15 May 2017 | Martin Read and Jamie Harris
ABRAFAC, the Brazilian FM association, has a ten-year plan to set up a common standard with a clear definition for the role of an FM.
Thiago Santana, ABRAFAC's vice president, explains that FM in Brazil is not seen as a career under the title of the facilities manager - a profession not officially recognised in official labour legislation in Brazil.
Says Santana: "60 per cent of people in FM are engineers, architects and administrators, while the other 40 per cent come in as lawyers, or from an HR background."
But there is progress. "We are already sitting in on IT meetings, and meetings about people and business strategy. It's happening."
Clients are beginning to understand the value of FM - it just needs to be explained more clearly, says Santana.
The FM market is in a developed state in parts of Brazil - Sao Paolo and Rio De Janiero, for example, are modern cities with contract models on the same level as the UK, US and Europe.
"Other cities, however, are nowhere near that level of development. We are looking to spread a common understanding of FM across the territory."
The market is being helped by changes to legislation, too.
"Very recently, the government approved a law so that from now on companies can outsource whatever activities they want, core or non-core. The market will self-regulate and organisations will have the flexibility to decide what activities they want to outsource."
The maturity of FM across latin America can be divided into three major groups of countries, says Santana.
"In Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina you have an open environment for outsourcing and FM activities. In Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay, for some activities they clearly understand the outsourcing of services such as cleaning and security - but they still retain a lot in-house. But other countries are still some further steps back, having even multinational organisations facing challenges when trying to apply international contracts in those geographies."
We're broadcasting live at 12 noon BST on World FM Day, Wednesday 17 May. You'll be able to hear audio interviews with some of the international correspondents mentioned above, as we capture a snapshot of FM across the globe in 2017, as well as live discussion on the issues and themes that have arisen. Tune in here.