A closer look at the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM)

Facilities management is a rapidly expanding sector here in the UK. For all facilities professionals at every level, the BIFM is a professional body that represents and promotes the interests of its members and the wider facilities management community. It provides a range of services including ongoing professional training, development and qualifications. Membership to the BIFM can also provide access to a number of information resources.
As a relatively young institute (it was founded in 1993), the BIFM is still building its reputation and over the past couple of years, the qualifications have started to establish themselves within the industry and continue to evolve.

What training and qualifications are on offer?

The institute offers a wide range of qualifications that have been developed with the help of leading facilities employers and stakeholders while also being endorsed by the sector skills council – Asset skills.
All the qualifications offered by the body are flexible and accredited within the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) - which means they’re recognised nationally. As the needs of the sector expand and develop, the institute aims to be responsive and grow its suite of learning programmes. The qualifications can be customised by an individual or an organisation to suit their particular business needs.

Is it of chartered status?

At the current time (Autumn 2015) the BIFM is actively considering applying for chartered body status. As the body has now reached a certain size, maturity, level of engagement and influence – it would now be a logical next step for it to explore gaining a chartered status. Arguably, the chartered status, if granted, may make membership more of a recognised asset for facilities professionals.

Does a BIFM qualification make me a more desirable candidate?

Regardless of its non-chartered status, a BIFM qualification is still a nationally recognised certificate. Membership to any professional industry body will usually be looked upon favourable by an employer as it shows a commitment to keeping up with current trends in the field and shows access to continuing development programmes.
However, it’s unlikely that most facilities management jobs will specifically request that you have one of these qualifications in their application criteria. Also, such qualifications do not replace the need to have relevant, hands-on experience and a proven track record. A specific BIFM qualification could certainly be used to build upon existing expertise or fill a knowledge gap and, although not mandatory, it is normally an impressive addition to any facilities professional’s CV.
We also spoke about the BIFM in our LinkedIn group. To get involved in the discussion, please join us at Michael Page Facilities Management – UK.