Facilities management: a game-changing collaboration

On the same frequency

10 February 2017

Paul Bagust introduces a game-changing collaboration and explains what it will mean for RICS members in facilities management around the world

A new collaboration between the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and RICS is to encourage excellence in the built environment and transform facilities management (FM), with the application of consistent, global professional standards. IFMA and RICS will together define and standardise credentials, practice standards and professional development for property disciplines, uniting the global FM community to reduce fragmentation of strategy across the lifecycle of the built environment.

Strategic goals

The collaboration aims to:

  • advance standards and professionalism in FM to create a common language for property professionals
  • raise FM's profile, giving the profession an influence on the future of the built environment and enabling business success
  • foster a more inclusive, robust global knowledge-sharing community in FM
  • unite professionals working to optimise the built environment
  • provide a one-stop shop for FM expertise, professional development, credentials, education and knowledge.

A common approach to standards

Our collaboration will lead the debate on advancing standards and professionalism to transform FM, particularly in:

  • resolving fragmentation among the global FM community
  • the lack of integration of FM strategies throughout the building lifecycle
  • lack of recognition of FM as an aspirational career choice.

Together, we will promote and demonstrate the value of effective or strategic FM and the benefits of a unified career pathway. By coming together in this way, 2 leading property organisations are combining a global standards reach and a deep understanding of FM.

 Views from the top

Tony Keane, President and CEO of IFMA, says "Shared global standards open a stronger, more marketable pathway for FM leaders. By eliminating fragmentation, we are building a stronger international community, unified by a common professional language even when they speak different languages."

Sean Tomkins, Chief Executive, RICS comments: "When we launched this collaboration in April we called it 'the most significant evolution in the history of FM'. Together we want to address the fragmentation in this sector and work towards integrating FM strategies that cut across all aspects of a building's lifecycle. We want to drive professional recognition in the FM sector by creating an unprecedented level of professional support that meets the growing demands of 25m FM practitioners worldwide."

Kath Fontana, Chair of RICS Facilities Management Professional Group, adds: "This is an exciting development in FM, aiming to transform it through consistent, global professional standards and a unified profession." 

Among other things, the collaboration will focus on training and equipping FM professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve consistent international standards. This will not only generate tangible benefits but will help create a labour market for FM professionals by clearly articulating to hiring managers what skills and knowledge are needed to execute the role effectively.

This is a major advancement for a profession that is increasingly seen as being at the very heart of any business's corporate real-estate strategy. It will improve consistency and transparency in the property information available and enhance the work of FM professionals.

IFMA and RICS will embed International Property Measurement and Ethics Standards in the discipline, seeking adoption from occupiers and professionals alike. The collaboration will also provide standards on the procurement, provision and effective measurement of FM services.

Paul Bagust is UK Commercial Property Director, RICS

Further information

  • To find out more about the collaboration and explain how you understand facilities management, please visit define.fm
  • Related competencies include: Facilities management
  • This feature was taken from the RICS Property journal (December 2016/January 2017)