Facilities managers face a host of challenges, from improving buildings’ operational efficiencies and performance to complying with environment, health and safety regulations.
They are responsible for a range of activities, including environmental management, among others, and according to ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, facilities management is one of the fastest growing professions worldwide.
ISO is currently developing a new management system standard that covers all of these responsibilities and is intended to drive more effective facilities management across industry sectors worldwide. This standard is ISO 41001, Facilities management – Management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. Its publication is slated for 2018.
Additionally, the soon-to-be published ISO 41011, Facilities management – Vocabulary, and ISO 41012, Facilities management – Guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements, articulate what facilities management is and will be especially helpful to emerging markets, ISO says.
ISO 41001 take it to the next level and provides a standard against which a facilities management organization can be assessed and measured.
“ISO 41001 will help to clarify the ‘what’ as well as the ‘why’ facilities management is a strategically important discipline to all organizations in the management, operation and maintenance of the workplace, its assets and operational efficiencies,” explained Stanley Mitchell, Chair of ISO/TC 267, the technical committee developing the standard.
There are many national and international standards that are relevant to facility management. These include the ISO 14001 environmental management systems standard and the ISO 5001 energy management systems standard, among others. But these deal with specific aspects of facilities management.
“None of the existing standards are aimed at the broader and diverse requirements that come within the scope of facility management,” Mitchell told Environmental Leader. “The discipline is responsible for the second highest overhead of almost every organization and impacts the functional efficiency of every function and individual within the organization.”
Facilities management, Mitchell said, “contributes to the operational effectiveness at a strategic, tactical and operational level of every organization and is growing in terms of professionalism worldwide.” For this reason it “will significantly benefit from ISO technical and management standards.”
ISO’s announcement that it is developing a new facilities management standard follows the news that an ISO sustainable procurement standard — ISO 20400 — is in the final stages of development. It will be published next year.
And following the recent revision of the ISO 14001 environmental management systems standard, ISO in March released the updated version of its complementary standard, ISO 14004, to helps organizations get the most out of their environmental management system.