15 November 2018 | IWFM
The new Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management formally introduced itself tonight, with a welcome video and a 10-point plan for becoming a modern professional body, only eight months after the BIFM first proposed to embrace workplace as a key differentiator for its members and to establish facilities management as a chartered profession.
The occasion, held as part of Workplace Week, opened with a wide-ranging panel discussion on the workplace opportunity chaired by Ian Ellison, researcher and co-author of a new knowledge report, aimed at the profession, examining its culture, 'Managing Facilities or Enabling Communities?'
Introducing the new IWFM brand ahead of the formal website launch next Monday, Chairman Stephen Roots reminded the audience of the reasons for the change and how far the Institute had come in the last year.
He said: "We are entering an exciting new era as a modern professional body that is fit for the twenty first century.
"Our purpose in creating IWFM has been to reframe the rationale for FM to generate a better understanding of the value that facilities and workplace professionals can contribute to the success of organisations.
"Our mission as IWFM is to empower and enable them to reach their full potential and have rewarding, impactful careers.
Outlining a 10-point programme of activity, CEO Linda Hausmanis set out the new Institute's aims in its first year, working towards its ultimate goal to realise members' desire for the profession to achieve chartered status.
Plans included a new Professional Standards handbook, updated ahead of a major overhaul next year, to include elements on culture and values alongside organisational behaviour and performance, all aligned to a new IWFM development pathway; a proposed career of choice campaign; and a raft of new and improved insights work, plus a remodelling of its flagship FM World magazine, to be renamed Facilitate.
She said: "We have focused on our ambition to achieve Chartered Body status. We want a future where we, along with the community, can have a clear and distinct voice which articulates the value our profession contributes to business, society and the economy.
"Workplace performance is set to remain a critical area of focus and will shape wide ranging discussions from technology and AI to attracting and shaping talent. My objective is to make IWFM more valuable to the workplace and facilities management profession, the industry and the wider economic community; and to support the professional development of its people through leading-edge thinking, sharing best practice and upskilling opportunities. IWFM is about creating the conditions for our profession to thrive and grow".
IWFM: A ten-point plan for a modern professional body:
A new website. Developing a cleaner format, we've worked hard to create better customer journeys, ensuring that its users can find the information, guidance and support they need as easily, and as friction free as possible. November 19th is only phase one. To March 2019 incremental functionality will allow professionals to personalise their experience, plan and record their development and have complete control over their membership with IWFM.
We have revised core elements of our proposition; with the IWFM Professional Standards taking centre stage. We've redesigned the Standards Handbook to be more accessible and we've included some new components such as organisational behaviour and performance as well as culture and values, reflecting the essential people oriented "softer" skills we need to add to our technical ones.
In 2019 we will conduct a root and branch review of our entire standards working with practitioners as well as the organisations they support to map out the requirements for workplace and facilities management. This will of course then trigger a revision of our qualifications and training offering.
We have worked to align our entire proposition to the IWFM development pathway which will form the cornerstone of all IWFM products and services ensuring that your plan for development can be supported by the right tools and that our entire range is easily navigated.
In 2019 we will kick start a Career of Choice campaign which builds on our existing partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and will generate, with the workplace and facilities industry, a series of support initiatives and materials to engage and inform those who might join the profession and those looking to progress within it.
In late 2019 we will launch the first, completely free to access, market information index. This will include latest employment figures in the sector, market performance, latest trends and support material as well as news on the latest contract wins. Whether you are part of the vast supply chain, a major player in the support services arena or someone looking to procure services you will have access to a wealth of data to help you make informed choices about the market.
In the summer we announced that we will be launching our most ambitious research and insight programme to-date. We are also working with leaders in the sustainability space to re-launch our long running sustainability survey. We've been tracking progress in this area for more than 13 years, but the nature of this space is constantly evolving, and we must too.
Following our work with 3edges on the impact of technology on FM we'll be launching a deep dive into the subject. Investigating the opportunities and challenges that technology presents in tomorrow's workplaces. It will include investigative case studies, interviews with thought leaders and assessments on the trends, gaps and requirements from the profession to survive the fourth industrial revolution. And there'll be more like that in the pipeline.
We will continue to work with our community programme to deliver more practical guidance in the form of our well-loved Good Practice Guides, which will be boosted to thrice their number; as well as the guidance notes and local events that support them. And through richer web content and webinars we'll enable members all over the world to access this content and insight.
We like to think of our membership proposition as always in beta, and we will continue to develop that proposition as we look to improve the total member experience and begin to put the plans in place for a fully in-depth CPD programme as well as a new mentoring scheme.