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Linking the White Book with European Standards

14 October 2009

As the its White Book is published, the RICS looks at the new CEN standards on facilities management due next year as Rosemary Elder explains

The White Book – The Strategic Role of Facilities Management in Business Performance: Guidance Note (RICS 2009) – was published in August 2009 and officially launched at the beginning of September. Forming the backbone of the White Book the best practice described will be expanded into further guidance and information over the next few years, forming a suite of essential standards for chartered facilities management surveyors.
This new development is proving that facilities management is maturing as a distinct property specialism, along with the new apprenticeship scheme about to be launched and further standards being developed in Europe via CEN (Centre Europeen de Normalisation).
It is perhaps, therefore, a good time to look at the new CEN standards, the bulk of which are to be published in 2010 and see how they fit with where RICS feels the direction of strategic facilities management is heading. CEN/TC 348, the facility management committee, has published two European Standards:
● EN 15221-1 Facility Management – Part 1: Terms and definitions ● EN 15221-2 Facility Management – Part 2: Guidance on how to prepare Facility Management Agreements To be published in 2010: ● prEN 15221-3 Guidance on how to achieve/ensure quality in Facility Management ● prEN 15221-4 Taxonomy of Facility Management-Classification and Structures● prEN 15221-5 Guidance on the development and improvement of processes ● prEN 15221-6 Area and Space Measurement.
It is felt by the CEN committee that corporate real estate management should be closely linked with facilities management through the use of standards. This aligns itself with the messages RICS is giving to the property industry through its standards.
The aim of the new standard prEN 15221-5 is to give facilities managers guidance on the development and improvement of their processes to support the organisations core activities, this matches the rationale behind the RICS standards. Through the use of chartered facilities management surveyors, RICS is best placed to do this, through theirknowledge of how property relates to business.
So, it appears RICS is moving in the same direction as Europe when it comes to delivering best practice standards and guidance, which is good news for chartered surveyors employed both in the UK and overseas.
RICS will be developing further standards in more specific facilities management areas. A new editorial board has been established with some of the industry's foremost thought leaders whose remit will be to review and edit the existing material and produce these new standards. If you would like to provide the board with feedback or make suggestions we would be delighted to hear from you.
● Rosemary Elder is Professional Practice Manager, RICS +44(0)207 695 1597

The context or the demand (of legislation and statutory compliance, culture, sustainability, and external stakeholders) constitutes the environment surrounding the cycle. The guidance and recommendations provided within the Guidance Note assumes the reader is an experienced FM practitioner. It is not handbook but it will highlight best practice and sources of further information.
The guidance is designed to be read by those practising in both the UK and globally, and as such it is recognised they will need to have reference to local operating practices and procedures in any given environment.
The White Book is an overarching FM Guidance Note covering the strategic role of FM in business performance. A series of Guidance Notes and Information Papers will be developed in due course.
The RICS White Book is of direct relevance to both chartered surveyors and other FM professionals. The Guidance Note separates the FM cycle into five separate sections:
● strategy
● sourcing
● operational
● review
● continuous development.
Each of the topics listed in the five sections are detailed in the Guidance Note with the enablers underpinning all activities.

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