The need for quality facility management is pervasive with aspects that touch all our lives – both personal and professional and yet the biggest challenge the industry faces is a lack of recognition. A good facility manager is unseen – working to ensure the facility is running at full efficiency but prepared for something to go wrong. From cyber-attacks to flooding, emergency preparedness is the hallmark of a successful facility manager, but the more integrated the facility manager’s role becomes in the strategic operation of an organization, the better the results.
This is where the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) comes in. As a global professional body that sets standards, regulates and trains professionals working in the built environment from construction to property management, RICS is in the unique position to bring global perspectives to the industry.
“As a third party, RICS is able to bring associations and organizations together to build a global understanding of what FM is,” explains Steve Morris, Head of the FM Sector for RICS. “We want to show the benefit of bringing the FM sector into the boardroom for a seat at the table – highlighting the added productivity that could be gained as FM becomes a part of decision-making. This approach started a few years ago with our collaboration agreement with IFMA and we are now starting to see the results of this collaboration success.”
Recognition is building for the need to have qualified property management to ensure real estate assets are protected and investments are sound. Adopting the common use of standards, training and terminology will build leadership in the FM sector as those holding investment portfolios welcome qualified professionals into the boardroom. Once in the boardroom, facility managers can ensure best practices are built into the design and management of assets at every level.
“FM touches every point of our lives and working activity in one form or other. It impacts how we go about our lives on a day-to-day basis with an aim to ensure there is as little disruption as possible. And while a big part of this is delivered by facility managers, it also involves many who have not yet realized they are delivering FM,” says Morris.
IFMA and RICS are collaborating on training, events and implementing a system of strategic thinking in the delivery of facility management, which is best disseminated from the boardroom. In 2018, we released the Strategic FM Framework, professional guidance for all levels in facility management from novice to professional. It introduces a common approach for strategic leadership and outlines the role and scope of work.
Focus on facility management
FM has arguably the longest list of competencies and scope of work within its responsibilities than any other industry. It is a profession that requires a holistic implementation with strategy, tactical management and operational delivery aspects. Weakness in any of the crucial FM skills risks impacting the building system as a whole.
Good facility management requires a solid understanding of communications, finance, sustainability, business continuity and more. Morris explains, “FM can deliver best value when implemented as a core consideration from the concept design stage of any built environment project. It provides the best outcomes and return of investment when taking into consideration the full property lifecycle.”
A facility manager following the Strategic FM Framework manages a building as a working system that includes the physical aspects and human aspects of the facility. This guidance is for all FM skill levels, from those who are not currently in the FM industry but who either manage their own facilities, or for those who manage facilities for others to professional facility managers who deliver all FM services. It is a platform for all, it provides a common approach for all levels for strategic leadership and understanding of the role and the scope of work of facility management.
First and foremost, a facility manager is a project manager. Often the FM delivers a quality service, within budget and on time because facility managers have a diverse range of skills and work hard to live up to high expectations. Despite the quiet success of the facility manager, RICS is working with IFMA to bring these skills into the spotlight for some well-deserved recognition.
As an established global professional body in its 150th year, RICS provides a reputable designation that brings recognition to qualified professionals who have demonstrated competency and leadership in their field. An RICS designation is known globally and professionals who have achieved an RICS status are sought after by international corporations.
Supporting and providing a platform for qualified facility managers comes with benefits that we will all gladly reap. Find out how you can elevate your career through RICS.
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