What Do You Think About The PSAI’s Proposed Code Of Excellence?

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We’ve all seen those inspirational posters showing grand vistas with statements at the bottom about things like “Achievement” or “Ideals.” They were everywhere for a while. Then folks started mocking the whole product line. Partially this was because people will tease about anything that is popular. Some of the derision, I think, was because the pictures gave lofty instructions with no path to practical application. It is one thing to say, “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way” or “Excellence is not an act but a habit” – two real posters from that era – but it is quite another to describe what excellence actually looks like.

We didn’t want to make that mistake. 

When the PSAI decided to create a voluntary Code of Excellence for the portable sanitation industry, we designed it to be both aspirational and practical. Whether you are an industry member or not, our Code should paint a picture of what the best companies already do, what good companies are working toward, and stand them in stark contrast to the “bad actors” that harm the reputation of our industry.

The draft Code, issued for comment in early March, was discussed extensively at the PSAI’s Annual Convention and Trade Show later in the month. It covers five key areas:

  • Excellence in our actions
  • Excellence in our reputation
  • Excellence in our relationships
  • Excellence in our operations
  • Excellence in our environment

Each section of the Code contains some broad statements intended to be idealistic and motivational. These are followed by specific, practical actions portable sanitation companies take (or should take) to achieve excellence in that domain. We don’t just say that excellence in our environment means, “We protect the health and safety of others.” We back it up with statements like, “We ensure our employees are trained on disease and infection control,” and “We take all reasonable steps to conserve natural resources,” among others.

We intend this voluntary Code of Excellence to be something that is educational for both the industry and the public – a useful tool for attaining and recognizing excellence in the portable sanitation business. Adherence to it will be voluntary, of course. Nonetheless, we hope its widespread adoption will help companies improve their businesses and result in the industry as a whole gaining greater respect and consideration for the important role we play in providing essential services. Unlike what happened with those formerly popular posters, we intend the Code to be something that helps our industry be taken more seriously as time passes.

Before the Code of Excellence is adopted, we are seeking comments from throughout the portable sanitation industry. Please, take the time to visit our website and read the draft at www.psai.org/excellence-information and then send your comments to excellence@psai.org. We want to hear from you! 


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