Open-access content 1st September 2009
Iain Murray writes about his promotion of the FM industry at the Construction Industry Council's annual 'sleepover'
3 September 2009
I recently attended the annual Chairs and Presidents Summit, or 'sleepover', of the Construction Industry Council. We were locked in a room with the CEO, chair and deputy chair and the chair's and presidents of the UK's leading institutes and associations. Among those represented were Riba, Rics, Cibse, CIOB, ABE and, of course, BIFM.
It gives me great pleasure to report our significant input to the proceedings, which was specifically looking at the next three year business plan of the CIC. This is exactly the place we want to be expressing our views, which I am pleased to report are very much welcomed. The subjects that FMs commonly discuss were top of the agenda: skills, life cycle, operational input to design, and still top of the list, sustainability. I was able to relay the significant work the BIFM has undertaken in all of these areas, in particular, our sustainability KTP and the work on education.
I attended the same event last year, and by contrast this year, FM and operations featured much higher on the agenda. I may be guessing, but I could suggest that since the capital procurement programme has dropped off a cliff, perhaps FM is considered to be a bit more secure long term, funny that. I did not (and never did say) it was "recession proof", but it does seem to be holding up better than our peers. Indeed, I am experiencing a positive mood in the FM arena, and I know good FM businesses continue to grow.
Some hacks were suggesting that there was nobody speaking on behalf of the FM industry at a high enough, and visible enough level. I suspect you can guess my reaction given what I have detailed above. I believe that our involvement with a wide range of partners, organisations and groups is significant and vociferous enough to refute these suggestions, trust me, my colleagues on the board, executive and Members' Council are not missing many opportunities to express our views.
I have just started my second year as chair after the recent AGM. In just one year, I managed to write 40 blogs, attend nine board and Members' Council meetings, visit World Workplace in Dallas and Cityscape in Dubai, give seven speeches, attend nine conferences, seven industry dinners and four lunches as chair, went to two regional balls and conferences, visit Westminster six times to speak to MPs, get quoted 42 times in the media, attend 16 BIFM regional and SIG events, receive 1,400 emails, write 60 tweets, mentored on the WiFM's programme, commence the ILM Level 3 course in FM, start a new FM business and become a dad, and you helped me raise £16,000 for my two charities. I enjoyed every minute and look forward to working equally hard this coming twelve months.