04 Oct

ISO 41001:2018 – The World’s First International Facilities Management System (FMS) Standard

ISO 41001:2018, the international facilities management system (FMS) standard, was released in April 2018. This is the first FMS standard to be published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Previous facility management standards were European Standards, published by the British Standards Institute (BSI) in 2006. ISO 41001:2018 has not replaced the En 15221 standards but has taken a number of the elements from these standards and enhanced them from a management point of view.

The release of the ISO 41001:2018 was preceded by the release of a suite of supporting documents, released between April and July 2017 namely:

  • ISO 41011:2017 Facility management — Vocabulary
  • ISO 41012:2017 Facility management — Guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements
  • ISO/TR 41013:2017 Facility management — Scope, key concepts and benefits

ISO Technical Committee (ISO TC) 267 who published the ISO 41000 family of standards was represented by over 42 countries and chaired by Stan Mitchell representing BSI.

What is Facilities management?

Facilities management (FM) is understood to suffer from a general lack of knowledge and awareness, thus the publication of these supporting documents to articulate “what it is” was seen to be extremely beneficial.

ISO 41011:2017 describes facility management as an “organizational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business”.

FM is currently one of the fastest-growing professional and operational disciplines worldwide. Frost & Sullivan has projected that by 2025 the global FM market of outsourced services will be worth $1 trillion. Outsourced FMS is also increasingly used to deliver complex services. (Frost & Sullivan, 2016)

In financial terms, FMS constitutes the second-highest cost for any organisation with few exceptions and can, where relevant, make a considerable contribution to the bottom line on an ongoing basis. (Organisation Internationale de Normalisation (ISO), 2016)

One of the aims of ISO 41001:2018 is to increase awareness and support the development, implementation and maintenance of effective facilities management regimes in all sectors of industry and commerce worldwide.

Structure, Aims and Benefits

ISO 41001:2018, as with all management system standards released since 2012, conforms to the Annex SL High Level Structure, identical core text, common terms and core definitions. As outlined in previous blog posts, this facilitates the integration of multiple management system standard into one easy to navigate management system.

Having a common global structure and standardised approach to facilities management will enhance the development of the market for FM services – it will form a common basis upon which FM can be assessed and measured.

Having a standardised approach to facilities management is envisaged to deliver the following benefits:

  • improved safety, health, well-being and productivity of workforce
  • better efficiency and effectiveness, hence improving organisational cost benefits
  • enhanced communication of FM methodologies and requirements among and between public and private sector organizations
  • improved consistency of service levels delivered
  • providing a common platform for all types of organizations