Environmental Sanitation Regime

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What is the environmental sanitation regime?

The environmental sanitation regime will introduce mandatory cleaning standards for higher-risk premises, which will require a regime for proactive routine and thorough periodic cleaning and disinfection. It will require the specified premises to appoint a Premises Manager (PM) and a registered Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC) or Environmental Control Officer (Specified Premises) [ECO(SP)] to develop and implement an environmental sanitation programme, which includes, but is not limited to, baseline standards such as minimum cleaning frequencies for daily and thorough periodic cleaning and disinfection, a pest management plan, a cleaning and disinfection methodology/protocol to handle bodily discharge incidents, to achieve stipulated cleanliness outcomes after cleaning operations, and to ensure that workers are sufficiently trained and provided with the necessary cleaning equipment, detergents and disinfectants.

2.    Why is it important to implement the environmental sanitation regime?

The spate of gastroenteritis outbreaks in late 2018 to 2019 and the recent COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of maintaining high standards of hygiene and sanitation to safeguard our environmental public health.

The environmental sanitation regime will be made mandatory for various types of premises, starting with higher-risk premises with immuno-vulnerable occupants and/or high footfall such as eldercare, youth and social service facilities, preschools, schools, food centres and markets (FCMs), and coffeehouse, foodcourts, canteens and large shopping malls. It supports the SG Clean movement by clarifying lines of accountability for maintaining clean premises, and setting clear standards and outcomes expected of premises owners. It builds on existing hygiene and sanitation measures already in place in the various sectors and premises, and goes further by moving towards a co-regulation approach where stakeholders take accountability and ownership of the environmental sanitation standards within their respective premises.

3.    How did the authorities decide on the types of high-risk premises for this new regime? Will all premises eventually be covered under the environmental sanitation regime?

In consultation with various sector leads, MSE/NEA will focus on high-risk premises with vulnerable occupants and/or high footfall such as eldercare, youth and social service facilities, preschools, schools, food centres and markets, coffeeshops, foodcourts, canteens and large shopping malls.

NEA will continue to review the need to include other sectors or premises and conduct the necessary consultations with key stakeholders before designating more specified premises under the environmental sanitation regime.

4.    How does the SG Clean quality mark differ from this new environmental sanitation regime? (If applicable)

The SG Clean quality mark is a voluntary scheme to call to action for premises owners/occupiers to take ownership to maintain high standards of environmental hygiene. SG Clean paves the way for the new Environmental Sanitation (ES) regime, which mandates premises managers of specified premises to implement upstream cleaning standards.

5.    How much more in terms of cleaning costs can premises expect with the implementation of this new environmental sanitation regime?

NEA will work closely with sector leads to ensure that the new standards are calibrated to balance between cost considerations and expected outcomes. Improving cleanliness and hygiene standards upstream can minimise downstream business costs resulting from environmental lapses, such as closure of premises, remediation costs, or impact from reputational damage. It may also potentially benefit premises through a cleaner environment and increased business due to greater consumer confidence, as consumers become increasingly aware of the importance of cleanliness arising from outbreaks such as COVID-19. 


1.    Is it necessary for specified premises to revise their existing cleaning and/or pest control contract(s) for the ES regime?

Premises should review their existing cleaning and/or pest control contract(s) to ensure that they meet the mandatory ES standards stipulated by the regime. For example, the premises should ensure that their current routine and periodic cleaning and disinfection frequencies meet the minimum requirements for the specified premises type.

2.    To comply with the ES standards, what are the requirements for cleaners (either outsourced or in-house) to be considered properly trained for their areas of work? 

As part of NEA’s cleaning business licensing scheme, licensed cleaning businesses are to ensure their cleaning workforce are trained in at least 1 Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Environmental Cleaning module. 

By 31 December 2022, the training requirement will be enhanced to 2 modules; with at least 1 module in Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) module and 1 Core WSQ module from the endorsed modules by the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC).  Please click here for more details of the enhanced training requirement.

The PMs are also encouraged to send their in-house cleaners for WSQ trainings on cleaning. Alternatively, the ECCs/ECO(SP)s should ensure that in-house cleaners are educated or trained to carry out proper cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.

3.    Under the ES regime, what kind of cleanliness-related inspections are required to be carried out within the specified premises?

Minimally 10% of the inventory of areas within the premises need to be visually inspected daily and after each periodic operation. The areas inspected must be rotated daily to ensure total coverage. The ECC/ECO(SP) must ensure these areas are thoroughly inspected and sufficiently cleaned to meet the desired ES outcomes.

4.      What is the scope of the 6-monthly comprehensive pest management survey?

PM will have to hire a registered Vector Control Operator (VCO) to carry out the 6-monthly comprehensive pest management survey of the premises to identify any potential pest issues, flag up potential pest harbourage areas and entry points within the specified premises (including the compound), flag out the root causes of pest infestation such as identifying structural defects to be repaired promptly to remove pest entry and harbourage points. This also includes identifying any gaps in refuse management and housekeeping, mitigating measures to avoid pest infestation/re-infestation and alternative/better treatment methods. Key areas include (but not limited to) the common areas, bin centres entry/exit points, waste conveyance systems, dry riser, external perimeter and landscaping area and the loading and unloading bays, as well as false ceilings/walls (if applicable).  For specified premises that already have regular pest management services carried out in their premises, they would just need to ensure that the VCO carries out a thorough check and put up a detailed report of the premises once every 6 months.

A service report that only states no major pest issues observed and/or treatment carried out at a particular area within the specified premises will not suffice. The report should include information such as whether refuse management and housekeeping are in order or whether they should be improved, in addition to the pest control works (if any). The VCO should also flag out any damaged structure that requires repair to prevent pests from entering or harbouring etc. Please refer to the Code of Practice for Environmental Control Coordinators and the Code of Practice for Environmental Control Officers (Specified Premises) for the comprehensive pest management survey template.

5.  What areas of the shopping mall will need to comply with the ES standards?

The common areas and back-of-house areas that support the operations of the shopping mall will need to comply with the ES standards. The Premises Manager (PM) of the shopping mall is overall responsible for compliance to the ES standards and may have to work with other stakeholders to achieve this. Please refer to the ES programme for specified shopping malls for more information.

Other areas within the building such as office spaces and tenanted spaces are excluded from the ES regime. However, tenanted premises within the shopping malls that fall under specified premises under the ES regime, (e.g. food court and preschool) will need to comply with the ES regime. The premises manager of the tenanted premises is responsible for the ES standards within their own premises.

Notwithstanding, as a good practice, the ECO(SP) should work with and coordinate efforts with the ECCs and other stakeholders of the tenanted premises to ensure the shopping mall meets the desired ES outcomes.


1.    The Code of Practice for ECCs indicates that good indoor air quality practices are mandatory for youth facilities only. Why is that so?

Indoor air quality affects the comfort and well-being of those who occupy indoor spaces. The occupants of youth facilities, including young children, belong to the vulnerable group and hence, it is important for premises managers and Environmental Control Coordinators (ECCs) to put in place measures to ensure good indoor air quality in these specified premises.

The Premises Managers and ECCs can take reference from the Code of Practice for Indoor Quality for Air-Conditioned Premises (SS 554: 2016+A1:2021), which specifies good practices in managing indoor air quality as well as standards and limits of indoor air quality parameters.

2.    The Code of Practice for ECCs indicates that periodic indoor air quality audits should be conducted at least once every three years. Who will conduct these periodic indoor air quality audits?

Premises Managers will be required to get accredited labs to conduct the periodic IAQ audits (at least once every 3 years) and the audit should include measurements of the recommended IAQ parameters stipulated in the Code of Practice for Indoor Air Quality for Air-conditioned Premises (SS 554: 2016+A1:2021). IAQ audits after major renovations should include measurements of parameters for Formaldehyde and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs). In cases where the parameters exceed the acceptable limits stated in SS554:2016+A1:2021, ECCs and PMs should follow up to identify the cause(s) and rectify the situation accordingly.

3.    Are the mandatory indoor air quality (IAQ) practices included in the Code of Practice because of COVID-19?

NEA, together with the relevant authorities, had begun work on the environmental sanitation regime as early as 2018, following a series of gastroenteritis outbreaks which affected preschools. In 2019, NEA convened an Environmental Sanitation Technical Committee to develop national baseline standards on environmental sanitation for designated high-risk non-healthcare premises. Since 2020, we have been working with the sector lead agencies to include good indoor air quality practices as part of the sector specific requirements for youth facilities while the other premises will be encouraged to adopt as best practices.

4.    Is there a reference document for indoor air quality (IAQ) audits?

Premises managers and ECCs should reference the Singapore Standard Code of practice for indoor air quality for air-conditioned buildings (SS554:2016+A1:2021), which specifies IAQ that will be acceptable to the majority of building occupants and that will minimise risk of adverse health effects. It provides information, advice and guidance on measures to improve IAQ in air-conditioned environments, as well as recommended limits for IAQ parameters.

SS554:2016+A1:2021 and some 40 other standards (accurate as of 18 February 2022) are currently available for free viewing at https://www.singaporestandardseshop.sg/Covid19/Desktop. You may also purchase SS554:2016+A1:2021 for download at the Singapore Standards E-shop.

5.  Who may be engaged to conduct IAQ audits?

Laboratories accredited by the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) for IAQ testing may be engaged to conduct IAQ audits.

For a list of these laboratories, refer to the SAC website at https://sac-accreditations.gov.sg. From the “Accredited Org” tab on the main page, select “Search accredited organisations”. In the dropdown menu under Scheme, select ‘Laboratories (SAC-SINGLAS)’, then select ‘Environmental Testing’ and ‘Indoor Air Quality’ in the next 2 fields respectively.

6.  Is there a recommended number of IAQ sampling points per premises?

The SS554:2016+A1:2021 provides guidance on the number and locations of sampling points in IAQ audits.

At least one sample should be taken from each separated area served by a separate air handling unit (AHU). For premises/spaces served by fan coil units or any air-conditioning or air distribution system, the number of sampling points is determined by floor area:

Area of floor(m2)

Minimum number of sampling points

Below 3,000

1 point for every 500 m2

3,000 to 5,000

6, with 1 additional point for every 1,000 m2

5,000 to 10,000

8, with 1 additional point for every 1,250 m2

Outdoor measurements should be performed whenever indoor measurements are taken. The outdoor sampling point should be located at or near locations that would represent the conditions of outdoor air that is introduced or infiltrates the indoor environment being audited.

7.  What should an IAQ audit cover?

a) General or periodic IAQ audits should typically involve measurements of all 10 Recommended IAQ Parameters listed in Table 1 of the SS554:2016+A1:2021, which are general indicators of IAQ (below). These parameters should be assessed during periods of occupancy.  

1. Air temperature

6. Carbon dioxide

2. Relative humidity

7. Carbon monoxide

3. Air movement

8. Formaldehyde

4. PM2.5

9. Total volatile organic compounds (calibrated to isobutylene)

5. Respirable Suspended Particles

10. Total viable bacteria count

Besides these general IAQ indicators, you may also wish to monitor other airborne contaminants arising from specific sources (e.g. nitrogen dioxide from cooking/burning activities, ozone from significant photocopying/printing activity). Examples of these are listed in Table 2 of SS554:2016+A1:2021 and reproduced below:

1. Nitrogen dioxide

4. Asbestos

2. Ozone

5. Nicotine

3. Radon

6. Semi volatile and volatile organic compounds

(b) IAQ audits following renovation works and before occupancy should include measurements of the following contaminants of concern:

1.    Formaldehyde

2.    Total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs)

3.    PM2.5

4.    Respirable Suspended Particles

5.    Asbestos (for buildings where asbestos is present)

This is due to the possible introduction of these contaminants during the renovation works and emissions from the building materials used (e.g. chemical off-gassing from materials used).

It is prudent to clarify with the IAQ auditor which parameters will be assessed in the IAQ audit. It is usually possible to tailor the IAQ audit to your requirements.


1.    What is the duration for records (e.g. cleaning and disinfection, pest management records etc.) to be kept?

All records described in Appendix III of the Code of Practice for Environmental Control Coordinators and the Code of Practice for Environmental Control Officers (Specified Premises) must be kept till the end of the next calendar year (e.g. records from 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2021 must be kept till 31 Dec 2022 and may be discarded on 1 Jan 2023).

2.    How frequent will my premises be subjected to audit checks from NEA or the relevant authorities?

Audits checks are conducted on a risk-based approach and poorer performing premises will be checked more frequently.

3.    What are the penalties for non-compliance with the environmental sanitation regime?

Premises Managers (PM) of specified premises that do not appoint a registered ECC/ECO(SP) and/or discharge the duties required of PMs under the ES regime, may face a maximum fine not exceeding $5,000 for a first conviction, and a maximum fine not exceeding $10,000 for a second or subsequent conviction.

Personnel who fail to register themselves with NEA before taking on the role of an ECC/ECO(SP) may face a fine not exceeding $5,000 for a first conviction, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a maximum fine not exceeding $10,000.

ECCs/ECO(SP)s that fail to discharge their duties under the ES regime, may have their registration suspended or cancelled, depending on the severity of the offence.


1.    Who should be appointed as the PM of the specified premises?

The PM shall be a person or incorporated entity with management and control of the premises and will be held overall responsible for ensuring compliance to the environmental sanitation standards. Please refer to the appended table for examples of appointment of Premises Manager, Environmental Control Coordinator and Environmental Control Officer (Specified Premises).

Types of Premises

Premises Manager *

Environmental Control Coordinator and Environmental Control Officer (Specified Premises) *

Eldercare, Youth and Social Service Facility

Centre Director, Social Service Agency, or Licensee

Centre Manager or Operations Manager

Preschool

Licensee

Appointed Centre Staff

Food Centre and Market

Owners/Operators

Place Manager, Operations Managers or Property Officer

Schools


Appointed School Staff

Appointed Staff

Coffeeshop

Licensee/Business Owner/Operators

Outlet Operations Supervisor or Operations Manager

Food Court

Licensee/Business Owner/Operators

Outlet Operations Supervisor, Operations Manager or Food Hygiene Officer

Canteen

Licensee/Business Owner/Operators

Outlet Operations Supervisor, Operations Manager or Food Hygiene Officer

Shopping Mall

General Manager or Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) Council

Operations Manager or Operations Executive

*Examples are not comprehensive.

2.    What are the responsibilities of the PM?

The PM will be held overall responsible for ensuring compliance to the environmental sanitation standards. The PM will appoint a registered ECC or ECO(SP). The PM will ensure that the environmental sanitation programme drawn up by the ECC/ECO(SP) meets the baseline environmental sanitation standards, and thereafter endorse and submit it to NEA. The PM will then be responsible for implementing the programme within the premises, rectify any defects identified by the ECC/ECO(SP), ensure that the premises achieve the ES regime outcomes, and abide by the mandatory sector-specific standards.

3.    Can a PM attend the ECC/ECO(SP) training course(s) and be appointed as an ECC/ECO(SP) for his/her premises?

A PM may double up as an ECC/ECO(SP) if he/she has passed the requisite ECC/ECO(SP) training and is registered with NEA. The ECC/ECO(SP) should be an individual with daily oversight of the operations of the premises.

4.    What happens if the ECC/ECO(SP) quits and what is the grace period allowed to find a replacement ECC?

The PM is required to appoint another ECC or ECO(SP) and notify the Director-General of Public Health, via the re-submission of the ESP, within 14 days upon termination of appointment, suspension or cancellation of registration of the ECC/ECO(SP) appointed for the specified premises.

5.  Who will carry out the duties of ECC/ECO(SP) if the PM is unable to find a replacement in time?

The PM may consider having additional staff to attend the ECC/ECO(SP) training, to support the ECC/ECO(SP) in carrying out their operations. Trained personnel may apply for the certificate of registration of ECC or ECO(SP).

6.  What is the timeframe given to PM to submit an ESP?

The PM is required to submit the ESP for his premises within 1 month from the implementation of ES regime for the sector, or within 1 month from the commencement of the operations for a new premises. While the ECC or ECO(SP) assists the PM to develop the ESP, the PM must endorse and submit the ESP to NEA.


1.    Who should be appointed as the ECC/ECO(SP)?

A new or existing staff with oversight of the operations of the premises may be appointed as an ECC/ECO(SP). As the ECC/ECO(SP) would be required to monitor the implementation of the environmental sanitation programme, there is a need for him/her to have the ground knowledge and competency to be able to discharge his/her duties effectively to ensure that requirements under the environmental sanitation programme are carried out and adhered to. The ECC/ECO(SP) should not be directly affiliated to the outsourced cleaning contractor, pest control operator or facility management contractor overseeing the execution of cleaning and pest control operations to avoid conflict of interest.

2.    What are the requirements and responsibilities of the ECC/ECO(SP)?

The ECC/ECO(SP) designate must undergo the requisite training and register himself/ herself as an ECC/ECO(SP) with NEA. The ECC/ECO(SP) will assist the PM to develop and review the environmental sanitation programme, monitor the implementation of the programme within the premises for effectiveness, amend the programme where necessary, identify and notify the PM of any defects in the implementation of the programme and recommend remedial measures, as well as to file and make available records of relevant service reports to the National Environment Agency or authorised officers, and attend to NEA or any authorised officers during compliance inspections.

3.    How many ECCs/ECO(SP)s should a specified premises appoint?

Each specified premises should appoint its own ECC/ECO(SP).   PMs are encouraged to send more than one personnel for the ECC or ECO(SP) training and have them registered with NEA so that they would be able to cover for the appointed  ECC or ECO(SP), when required.

Note: Currently only specified shopping malls will require an ECO(SP), all other specified premises will only require a registered ECC. 

4.    Can foreigners register to become ECC/ECO(SP)?

Foreigners can register as an ECC/ECO(SP) as long as they possess the relevant competency requirements. Work permit holders are also reminded that they can only work in the specified occupation as per indicated in the work permit issued by the Ministry of Manpower.

5.  My shopping mall is registered as 2 entities e.g. North Wing and South Wing. Do I need to appoint 1 ECO(SP) for each?

If both entities come under the same shopping mall , a registered ECO(SP) should suffice. However, the PM should assess if the ECO(SP) is able to monitor the ES regime for large premises and consider sending more personnel to attend the ECO(SP) training course to assist the ECO(SP).


1.    What is the cost of the training for ECC/ECO(SP)?

Details of the list of training providers can be found on NEA’s website. Do note that training cost may defer differ amongst training providers and the course fees are listed on the respective training providers’ websites.

2.    Do I still need go for the ECO(SP) course to register as an ECO(SP), even though I have already completed the ECO (Specified Construction Sites) or ECC training course?

The syllabus covered in the ECO(SCS) training course and ECC training course are different from the ECO(SP) training course. As such, these courses will not be recognised for application for an ECO(SP) certificate of registration.

3.    If I attended the ECO(SP) course, can I register to be an ECC and vice versa?

An individual need to attend the ECC training course to register as an ECC and attend the ECO(SP) training course to register as an ECO(SP) respectively.

4.    If I am a registered ECO(SP), can I use my ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration to perform ECC duties and vice versa?

An ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration is required to perform ECO(SP) duties whereas an ECC Certificate of Registration is required to perform ECC duties. The ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration cannot be used to perform ECC duties and vice versa.

5.  How can I check if an ECC’s/ECO(SP)’s certificate of registration is valid?

Registered ECCs/ECO(SP)s will be issued an e-certificate of registration. PMs can request to see the copy of the certificate and/or verify with NEA on the authenticity of the certificate via NEA’s online feedback form.

6.  How do I register for the ECC/ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration (COR)? Can my company register on my behalf?

The ECC/ECO(SP) is encouraged to apply for the COR himself/herself as the COR is tied to the individual and the applicant will have to login with his/her Singpass and select the option “I am applying as an Applicant”.

Nonetheless, in the case of large chain operators with multiple ECC/ECO(SP) designates, the Premises Manager may assist with the application of the COR on behalf of the appointed ECC/ECO(SP) by logging in with his/her own Singpass and selecting option “I am applying on behalf of an applicant”.

7.  Is the ECC/ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration tagged to an individual or to the company?

The ECC/ECO(SP) Certificate of Registration is specific to the registered individual and valid for 3 years. If the ECC/ ECO(SP) will be able to  assume the role of an ECC/ECO(SP) for other specified premises, should he seek employment elsewhere, until his/her Certificate of Registration expires.

8.  What are the payment modes for the Certificates of Registration?

Payment can be made via the following channels:

(a) PayPal (Credit card and PayPal wallet) in the GoBusiness Portal
(b) AXS kiosks
(c) e-Stations
(d) m-Stations

9.  When can I make payment?

Upon successful application, NEA will send you an email with instructions on the payment method and mode for the Certificate of Registration.

10.   How do I know if my payment is successful?

You should see an acknowledgement page showing that your payment has been successful.

11.   What should I do if my computer hangs while I am making payment?

If your computer hangs before reaching the acknowledgement page, your payment is considered unsuccessful. You may verify that no deduction was made from your Bank Account through Internet Banking. Thereafter, proceed to make payment again.

12.  How can I receive my Certificate of Registration?

The electronic Certificate of Registration will be electronically mailed to you. Please provide a valid and updated email address.  There shall be no responsibility on the part of NEA should you not receive the electronic Certificate of Registration due to wrong email address provided.