all assured that they operate professionally and use UK approved methods. That is why the Amenity Standard has been launched.