8 March 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) have announced a joint initiative to explore the potential to develop a completely new form of contract explicitly for facilities management.
The initiative comes in the light of feedback from some BIFM members that existing forms of contract, developed primarily for use in construction or mechanical and electrical projects, did not meet all their needs.
If findings from the project research uphold this, a new form of contract will be developed as part of the well-regarded NEC4 contract suite.
The new contract will be aimed at reflecting and supporting the diverse FM industry - advancing good practice in the procurement and management of FM services in what could be the latest iteration of the widely used contract form, NEC4.
The form has been enhanced to reflect procurement and project management developments and emerging best practice, with improvements in flexibility, clarity and administration; and is suitable for procuring a full array of activities from major works to small-scale projects.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed this week by ICE and BIFM chiefs, the first piece of joint work will be to identify the contract-related needs and challenges of those working in FM through a discrete piece of research.
Insight resulting from the research - to be announced at the NEC User's Group Conference in June - will determine the development of a potential bespoke service contract adaptation of NEC4 to provide an industry-wide framework for 'best-in-class' facilities management activity. It builds on earlier collaboration between the NEC team and BIFM's volunteer-led Procurement Special Interest Group.
Further activity under the MoU will include collaboration on training and up-skilling opportunities for FMs to optimise the impact of the standard contracts in service.
BIFM CEO Linda Hausmanis said: "Pursuing the highest standards in the procurement and management of FM services is fundamental to our profession's advancement."