25 July 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has launched its first professional statement "to reduce risk, increase transparency, and further trust in procurement" in the facilities management industry.
The RICS Procurement of facility management, RICS professional statement, UK 1st edition, was worked on in collaboration with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the wider industry.
The professional statement discusses facilities management procurement routes and processes, and provides guidance on the factors that need to be taken into consideration. The guidance note focuses on the appropriate procurement route and all the various factors needed to deliver an effective procurement process that results in a successful contract that delivers.
All RICS-regulated professionals will follow this guidance (mandatory from 1 October), but it says "adoption of the framework would be competitively beneficial for all property professionals involved in the procurement of FM services, including those acting for landlords and occupiers, FM suppliers procuring services from subcontractors and investors and public and private occupier organisations".
The statement was developed to address the issues in the facilities management procurement market, which in worst-case scenarios can be engaged in a race to the bottom.
Paul Bagust, global property standards director at RICS, said there should be consequences if professionals do not introduce and implement standards.
"Discussions about transparency, ethics and responsible business need to be built on a foundation of standards and regulations.
"We need more standards to ensure that there is clarity in what people will deliver, so the supply chain can better understand what it is buying and selling, and what people will receive. This has held us back as a profession. We urge government and all organisations to adopt and follow this statement in conjunction with complementary practices they already have in place, such as the Social Value Act.
"By demonstrably following good practice, and stating to suppliers that you as a buyer adhere to the RICS guidance, will provide transparency, standards, and improve public confidence."
Derrick Tate, PwC corporate finance, added: "Professionals should focus on investing time and energy in planning, running a fair and transparent process and putting themselves in the bidder's shoes - think about what they need to do and what information they need in order to deliver the benefits that you require."
Before the new professional statement, RICS FM professionals would have followed the RICS Rules of Conduct regarding the competence and conduct of members/regulated firms in this sector.
Kath Fontana FRICS, managing director, ISS Technical Services and RICS senior vice-president elect, said: "This new statement provides clients and suppliers with the platform to manage risk and opportunity consistently and professionally. Ultimately this will enable all to focus on delivering great service, compliance, transparency and value for money."