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Professionalising FM

There are a series of clear career pathways to professional development in facilities management available from RICS/IFMA, explains Paul Bagust, Global Property Standards Director, RICS

The IFMA-RICS collaboration was established in 2016 to advance standards and professionalism in FM worldwide. A core aim is to foster a more inclusive knowledge sharing community and create a clearer career path in facilities management to attract new entrants into the profession and encourage advancement and professional development within the discipline.

An increasingly professionalised sector offers greater value for occupiers and clients. This is because contracts can be managed more effectively, which adds value; and greater professionalism from facilities managers offers a huge number of benefits to service providers; including business development opportunities, the mitigation of risk to contracts as well as in optimising talent retention.

RICS as the standard setter for the built environment together with IFMA offers end-to-end professional development for professionals working in the FM sector and in wider built environment roles. Additionally, there’s a programme of support for organisations through an FM Talent Management Programme. This enables companies to evaluate the skills and experience of their team and put together a programme of learning and development leading to the achievement of credentials and qualifications. It also enables organisations to upskill individuals to enable them to move up the career ladder as well as offering clients a greater level of service and expertise.

The IFMA-RICS suite of credentials and training has courses and credentials for all levels of FM professional; new entrants, those moving into FM from other roles and for intermediate and advanced learners seeking new skills or recognition to prove their level of expertise.

Essentials of FM can be undertaken as a programme of 10 modules or individual modules may be selected. This programme is ideal for new entrants or those in roles related to FM who need to understand the fundamentals.

There are a further three core online e-learning courses offering an introductory grounding in FM:

  • Facility Management – a practical introduction,
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Real Estate and;
  • Performance Management in Facilities: Measuring What’s Most Important

All these courses aim to increase FM and built environment knowledge and understanding and are available on the RICS FM online academy at www.fm.training. This site also hosts over 60 short video courses, ideal for upskilling and the attainment of CPD hours. A RICS distance learning certificate in CRE and FM provides over 200 hours of CPD and offers the definitive development programme for more advanced professionals looking to stand out and take the next career step into a leadership role.

If it’s credentials and qualifications you are interested in achieving to prove expertise or to invest in for your people there’s a range on offer from IFMA-RICS.

The suite of qualifications from IFMA-RICS provides a range of options for individuals at different stages of their career. The Facility Management Professional (FMP) and Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) can be achieved through assessment modules online with options for online or classroom based training to support the attainment of these credentials.

The Certified Facility Manager credential has online or classroom training available to support candidates with assessment undertaken at an assessment centre. It’s an ideal assessment for those most comfortable with attaining a credential that tests their knowledge. As CFM is a certification it requires candidates to recertify every three years through the submission of CPD online.

The CFM allows direct entry into RICS through the Associate grade (AssocRICS) upon completion of the RICS ethics module. This enables candidates to achieve a RICS qualification through an alternative route to the Associate Assessment – this tests the proficiency and competency of individuals through a written submission of their work experience detailing how RICS competency requirements have been demonstrated through their live experience in an FM role.

As well as IFMA’s CFM credential allowing direct entry to the RICS Associate grade, there are a number of other qualifications recognised by RICS for entry to the Associate grade as an alternative to completing the Associate Assessment – the most commonly held is BIFM Level 4.

Chartered status is open to individuals who hold a degree qualification or an RICS recognised professional qualification and to senior professionals with exceptional career achievements. To become chartered, candidates are required to provide a written submission and attend a professional interview as part of the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). RICS has APC pathways for those who can demonstrate competency in FM or corporate real estate and for related disciplines such as building surveying, project management, quantity surveying, commercial property and management consultancy.

Widely recognised globally the ultimate professional status in the built environment, the Chartered qualification demonstrates professional ethics and strategic advisory capability as well as technical expertise achieved in a specific discipline within the built environment.

It benefits the individual giving them confidence, differentiation and professional status and investment in chartered professionals offer organisations a competitive edge and the many long-term benefits associated with client and talent retention.

For new entrants to facilities management the following online programmes are available:

For more information visit www.fm.training or call 02475 095337.

About Sarah OBeirne

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