Open-access content Thursday 29th November 2012
The latest BIFM comment column, in which Gareth Tancred looks back on a marvellous year for the industry.
3 December 2012
When we entered 2012, the institute had suffered badly from the recession and we knew that significant action would be required.
I am delighted with the turnaround our teams have made - I couldn't have asked for more.
Over 2,700 new members joined in 2012, smashing our target. 754 upgraded their membership and retention is three per cent higher than last year. We now have over 12,900 members - an all-time high.
The story is similar with group and corporate members, with another all-time high of 530 members, including five platinum members.
We have refocused the members' council, which now has its own chair and deputy chair. This has paid dividends in terms of engagement.
We have driven greater attendance at conferences and events and increased sponsorship. Interest in the Institute has grown phenomenally, with 120 per cent growth in members of our LinkedIn group (now over 11,000); unique website visitors increased by 8 per cent.
In June, our conference ThinkFM had double the attendance of 2011. The event received many accolades, but one comment I particularly liked was: "Excellent sessions, great topics and some inspiring speakers. Great first time with ThinkFM!" I suspect it won't be the last visit for this delegate. In October, the BIFM Awards attracted 50 per cent more entries than 2011 and many guests on the night said it was the "best ever".
In September, we launched the FM Leaders Forum. The first one was entitled "BIM and FM: bridging the gap for success." The next forum will focus on procurement.
This year saw huge strides in our qualifications. In the past few months, three new suites of qualifications have been developed at levels 2, 3 and 7, and in October, we launched Higher Level Apprenticeships.
This means there is something for everyone in FM, regardless of age or experience. 2011 saw a 38 per cent growth in the number of learners and three new centres have been approved - Liverpool John Moores University, Leeds College of Building and FM Tutor, bringing the total to 15 active centres. Congratulations to the 212 learners who have achieved a BIFM qualification at levels 4, 5 and 6 during the year.
To round it off, we produced a TV programme to promote the qualifications that has attracted international interest.
I am very excited about the new website and member relationship system. It will be packed with features and tailored to your needs - a significant change in our approach.
On top of all of this, we are financially stable. We have come through the recession, strengthened and readied ourselves for the future.
Our strategic plan for 2012 can be distilled into two words - it's one of the posters in our office: "Listen. Deliver." 2012 was the year we focused our efforts into turning the institute around. We have listened and we are delivering. There is still much to do and we have very exciting plans for the future.
Meanwhile, as we enter the holiday season, I would like to thank all our volunteers and staff for helping to deliver in 2012 and I wish you all a happy 2013.
To find out more about the FM Leaders Forum, visit www.bifm.org.uk/FMLF
To find out more about the qualifications in FM TV programme, visit www.bifm.org.uk/careersinfm