South Africa publishes the first ever Facilities Management (FM) Standard, after two years of learning from other standards such as ISO 9001 Quality Management, 14001 Environmental Management, SABS gazette SANS 1752 Strategic Facilities Management System.
“This is the penultimate step before final publication in December 2016” explains national convener David Khasebe. “This is what they call DSS (Draft South African Standard) stage where the public is given opportunity to comment on the Standard before final publication”.
The process started in 2014 when the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) commenced the work internationally and invited SABS to participate. Khasebe explains that within the first meeting they help as South Africa’s Working Group, they knew that they had to pursue a national standard route and not wait for ISO. “As the Developing World, we don’t always get an ear at international forums because the developed World dominates and we can’t always attend face-to- face meetings. So we knew that we had a great opportunity to develop home-grown standard which dealt with our own challenges as an industry”.
Khasebe explains the Standard is like a hymn sheet to guide organisations, public or private, in respect of the FM practice. The practice is the multi-disciplinary management of corporate and investment real estate to the benefit of the organisation. “We have peculiar outsourcing challenges and the in-house function that is diminishing – and we have to deal with these issues urgently. An international standard will have different priorities and will most probably only be published in 2018.”
“The hymn sheet is based what we call the six pillars of the Standard; the Corporate Policy that commits the organisation to FM, the Strategic FM Plan which demonstrates how value will be added to the organisation, Resources plan which commits resources, the Operational plan which integrates the delivery, SMART KPI reporting to prove performance and Reports and Studies dealing with non-conformances, user satisfaction and bench marking. The Standard provides us with uniform approach to the FM practice to increase the value we add to organisations and gives us a shared language we have never had”.