RICS and IFMA launch Procurement of Facilities Management statement to address “race to the bottom”

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has today launched its first professional statement to ‘reduce risk, increase transparency and further trust’ in procurement in facilities management. The RICS Procurement of facility management, RICS professional statement, UK 1st edition, was worked on in collaboration with IMFA, and also the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). RICS says it will be looking to make this a global professional statement in due course. All RICS regulated professionals (mandatory from the 1 October 2018) will be expected to follow this guidance, but according to RICS, adoption of the framework would be competitively beneficial for all property professionals involved in the procurement of FM services, including those acting for landlords and occupiers, FM suppliers procuring services from sub-contractors and investors and public and private occupier organisations.

The statement was developed to address the issues in the highly competitive FM Procurement market, which in worst case scenarios can be engaged in a race to the bottom, according to RICS. Prior to the new professional statement, RICS FM Professionals would have followed the RICS Rules of Conduct – regarding the competence and conduct of members / regulated firms in this area.

Paul Bagust, global property standards director at RICS, argues that there should be consequences if professionals do not introduce and implement standards aimed at enhancing professional standards: “Discussions about transparency, ethics and responsible business need to be built on a foundation of standards and regulations. We need more standards to ensure that there is clarity in what people will deliver, so the supply chain can better understand what it is buying and selling, and what people will receive. This has held us back as a profession. We urge Government and all organisations to adopt and follow this statement in conjunction with complimentary practices they already have in place, such as the social value act. By demonstrably following good practice, and stating to suppliers that you as a buyer adhere to the RICS guidance, will provide transparency, standards, and improve public confidence.”

Derrick Tate, PwC Corporate Finance comments: “It has been a privilege to author the professional statement that forms a framework of simple straightforward must-do’s. Together with the guidance notes covering planning, the procurement process and post-procurement activities, they will make a valuable contribution to raising standards. Professionals should focus on investing time and energy in planning, running a fair and transparent process and putting themselves in the bidder’s shoes – think about what they need to do and what information they need in order to deliver the benefits that you require.”

Kath Fontana FRICS, Managing Director, ISS Technical Services. RICS Senior Vice President Elect. “I am delighted that the professional statement of FM procurement has been launched. RICS are the first organisation to produce a statement like this for their professionals. Effective and ethical procurement is a fundamental foundation for facilities management excellence, and recent market events show that this is more needed than ever. This new statement provides clients and suppliers with the platform to manage risk and opportunity consistently and professionally. Ultimately this will enable all to focus on delivering great service, compliance, transparency and value for money.”