Environmental Sanitation Regime

Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Sanitation Regime

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Question and Answer

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 cleaning and disinfection. It will require specified premises to appoint a Premises Manager and a registered Environmental Control Coordinator (ECC) 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, 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 to carry out cleaning and disinfection.

2

Why is it important to implement the environmental sanitation regime?

The spate of gastroenteritis outbreaks in 2018 and 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 high footfall such as preschools, schools, youth facilities and eldercare facilities, followed by hawker centres and coffeeshops. 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 higher-risk premises for this new regime? Will all premises eventually be covered under the environmental sanitation regime?

In consultation with the sectoral leads, MSE/NEA will focus on higher-risk premises with immuno-vulnerable occupants and high footfall such as preschools, schools, youth facilities and eldercare facilities, followed by hawker centres and coffeeshops in the initial implementation phase. We will continue to review the need to include other sectors or premises and conduct the necessary consultations with key stakeholders before designating more premises under the environmental sanitation regime.

4

When will the environmental sanitation regime be implemented?

It will be implemented progressively from mid-2021. To provide sufficient time for specified premises to put in place the necessary measures for their respective environmental sanitation programmes, NEA will adopt an advisory approach for the first six months of implementation. Enforcement will take place after the advisory period.

5

How does the SG Clean quality mark differ from this new environmental sanitation regime?

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 will pave the way to the new environmental sanitation regime, which mandates Premises Managers of specified premises to implement upstream cleaning standards.

 

Environmental Control Coordinators (ECCs)

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Question and Answer

1

Who should be appointed as an ECC?

A new or existing staff performing a supervisory role and with oversight of the operations of the premises may be appointed as an ECC. As the ECC 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.

2

What are the responsibilities of the ECC?

The ECC designate must undergo the requisite training and register himself/herself as an ECC with NEA. The ECC will assist the Premises Manager (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.

3

How many ECC can a Premises Manager appoint?

While there should just be one main registered ECC in each premises, other staff within the premises can also assist the main ECC. The main ECC will assist the PM in developing and implementing the environmental sanitation programme, advise on appropriate remedial actions, where necessary, and maintain proper records of documents.

4

What are the competencies required of ECCs?

Eligible ECC candidates shall possess the competency requirements equivalent to that of a Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WPLN) Level 5 in reading, listening, speaking and writing; and to pass the requisite ECC training course.

5

What is the duration of the certificate of registration for ECCs under the ES regime?

The certificate of registration will be valid for a period of three years from the date of registration and may be renewed before its expiry.