• International Workplace
  • 2 May 2017

RICS identifies FM skills gap

RICS has published the third instalment in its series Raising the Bar, examining the strategic impact of good facilities management practice on business performance. An Executive Summary and the full report (Raising the Bar: from Operational Excellence to Strategic Impact in FM) are both available in pdf format free of charge from the RICS website.

This research, conducted with IFMA, identifies the key issues facing the industry and puts ways forward for how FM can build recognition and understanding at board level, among other business leaders, and with related infrastructure groups. It is a further piece by RICS in what is becoming a comprehensive resource of authoritative information on the FM sector, including a series of strategic FM case studies (authored by International Workplace) and its collaboration with IFMA to define FM.

In an interview with International Workplace in October 2016, Chair of the RICS’s FM Board, Kath Fontana,  signaled further initiatives for the Institution to deepen its understanding of the discipline of professional facilities management and the commercial practices surrounding it.

Key challenges and actions identified from this latest research include:

  • The need to move beyond a cost-centre mentality and build recognition for the value and ROI that excellent, well-supported FM can bring.
  • The need to take on the strategic challenge of championing workplace effectiveness, workforce productivity and well-being.
  • The need to adopt and apply new technologies to enhance the management of facilities and to create new kinds of workplaces.

Raising the Bar III also identifies some important requirements for learning and development professionals within FM, namely:

  • The need to recruit new talent to replace an ageing workforce; and
  • The need for facilities managers to develop relationship management skills in addition to those of operational service delivery.

Backing up these findings, perhaps the most astonishing statistics revealed in the report are that RICS has more professional facilities management members over the age of 70 than it has under the age of 30; and that IFMA fares little better: based on a 30% sample of its 24,000 or so members, the average IFMA member is 50.9 years old.

In fact, the need to provide career development opportunities for younger people entering FM and to develop the softer skills of an ageing workplace are two of what the report describes as six ‘super challenges’ facing FM across the globe.