We are delighted to announce that Sodexo, who are responsible for facilities management at the University, have been awarded a Certificate of Assurance from Bureau Veritas for implementing appropriate measures, policies and procedures, in accordance with local and national guidelines and WHO guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These high standards help to minimise the risk posed by COVID-19 at the University.  The Sodexo team manages the cleaning, security, catering, reception, maintenance and energy procurement at Richmond.

Bureau Veritas is a world leader in testing, inspection and certification and helps its clients improve the quality of their health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility practices.

Each assessment has two stages – a support system assessment and online site assessment. Sodexo and Richmond passed both assessments with just a handful of suggested improvements.

Bureau Veritas highlighted a number of our processes for the successful assessments, including:

  • Comprehensive range of COVID-19 mitigation measures on campus
  • Our COVID Campus Outbreak Plan endorsed by the Richmond Borough Director of Public Health​
  • Weekly COVID-19 update meetings with core team

Lisa Fuller, General Manager, Facilities Management and Catering Services at Richmond, said: “We’re delighted with the Bureau Veritas certificate as it provides independent assurance to students and their parents, staff and faculty, that we have excellent health and hygiene protocols in place. The successful assessments are a result of our collaborative approach between the University and Sodexo since the very start of our partnership.”

Dean Morley, Chief Operating Officer and Director of HR, commented, “The last 18 months have been really challenging for everyone so we’re thrilled with this award which recognises the high standards and dedication of both Sodexo and our excellent Student Affairs and Estates teams.  The certificate is also testament to all of our staff and faculty who have worked diligently throughout the pandemic to ensure that the University is  safe for everyone.”

As students are returning to campus for face to face teaching, the University will be continuing to minimise the risk of COVID-19 , in line with current UK Government guidance.  These  measures will include:

  • Wearing face coverings in internal transit areas (eg, reception, corridors, library, etc) and in classrooms and offices
  • Washing hands or using hand sanitiser available on site
  • Following any marked traffic system within buildings
  • Employee rotas to plan and manage on-site numbers
  • Maintaining social distancing where possible

In addition, the University will be encouraging anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to do so.  Many students and staff have already taken advantage of the vaccinations on offer – 98% of those students who have returned to campus so far have been double vaccinated, as have 88% of the staff and faculty who have completed the recent staff survey.

While this is good news, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated, so everyone should be cautious while managing the risks of COVID-19.