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News & opinion

31 OCT 2018

Strategic Facilities Management considers the big picture

Last month, Stephen Ballesty FRICS, CFM was awarded IFMA Fellowship by the International Facility Management Association at IFMA-RICS’ World Workplace. Stephen is the first recipient of this honour in Australasia. He tells us about the benefits of facilities management (FM) and the value of the RICS-IFMA collaboration.

FM is the foremost contributor to a more productive, sustainable and liveable built environment for all. This focus on quality of life is reinforced by the recent publication of the ISO 41000 suite of FM standards, based on an international effort over the past six years and the consensus of 45 countries.

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[FM is the] organisational function which integrates people, place and process within the Built Environment, with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business.

ISO41011:2017 definition of FM

RICS and IFMA collaboration

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is the world’s largest and most widely recognised international association for FM professionals. They support 24,000 members in 105 countries. The association’s members manage more than 37 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than US$100 billion in products and services.

In 2017, RICS and IFMA announced a landmark collaboration that promises to transform the US$1 trillion global FM industry. By joining strategic resources, the collaboration creates an unprecedented level of industry support to meet growing demands from the 25 million FM practitioners around the world, as well as launch a single career pathway into the profession.

I believe that IFMA and RICS represent a symbiotic relationship. Together we have a greater influence than we ever could individually.

IFMA and RICS complement each other by promoting a truly holistic life cycle approach to responsible management of our built environment from strategic conception, through acquisition, design and construction, to the delivery of operational performance and sustainable use, reuse and disposal.

Professionals involved throughout this property life cycle can find shared interests, resources and values in the collaboration.

The big picture

Last month, I was on an international panel at the World Workplace (USA) conference. We reviewed resilience in terms of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with reference to achieving the 17 goals under the UN’s Agenda 2030.

All of these goals are relevant to our quality of life, and it’s interesting how many FM can potentially touch: well-being for people; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; and climate action.

In our increasingly urbanised world, the responsible management of our Built Environment presents unprecedented opportunities for FM.

The advancement of FM as a profession is truly a team effort. The collaboration between IFMA and RICS has enabled a broad FM offering to the market, including a strategic framework which lays out a consistent approach to planning the provision of FM; training to develop competency-based structures; and the FM pathway to RICS membership.

It has been a privilege to work with remarkable groups and individuals from the region and around the world. Becoming an IFMA Fellow is, to me, a recognition of those collaborations.

About Stephen

Stephen is Director of In-Touch Advisory, a property asset management consultancy connecting stakeholders with solutions for the built environment across the property–construction–facilities life cycle.

Stephen is currently the chairman of the Property Council of Australia's Office Building Quality steering committee; a member of the IFMA Standards Committee; an Australian representative to ISO/TC-267 for the development and coordination of the ISO 41000 facilities management and liaison to ISO 55000 asset management; and a current member of multiple RICS working groups.

Following several industry leadership and advocacy roles, Stephen was made FRICS in 2008, both as a chartered quantity surveyor and Australia’s first chartered FM surveyor. Stephen plays an active role in RICS, contributing to guidance notes and professional statements on due diligence, strategic FM and global cost prediction.

Join us in congratulating Stephen on his IFMA Fellowship.