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Strategic Support for FM Professionals

12 April 2011

RICS is preparing to launch a range of new strategic guidance notes for Chartered Surveyors working in the facilities management arena during 2011 – demonstrating the critical link between operational management and better business performance. Associate Director of RICS Professional Groups and Forums, John Anderson outlines some of the highlights...

When RICS launched the White Book and principal guidance note, The Strategic Role of Facilities Management in Business Performance, in 2009, it provided the industry with a comprehensive governance framework for the professional and strategic role of the Chartered Surveyor undertaking facilities management. The driving force behind this guidance was a desire to help RICS Facilities Management professionals prove the value they add in a corporate context and how their role as a strategic influencer within an organisation is directly linked to enhancing business performance.
With this foundation and – more recently – the Professionalising FM programme in place, RICS is launching a series of new guidance notes during 2011, designed to provide detailed strategic guidance for RICS Facilities Managers in a number of specialist areas.
The first step has been to refresh the White Book itself, by revising it into an internationally- relevant resource. We’ve undertaken a global consultation to collect comments from professional Facilities Managers working around the world. This feedback is being incorporated into a new international version with the aim of enabling the book to be used by the profession around the world. In particular, RICS has looked at how the Standard can be adapted to ‘country specific’ interpretation in different world regions – adding a new glossary to recognise that words and terms mean different things in different countries.
The strategic guidance notes recognise very much that Facilities Management at a professional level has many technical, commercial and business subject areas that require bringing together into a concise envelop of advice and guidance to support the surveyor in this important professional area.
A new Guidance note for surveyors working in Facilities Management on Security picks up on one of these areas and will provide critical guidance when managing security and developing and implementing resilience strategies.
The Chartered Surveyor working in Facilities Management is in a unique position to understand how a security threat would affect an organisation from both an operational and organisational perspective. Our members can use this document to guide them as they work to integrate security into their business from risk assessment, through to procurement, management and review. This ensures an appropriate and consistent approach to this vital yet complex area.
Another service-specific guidance note being readied for publication will support the professional and business aspects of Catering Services. This has been designed to provide our members with a resource they can apply when considering the catering needs of an organisation. It describes current thinking on best practice in both the planning and deployment of the service and outlines the measures that need to be taken in order to ensure appropriate and effective delivery.
In keeping with the ongoing RICS theme of Professionalising FM, the guidance note approaches the delivery of this specialised service at all levels – starting with the identification of need, through the specification of requirements and on into operational management.
Focusing on the strategic side of delivering an appropriate catering service, the guidance covers critical areas such as service reviews, cost and performance benchmarking, space planning, risk management (including duediligence), income streams, legislation and tendering.
Again, recognising the complexities of the industry, it deals with the full range of catering services from the provision of automated vending right across the spectrum to fine dining and specialised products through to high volume production for public and commercial sector organisations.
Finally, members will also use the guidance to identify the specific needs of contrasting sectors – such as healthcare and education.
At the core of these publications – and several others like them – is the premise that RICS Facilities Management is about much more than finding ways to slim spend and cut costs – it’s about proactively adding value to the bottom line by aligning the needs of the business with the provision of crucial services. In short – well run facilities will always maximise efficiency but in doing so they also create competitive advantage and deliver business returns.
For more information about the strategic support RICS www.rics.org/


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