If you’ve noticed a glaring gap in the industry … you’re not alone. Today, facility managers face a range of challenges turning the industry on its head. One key issue is that droves of seasoned professionals will be leaving the workforce, creating a swelling void. Enter: millennials — educated young professionals, but lacking the experience it takes to bridge the gap.
And that’s not the only challenge. Facility managers increasingly are expected to take advantage of technology to benefit the people in an organization. And to communicate effectively with all parts of the business. How can facility managers prepare themselves for these challenges?
A new eBook, entitled “Minding the FM Gap,” identifies a way to ensure that facility managers are ready for the future: a new training credential. Designed for all career levels, with buy-in from top employers and the facility management community, a new training and credentialing program is coming to the marketplace. Behind it are great leaders, experts, and influencers working to not only advance, but transform the industry.
Formed in April 2017, ProFMI is a partnership between National Facilities Management & Technology (NFMT) — a Milwaukee, WI, provider of live and online facilities management education — and Holmes Corporation. (Building Operating Management and NFMT are owned by Trade Press Media Group.) These two organizations recognized the need for a core set of knowledge and skills to meet the new facility management roles and responsibilities worldwide, so they worked with the ProFMI Commission to identify and validate those critical knowledge areas through an extensive survey involving more than 3,000 facility management professionals and organizations from 93 countries.
A global credential
The facility management industry is rapidly evolving, opening the door for a prominent group of facility management employers, practitioners, thought leaders, and educators to step in and identify the ProFM Body of Knowledge and create the ProFM global credential. To meet market demands, ProFM broadly covers important topics that facility managers need to be aware of, but not necessarily an expert in, while going deeper on responsibilities that are required on an ongoing basis. It combines critical topic areas that have never been included in one complete program. As such, the ProFM Body of Knowledge, or BOK, provides the educational framework to help individuals and organizations identify and fill their knowledge gaps.
Many facility managers say they’ve seen their responsibilities shift from the technical to the more strategic. “The facility management profession has become much more professional in terms of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and expectations of the people who are in the business,” says Stormy Friday, a ProFMI Commission member. Friday is an international facilities services consultant and one-time director of facilities and support services at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “At one point, we thought it was appropriate to just have the technical skills,” says Friday. “But now you have to have the breadth and scope of the business background, and all sorts of talents we never expected our facilities professionals to have.”
“It takes a community to enact real change,” says Randy Olson, vice president of business development for ProFMI. “The ProFM standards, training, and credential are the result of independent FM organizations and individuals coming together to elevate the facility management profession and advance the careers of facility professionals.” Respected organizations such as nonprofit BOMI International, with more than 47 years of expertise, along with the organizations represented by the ProFMI Commission, show the wide cross-section of support behind this effort, says Olson. “ProFM is truly a global community effort,” he adds.
For more information on ProFMI, the ProFM Body of Knowledge and the ProFM global training program and credential, visit the ProFM website.
Katie Baker is manager of direct response for Trade Press Media Group.