Certified Facility Management: managing spaces and services from a business perspective

Managing work spaces, buildings and related services, to ensure the optimal operation and use of facilities and physical spaces by workers, is an increasing need for organizations, looking for tools and professionals who are also able to pursue the company’s core business within the budget.

In a time of home working and smart working, co-working places and shared workplaces, where work seems to aspire to overcome the physical dimension of a dedicated and personal work space, the challenge of the contemporary company is Facility Management, which today finds a new efficiency tool in the accredited certification according to the international standard UNI EN ISO 41001.

The Facility Management discipline was born in the 1970s in the USA, with the aim of containing the costs of managing real estate assets and maintaining their value, by handling the organization of plant maintenance and planning related activities, from cleaning services to collective catering, to green maintenance. But it is in the last few decades that the real estate management sector has recorded an important growth in the volume of business of outsourced services.

An expanding market, looking for solutions to harmonize the practices and technologies required by modern building management, to which the voluntary technical regulation responded, with the definition of compliance requirements for organizations interested in exploiting the advantages of this new discipline.

The topics of Facility Management have been addressed nationally, with UNI 11447:2012 “Urban facility management services – Guidelines for setting up and planning contracts” and with UNI 11136:2004 “Global service for the maintenance of real estate assets – Guidelines”, and internationally, with the publication of the EN 15221 series by CEN, the European Standardization Committee. Finally, with the definition introduced by the ISO 41011:2017 standard “Facility Management”, implemented by UNI in 2018, the priority goal of the Facility Management activity emerged: “to improve the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business of the company”.


Accredited certification

Given the fundamental need to manage the relationship between the built environment and the well-being of people living there, organizations can now verify the compliance of their management system for Facility Management with the requirements of the UNI EN ISO 14001:2018 standard and obtain certification from an accredited body. A tool that enables to assess productivity not only in terms of effectiveness of primary activities, but also to guarantee spaces and buildings that are always adapted to the needs of workers, within the budget.

All public and private organizations of any type, size, nature and geographic location that want to develop a system capable of effectively managing the facilities at a strategic, tactical and operational level can apply for accredited certification of Facility Management services.

The certification is issued by the bodies accredited according to the UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17021 standard which certify the organization’s compliance with the requirements of UNI EN ISO 41001 and its ability to develop an efficient strategic, analytical and operational management of the facilities, regarding a wide range of activities, from environmental to financial matters, from work spaces to tenders, to construction services.


Benefits for organizations

Many are the benefits of this certification for organizations providing Facility Management services, in terms of budget and efficiency, environment and sustainability.

In detail, with an effective management system, the organization will be able to improve:

  • workforce productivity, safety and health and well-being;
  • communication of requirements and methodologies among and between public and private sector organizations;
  • efficiency and effectiveness, thus improving cost benefits;
  • service consistency;
  • sustainability, helping to reduce the negative environmental impact;
  • identity and image.

A continuous improvement, therefore, with an eye to customer satisfaction that can count on the professionalism and competence of the supplier attested by the certification accredited according to UNI EN ISO 41001.