Corporate real estate decision-making — Learn how FMs can play a bigger role, from this IFMA/RICS guidance

by Brianna Crandall — April 27, 2018 — Facilities management (FM), as a discipline, is about much more than managing buildings and services; it is critical to how every organization or property occupier functions successfully as a real estate investment.

This is the crux of new guidance developed by two global organizations, the UK-based professional body the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the US-based International Facility Management Association (IFMA) through their collaboration.

The Strategic Facility Management Framework was launched in Dubai during the annual IFMA-RICS World Workplace Forum Middle East. The framework, authored by Dave Wilson, FRICS, IFMA Fellow for the IFMA-RICS collaboration, sets out a more holistic approach to strategic FM by providing best practice for facilities managers and practitioners around the world.

RICS Chief Executive Sean Tompkins stated:

As organizations seek to innovate, adapt and refresh how they work, the demand for facility management services is growing globally and rapidly. FM services are driven not only by the changing nature of the economic environment or organizational imperatives but also by the rapid progress in technology, social aspirations, the environment and the political landscape. The new IFMA/RICS framework puts facility management at the heart of organizational objectives and creates a strategic approach that will enable facilities professionals to deliver their expertise globally to a consistent standard.

Because FM is about more than managing property assets, it is crucial to achieving maximum value from workplace and environmental benefits that improve productivity and protect employees and consumers.

The strategic FM framework was jointly developed by RICS and IFMA with extensive global consultation among FM practitioners and industry leaders. It is also crucially aligned to existing standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ensuring that the framework conforms to ISO consistent definitions and well as global best practice.

IFMA President and CEO Tony Keane pointed out:

The ability to achieve a competitive advantage through strategic FM has driven the industry’s rapid evolution in recent decades. The global FM community has coalesced as a result of unprecedented access to information, benchmarks and global standards, such as the new FM Management Systems Standard launched by ISO this week. As the engine of this community, the IFMA-RICS collaboration exists to provide the tools that allow FM professionals to lead strategic decision-making.

FM cannot be ring-fenced or limited to reflect operational activities, notes IFMA. There are strong connections between FM and corporate real estate as well as asset management especially as it relates to property acquisition and disposal in both a strategic and operational sense. This framework sets out some of the key aspects of how and where facilities managers can play a bigger, more valuable role in the corporate real estate decision-making process.

The landmark collaboration between IFMA and RICS is working to advance the global FM community by offering the most comprehensive catalogue of professional development and credentialing, available at

This is the first of two FM framework reports; it addresses the strategic role FM holds within the larger framework of the organization. A second report cataloguing the various responsibilities and disciplines that fall within the FM role is set to be released at World Workplace Europe, May 15-17, in Barcelona, Spain.

The Strategic Facility Management Framework is available on the IFMA website, in the members-only content.