Of the many ISO certifications that exist, one, in particular, affects the facility management (FM) sector. Since 2018, ISO 41001:2018 provides a framework for developing, implementing and maintaining effective facility management. In this article, we review how it can benefit your facilities.
What is ISO 41001?
Like any other ISO standard, ISO 41001 was published by the International Standard Organization.
By implementing the ISO 41001 standard, the organisation places its focus on building management, more commonly known as facility management. ISO 41001 was implemented to establish the requirements a facility management system must meet in organisations whose specific goals are to:
- demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of facility management and its contribution to the organisation’s goals,
- pursue consistency in defining the requirements and needs of all the parties involved in the facility management process and
- become sustainable in a highly competitive environment.
It is important to note that ISO 41001 works like other standards that we have already discussed in this article on ISO Certifications.
Therefore, the implementation of this norm is not mandatory. A standard is a document that provides a set of requirements, specifications and characteristics that can be used to guarantee that materials, products and processes are adequate for reaching a series of objectives. On the other hand, this not will not describe how to work step by step.
In the case of ISO 41001, these requirements are not sector-specific. Indeed, standards are designed for all types of organisations (public or private).
Why implement this ISO norm for Facility Management processes?
In addition to the fact that facility management is an activity that exists in all companies, the organisation put a lot of work into this standard, given the importance of the sector to many economies:
- In the USA, outsourced facility management services will represent one trillion dollars in 2025 (source).
- In the UK, the facility management sector accounts for 8% of the GDP (source).
Facility Management is a booming sector, and growth is expected to be rapid and continuous. The economic factor is not the sole indicator of the importance of facility management, as the future of work lies in the experience of the employee in the company.
Working in a badly managed building or one with high greenhouse gas emissions are factors that employees now perceive as negative when deciding whether to accept a job or not. That is why facility management exists.
The ISO 41001 standard is a must-have for Facility Managers
Facility management is becoming more and more complex. Therefore, dealing with multiple processes of different types is easier if one uses a standard.
In addition, ISO standards are labels that a company can proudly display. Compliance with ISO 41001 can result in a considerable increase in the visibility of the facility management company’s brand. In the same way, it can increase the visibility of the company’s departments that are focusing their efforts on other matters.
So…what are the important external influences that determine the need to get the ISO 41001 certification?
First, legislation related to sustainability, energy and emissions is getting increasingly strict. Thus, having an ISO in place usually helps facilitate compliance, because as a company you can:
- prove you have a complete, coherent process underway,
- establish clear, precise performance indicators and
- create reports to ensure that the organisation is up to date. This is useful as it makes it easier to provide reports to regulators when they request them.
Another important benefit of implementing ISO 41001 for a facility manager is the reduction of risk. Standards reduce the possibility of human error. Thus, if fewer errors are made, productivity will increases, as there will be rarer work stoppages.
Lastly, as already mentioned, there are genuine business reasons for implementing ISO 41001:
- Facility management companies:
- It sets you apart from the rest, giving you an undeniable competitive advantage and allowing you to win new clients.
- You give value to your clients, with a common framework within which to define requirements and goals.
- Facility management departments:
- It enables the department’s performance to be evaluated in an aseptic, objective and honest way.
- It makes the work of the department visible to the rest of the company.
- It increases productivity.
ISO 50001 for Facility Managers
One of the most time-consuming tasks is energy management. Why is this? Because it involves technical knowledge (the ability to “speak” in kWh, for example) and the constant examination of installations to check their operation, among other things
For this reason, implementing ISO 50001 may help facilitate this task for facility managers. ISO 50001 has the same objective as ISO 41001 but is applied to energy. In other words, it establishes requirements and directives for implementing energy management systems throughout the organisation. Click here or on the picture to download our free guide.