You may well take the view that activities such as standards are not relevant to the 'day job'. But as standards are developed, they will increasingly become more relevant in that context. The kind of objectives that they are designed to achieve, that will hopefully enhance our abilities within the sector, include:
Develop better understanding of what it is that we do and the potential value that we can bring through:
- Improved communication and understanding between stakeholders;
- Improved effectiveness of primary activities and FM processes;
- Improved quality measurement and output delivery;
- Development of management and customer service tools and systems;
Enhance our ability to bridge the gap across:
- Different languages;
- Different views of FM;
- Different development stages of FM;
- Different cultures, different markets and different expectations;
Position us as a sector to:
- Improve competitiveness in global markets;
- Improve transparency in procurement and contracting;
- Introduce realistic and meaningful benchmarking;
- Enhance true pan European and international reach;
- Demonstrate our maturity as a profession.
Failure to do so will inevitably leave us as a fragmented and disparate profession, an industry where every voice will have a different story to tell - the consequences of which will be that we will never be taken seriously and we will disappear as quickly as we have emerged. The route to such recognition is well trodden and whilst we as a profession are most certainly on a fast track when compared to the development of our peer groups in the past, we live in a different world today and if we are not to fast-track our development of standards we will indeed have missed the opportunity.
The Centre Europeanne du Normalisation (CEN) is responsible for standards within all sectors except electro technology and telecommunications. The standards come from the voluntary work of participants representing all interests concerned, and the content is determined by the market via those representatives.
The CEN standards will be applied by the following 28 countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Standard PrEN 15221 Facility Management - terms and definitions
The purpose of this standard is to establish terms that can be understood across all European countries and to bring some common understanding as to what we mean when we talk about facilities (or facility) management. It encompasses:
- General Terms and Definitions;
- Facility Management Agreement related Terms and Definitions;
- Facility Management Model and Structure of Terms.
Within this standard there were five different versions of the definition of FM considered, the final form of words being accepted as: "Facility management is the integration of processes within an organisation to maintain and develop the agreed services which support and improve the effectiveness of its primary activities."
You will note that the term "facility" is used. This reflects the majority of countries who use the singular, as opposed to the plural, which is the term used in the UK and some other countries.
The structure of this standard is as follows:
- Normative References
- General Terms and Definitions
- Facility Management Agreement related Terms and Definitions
- Facility Services Structure
Annex a: (informative) facility management model
Annex b: (informative) structure of terms
Annex c: (informative) structure/ scope of services
This document is the 'mother' standard and will be considered as the reference in relation to all other FM standards that might be created in the future.
PrEN 15222 Guidance on Facility Management Agreements
This standard has been produced in order to enable and encourage constancy in the development of contract agreements between parties regarding the delivery of FM services.
The standard has been developed on the basis that it can be used in the public or private sectors, and indeed can be used within an organisation where it can profile the responsibilities of the in-house team.
The standard is structured as follows:
- Normative References;
- Terms and Definitions;
- Primary Activities;
- Different Types of Facility Management Agreements;
- Main Characteristics of Facility Management Agreements;
- Preparation and Implementation of Facility Management;
- Facility Management Agreement Structure;
Annex a: (informative) Public Procurement Legislation.
Two tables are provided within the standard under the heading of Facility Management Agreement Structure. These are designed to provide examples of what might be intended in relation to Section 8.1 General Clauses and Section 8.2 Service Level Agreements. Both sections are structured in a table format with four headings: Clause, Element of Contract, Intention and Proposed Content.
Key objectives in the development of this standard are to:
- Promote cross-border client/FM contractor relationships;
- Improve the quality of FM agreements;
- Assist in the selection and scope of the right partners to deliver services;
- Assist in and advise on drafting and negotiation;
- Identify types of FM agreements;
- Aid comparison of FM agreements;
- Highlight the different types of FM agreements (management level, investment strategies, pricing mechanisms, performance based);
- Outline the main characteristics of FM agreements (relation primary process, necessary components, considerations);
- Identify the stages in preparation and implementation of FM agreements (preparation, implementation, ending).
Voting and time plan
All countries represented within the CEN technical committee have indicated that they are likely to support the standards as we enter the final voting process. The remaining timetable is as follows:
- March 2006: Document sent to formal vote;
- June/July 2006: National mirror committees to vote;
- August 2006: Official text ENs available;
- End of 2006: Publication of ENs.
Now that the work on these two initial standards has been completed, the focus has shifted to future requirements. With a three-year timeframe to create new standards, the need to start the process again is now.
It has been decided that, following consolidation of the above and discussion with the technical committee, new work items will be considered when the committee next meets including the following:
A generic standard for processes to underpin future standards. Will support the explanation of the FM model (strategic/tactical/operational) and clarify the distinction between process and service.
Process identification; process mapping (using standard tools, e.g. IDEFO); generic process protocols
2. Classification/cost categories/ life cycle costing of building and taxonomy
Common language for all professionals; faster, transparent and comparable specifications; different structures linked together, compatible with each other; basis for development of tools and systems; necessary for creating interfaces between systems; basis for performance indicators and benchmarking.
Taxonomy; hierarchic structures, network structures; structures already defined, included directly or by adaptation; structures with different definitions: decide the most suitable or create new; structures not defined: new definition.
3. Quality/service levels/KPIs
Guidance on how to prepare SLAs and KPIs; explain how the SLA and KPI contribute to reach quality objectives and how the quality management methods contribute to the interaction between primary activities processes and FM processes.
Methodologies applicable to all services (but with facilities services specific examples).
4. Measurement of space
Develop a European standard in terms of accuracy, protocol and usage of space to facilitate benchmarking of facility efficiencies.
Space m2 (and m3) and its use; process and its use; inventory of existing space measurement standards in 28 European countries.
It has also been decided, subject to CEN approval, to renumber the initial two standards and any subsequent standards in a manner that will create the family as per the ISO 9000 family on Quality Management. It is therefore proposed to change the existing draft standards as follows:
- PrEN 15221 to become PrEN 15222-1;
- PrEN 15222 to become PrEN 15222-2.
All future FM standards would then follow this logic. With the declared intent to continue with the process of creating standards in FM, this provides a sound basis for a set of manageable - and genuinely useful - documents.
About the author
Stan Mitchell is the Chairman of the Facilities Management Committee at the British Standards Institute in the UK and Convenor of the working group that created the European Standard on Facilities Management Contracts. Past Chairman of the British Institute of Facilities Management, he is also CEO of Key Facilities Management Ltd. Visit www.keyfacilitiesmanagement.com/
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