Home / Announcements / BIFM makes big switch to IWFM with a new ten point plan

BIFM makes big switch to IWFM with a new ten point plan

The BIFM made the official change to the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) yesterday evening by unveiling its new branding alongside the announcement of a ten-point plan for becoming a modern professional body. This completed a speedy transition just eight months after the Institute first proposed to embrace workplace as a ‘key differentiator for its members’ and to establish facilities management as a chartered profession.

Introducing the new IWFM brand ahead of the formal website launch next Monday, Chairman Stephen Roots outlined the reasons for the change.

“I’ve lost count of the number of times the sector has discussed ways of getting FM into the boardroom and what Workplace will allow us to do is to push the conversation around how we can support core organisations, how we can become an integral part of what that organisation actually does and be seen as adding value.”

He said: “We are entering an exciting new era as a modern professional body that is fit for the twenty first century.

“Our purpose in creating IWFM has been to reframe the rationale for FM to generate a better understanding of the value that facilities and workplace professionals can contribute to the success of organisations.

“Our mission as IWFM is to empower and enable them to reach their full potential and have rewarding, impactful careers.”

Roots noted that the sector still faces challenges around recognition, adding value and attracting talent, some of the messages of the knowledge report, ‘Managing Facilities or Enabling Communities’ whose co-author Ian Ellison of 3edges chaired a panel discussion on the workplace opportunity comprising Dr. Matt Tucker, Reader in Workplace and Facilities Management, Liverpool John Moores University; Andrew Mawson, Owner, Advanced Workplace Associates; Stuart Wright, Group Property and Facilities Director, Aviva; and Heather Carey, The Work Foundation.

Following this, CEO Linda Hausmanis took the stage to make the formal announcement, which included outlining a ten-point programme of activity, set out the new Institute’s aims in its first year, working towards its ultimate goal to realise members’ desire for the profession to achieve chartered status.

Plans included a new Professional Standards handbook, updated ahead of a major overhaul next year, to include elements on culture and values alongside organisational behaviour and performance, all aligned to a new IWFM development pathway; a proposed career of choice campaign; and a raft of new and improved insights work, plus a remodelling of its flagship FM World magazine, to be renamed Facilitate.

She said: “We have focused on our ambition to achieve Chartered Body status. We want a future where we, along with the community, can have a clear and distinct voice which articulates the value our profession contributes to business, society and the economy.

“Workplace performance is set to remain a critical area of focus and will shape wide ranging discussions from technology and AI to attracting and shaping talent. My objective is to make IWFM more valuable to the workplace and facilities management profession, the industry and the wider economic community; and to support the professional development of its people through leading-edge thinking, sharing best practice and upskilling opportunities. IWFM is about creating the conditions for our profession to thrive and grow.”

The IWFM website www.iwfm.org.uk and brand will be formally launched on Monday 19 November.

IWFM: A ten-point plan for a modern professional body

1. A new website. Developing a cleaner format, we’ve worked hard to create better customer journeys, ensuring that its users can find the information, guidance and support they need as easily, and as friction free as possible. November 19th is only phase one. To March 2019 incremental functionality will allow professionals to personalise their experience, plan and record their development and have complete control over their membership with IWFM.

2. We have revised core elements of our proposition; with the IWFM Professional Standards taking centre stage. We’ve redesigned the Standards Handbook to be more accessible and we’ve included some new components such as organisational behaviour and performance as well as culture and values, reflecting the essential people oriented “softer” skills we need to add to our technical ones.

3. In 2019 we will conduct a root and branch review of our entire standards working with practitioners as well as the organisations they support to map out the requirements for workplace and facilities management. This will of course then trigger a revision of our qualifications and training offering.

4. We have worked to align our entire proposition to the IWFM development pathway which will form the cornerstone of all IWFM products and services ensuring that your plan for development can be supported by the right tools and that our entire range is easily navigated.

5. In 2019 we will kick start a Career of Choice campaign which builds on our existing partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and will generate, with the workplace and facilities industry, a series of support initiatives and materials to engage and inform those who might join the profession and those looking to progress within it.

6. In late 2019 we will launch the first, completely free to access, market information index. This will include latest employment figures in the sector, market performance, latest trends and support material as well as news on the latest contract wins. Whether you are part of the vast supply chain, a major player in the support services arena or someone looking to procure services you will have access to a wealth of data to help you make informed choices about the market.

7. In the summer we announced that we will be launching our most ambitious research and insight programme to-date. We are also working with leaders in the sustainability space to re-launch our long running sustainability survey. We’ve been tracking progress in this area for more than 13 years, but the nature of this space is constantly evolving, and we must too.

8. Following our work with 3edges on the impact of technology on FM we’ll be launching a deep dive into the subject. Investigating the opportunities and challenges that technology presents in tomorrow’s workplaces. It will include investigative case studies, interviews with thought leaders and assessments on the trends, gaps and requirements from the profession to survive the fourth industrial revolution. And there’ll be more like that in the pipeline.

9. We will continue to work with our community programme to deliver more practical guidance in the form of our well-loved Good Practice Guides, which will be boosted to thrice their number; as well as the guidance notes and local events that support them. And through richer web content and webinars we’ll enable members all over the world to access this content and insight.

10. We like to think of our membership proposition as always in beta, and we will continue to develop that proposition as we look to improve the total member experience and begin to put the plans in place for a fully in-depth CPD.

About Sarah OBeirne

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