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Columbus puts your safety first with the Live Forward Pledge


Columbus Live Forward & The

GBAC STAR Accreditation

What is the Live Forward pledge? 

The Live Forward Pledge is a commitment made by Columbus businesses to follow federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines for proper reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Signing the pledge signals an agreement to: 

  • Follow, enforce and adhere to safety guidelines outlined by the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and
          relevant industry organizations. 
  • Require that employees wear protective gear and clearly communicating expectations to guests on any requirements for them. 
  • Implement and enforce social distancing practices.  

There are many level-up opportunities for partners who have taken the pledge, including participation in Mayor Ginther’s Masks=Kindness campaign to bolster a commitment to wearing protective gear and earning GBAC STAR Accreditation to further adherence to important safety guidelines. 

What is GBAC STAR Accreditation? gbac star accreditation

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Accreditation is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities. This performance-based accreditation program that helps facilities demonstrate they have the work practices, procedures and protocols to prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics to instill confidence in customers, staff, and key stakeholders. Making this accreditation available is the latest effort in our “Live Forward” campaign to rebuild our destination for the new normal. 

Why would I sign the pledge and get GBAC Star Accreditation? 

The Live Forward Pledge is a free program available to all businesses in the community and is designed to help businesses communicate they are doing everything they can to ensure the health and safety of customers and guests is at the forefront of their reopening procedures. Experience Columbus manages the program but is not the governing body who sets the health and safety guidelines that make it safe to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

GBAC STAR Accreditation is an opportunity for interested partners to take their Live Forward Pledge commitment to the next level, as it provides greater confidence and trust that those guidelines are being followed through its third-party validation of that facility’s efforts.  

Now that I’ve signed the pledge, should I get GBAC Star Accreditation? 

This answer varies from business-to-business, and while GBAC STAR Accreditation is open to all of our partners, it is especially recommended for those in the meetings and conventions industry. As we move through this pandemic and start to see large venues hosting mass gatherings or high foot traffic and large crowds returning to places we typically see those things, this will be particularly important in ensuring everyone feels safe visiting our facilities. 

How much does it cost?  

The Live Forward pledge is free. For those for interested partners looking to take their commitment to the next level, the GBAC STAR Accreditation ranges in cost from $500 to $15,000 based on your facility type and size. To find the cost for your facility, please visit:

Is there a GBAC discount for Experience Columbus partners?  

Experience Columbus is able to offer a 10% discount to Experience Columbus partners who apply for the GBAC Star Accreditation. 

How do I apply for the GBAC STAR Accreditation? 

Review the Readiness Assessment Checklist and Recommendations for a Successful Accreditation before you start the online application. The application completion process will depend on the size and complexity of your organization. 

Who determines the GBAC Star Accreditation? 

The Accreditation Council is the accrediting body of the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program, and the council determines the status of all GBAC STAR facilities. Volunteers are appointed to serve in roles related to the accreditation process. 

What happens once we submit and receive our accreditation? 

Once your GBAC STAR application has been submitted, you will receive the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Handbook and the following reference documents: 

Recommendations for a Successful Accreditation 

  • The GBAC Cleaning, Disinfection, and Response Protocol 
  • GBAC STAR Scalable Cleaning and Disinfection Response 
  • Recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment for Cleaning 
  • Examples of Training and Accreditations applicable for individuals who provide cleaning and disinfection services 
  • GBAC Risk Assessment Tool for Cleaning and Disinfecting.

Where can I learn more? as well as