The standards have been created with FM industry stakeholders, experts and a professional standards writer and form a global competence model for the profession.
The aim is for the standards to define the competences necessary to be an FM professional at every stage of their career, from a support role through to strategic management.
The framework provides a succinct view of the defined functional areas across the career levels and contains high-level statements of competence required of an individual. A handbook, available to BIFM members (download from www.bifm.org.uk/fmstandards) expands upon the high-level competence statements contained within the framework, setting out the uses and purposes of the standards.
The framework identifies 10 ‘functional areas’, each further divided into ‘components’, into which plain English explanations of the associated competences are broken down in terms of their relevance to individuals by seniority (from support and supervisory through to manager, senior and strategic). Each standard details the existing BIFM qualification units (elements of training) that relate to it.
The FM Professional Standards assist all FM practitioners and BIFM members at all grades with their CPD by identifying current levels of skill. The 10 principal groupings are as follows:
● The Role of Facilities Management;
● Strategy and Policy Development;
● Leadership and Management; Business Continuity and Compliance;
● Business Support Services Management;
● Property Portfolio Management; Quality Management and Customer Service;
● Finance and IT; Procurement and Contract Management; and
Under each of these principal standards headings are a further 25 elements – see the next pages.
Linda Hausmanis, the institute’s director of education, states that the impact of the standards has been profound. “The FM Professional Standards are clearly defined across a range of functional areas in which facilities management professionals are involved and they are also expressed at the various stages of an individual’s career,” she says. “By referring to the standards when conducting a skills gaps analysis, an employer can effectively procure training for staff.
“The Professional Standards will enable employers to focus their training provision in a more targeted and purposeful way to meet the needs of an organisation and its workforce. This should maximise the business value from a training intervention,” she adds.
“As well as using BIFM events to demonstrate the purpose and use of the standards, they are also a common reference point throughout all BIFM products and services as they are the core of the institute’s value proposition to the industry.”
Major employers, including the government, are already using the framework. Jo Mercer, head of organisation and development for FM service provider Vinci
Facilities, said that her company has changed its training structures to accommodate the professional standards framework.
“Over the past few years we have been working with BIFM to help develop its Professional Standards and we have now embedded the BIFM Professional
Standards into Vinci’s behavioural culture and are using them to benchmark professional expectations. The next challenge for us is to continue to establish strong links through to the development and training of our people so we can maximise their potential.
“It is important that we do this because we have a duty of care to the people we employ, but also because the competitive nature of what we do leads to the need to differentiate our services. The best way to do this is by helping our employees be the best they can – in short, maximising their potential. “To help achieve that goal we aim to create a dynamic culture and environment where there are no right or wrong answers – just different points of view. However, it is equally important that we gauge and measure what it is we are trying to achieve. The BIFM Professional Standards provides the best way to manage performance both formally and informally throughout the year; it is, in fact the backbone to our framework of professional governance and development programmes.
“An outcome from our behavioural leadership programme ‘Empower’ was the implementation of ‘Developing your Career at Vinci’, a way of supporting our people, which uses the BIFM Professional Standards as a model for success.
Regular catch-ups or ‘one-to-ones’ are held every six weeks, with these formally undertaken every six months. These use the key aspects of the professional standards – behavioural expectations, technical competencies – to set targets and objectives for development. It all helps us to enhance performance through a continued focus on shared goals.”
“Development has already begun on a self-assessment tool,” says Hausmanis. “This will be for use by an individual or by his or her line manager to gather feedback and support the creation of a professional development plan.”
Also in development is a training and development needs analysis tool aimed at individuals or an organisation’s learning and development management personnel.
Check the BIFM website for more details at: www.bifm.org.uk
To read more from the 2016 FM World Guide to Career Development please click here.