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Association Forum partners with ISSA and Global Biorisk Advisory Council to offer online course in combating coronavirus and other biohazards in the workplace

By Adam Natali posted 06-11-2020 12:35


CHICAGO (June 9, 2020)— Association Forum and ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, have formed a strategic partnership to help Forum members prepare for, respond to and recover from the novel coronavirus and other infectious agents.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISSA and its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) division released two new programs to train individuals and accredit facilities, respectively. As part of the partnership, Association Forum will leverage its voice in the Chicagoland area and beyond to promote:

  • The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course, an e-learning course that trains cleaning professionals on infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations
  • The GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, which helps facilities establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents and biohazards.

“Organizations everywhere are wondering how they can reopen their offices and keep workers safe,” said Michelle Mason, president and CEO of Association Forum. “Association Forum is committed to the safety of our community and we’re proud to offer these practical resources to our members,” she added.

GBAC Fundamentals Online Course

The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course covers a wide range of topics, including an emphasis on SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure worker safety.

GBAC’s online course features video presentations from Patty Olinger, GBAC executive director, and Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, GBAC director and assistant professor in the department of health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. The interactive workshop includes information on the origin, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19 as well as information useful for those responsible for cleaning and disinfecting areas that may be contaminated with the coronavirus. Upon completion, participants will be armed with the knowledge needed to respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace.

“Frontline cleaning workers are essential first responders to the novel coronavirus and other infectious agents,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “These heroes are working courageously to slow the spread of the virus, but they need proper training and applied understanding of best practices to protect themselves and the facilities they serve. The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course fills this void and empowers cleaning professionals to work safely and effectively.”

The course is $150 for ISSA members and $300 for nonmembers. Association Forum is pleased to extend the $150 rate to all of its members by using the code ASSOCFORUM. Participants who complete the course within 30 days of enrollment will receive a certificate of completion from GBAC.

GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program

In addition to the online course, GBAC has launched GBAC STARTM, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak preparation, response and recovery accreditation for commercial and public facilities. GBAC STAR provides third-party validation that facilities have proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices to meet a higher level of cleanliness and safety. Further, it instills confidence in customers, employees and stakeholders that facilities have proven systems in place to deliver clean, safe, and healthy environments—especially as venues reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Forum members are encouraged to visit to learn more about GBAC STAR and determine its fit for their facilities.

Both organizations look forward to growing their relationship and working together to keep the association community safe. For more information on Association Forum, visit For more information on ISSA, visit

About Association Forum 
Association Forum’s mission is to "advance the professional practice of association management." Founded in 1916, Association Forum serves 47,000 association professionals whose efforts serve more than 37 million members and generate $22 billion in global annual expenditures. For more information, visit

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, training and certification of individuals, accreditation of companies, and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit

About ISSA
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners, and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.