17 October 2014
One of the great things about living and working in London is the diversity of people it attracts.
Recently, on the way to a meeting I passed by a group of students settling into another academic year, all chatting away in a variety of languages; exciting times for the students with a myriad of opportunities in front of them.
One of the things I reflected on after seeing the group was whether they would learn as much from each other as they would from their respective professors and lecturers? This was certainly my experience while at university, even if some of the lecturers did make a lasting impression!
Not being a facilities manager but having the fortunate position to work on some of BIFM's initiatives outside the UK has given me an insight to how the UK FM sector is seen in different markets around the world. The history of how FM developed in the UK and the competitive environment it created arguably led to innovative ways of delivering FM and learning to meet customer requirements.
The increasingly global nature of business combined with the competitive FM environment in the UK has enabled many FM professionals and companies to leverage their learning to be successful in many markets around the world.
BIFM's aspiration is "to be the internationally recognised authoritative voice of facilities management and the development partner of choice for professionals and their organisations."
We now have members - both individuals and organisations - in more than 80 countries across the world who are generally looking for similar things from their professional body as members based in the UK - to be supported, developed and represented. We are seeing demand to deliver these services in a number of markets and we will see member groups and education programmes develop in countries that require them.
BIFM has invested in developing formal services such as our professional standards and qualifications which, along with our membership grades, are becoming seen as valid internationally and provide the opportunity for the FM profession to be recognised and represented.
But, as BIFM welcomes more members from around the world who want to be supported developed and represented, I am sure that - like those London students - a good proportion of our learning better ways of doing things is going to come from sharing experiences and learning from each other.
As BIFM becomes more international, please get in touch. You may be looking to work in another market or export your company's services; perhaps your professional body's network can help?
[email protected], @BIFM_Neil