BIFM acts on fire safety accreditation

The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has today (Tuesday, May 22) announced plans to develop a new certified accreditation and a suite of training for facilities managers (FMs) in charge of life safety in buildings.

FMs are said to play a crucial role in both the management of buildings in use and in the commissioning and acceptance of new and newly refurbished buildings. Responding to Building a Safer Future, the final report by Dame Judith Hackitt, the Institute plans to ensure that FMs have access to high quality training and professional development that can certify their competency to uphold the highest standards of life safety in the buildings they manage.

In the spirit of the Report’s call for continued collaboration on competency building between professional bodies, towards an overarching framework, the BIFM is keen to work with other bodies representing the built environment to ensure a joined-up response.

The Institute’s Life Safety Working Group (LSWG) will play a pioneering role in the development of a specific competency programme for FMs, alongside relevant continuing professional developments. The group has been an active participant in the Hackitt Review team’s work, helping to articulate how fire safety can be achieved best when maintaining buildings as well as feeding into work to develop competency in such maintenance.

LSWG chair, Rob Greenfield, said: “Given the vital role that FMs can and do play in ensuring high standards of life safety in buildings, it’s important to strengthen the competency of those involved. My experts’ group will lead work to develop a dedicated accreditation programme for a specific FM standard as a first step in ensuring that FM best practice plays a part in the response to Hackitt.”

BIFM chief executive officer, Linda Hausmanis, said: “We are fully behind Dame Judith’s proposals to strengthen competencies in building management and across the wider construction and built environment professions. As the leading professional body for facilities management, I am keen to ensure that BIFM leads the way in setting and upholding fire and system related professional competencies for facilities managers; and that the institute contributes fully in ensuring coherence across the piece.”