Facilities management is a critical, strategic business discipline. Organisations increasingly occupy complex buildings and use sophisticated technology for communications and control. Professional FM is needed to plan, maintain and manage these facilities. It is part of the drive to meet the higher demands of organisations and individuals. Whether as employees, customers, students or patients, people have higher expectations of their living, working and leisure environments.

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It can help organisations respond to cost pressures or the need for greater security. Beyond buildings, it can enable remote working. Today facilities managers today are expected to understand their company’s core business and contribute to the bottom line—not only by reducing operating costs, but also by improving the productivity, revenue generating capacity and image of the entire organisation.

Facilities management professionals, and the membership organisations supporting them nationally and internationally are good stewards of the earth’s limited resources. They engage best practices in sustainability whenever possible to ensure operations are energy efficient, environmentally sound and promote the wellbeing of occupants. They also help preserve natural resources, work to limit organisational footprints and prefer doing business with other similarly responsible organisations. At its best it is a real differentiator and in the commercial sphere can provide a competitive advantage.

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Facility or facilities?
FM is generally interpreted as ‘facility management’ in the US, Australia and some other territories. In the UK and across much of Europe the term ‘facilities management’ is used. Both are used across the Global FM website, as content is contributed from many countries and sources. The difference is largely historical and not especially significant. However, ‘facility management’ tends to mean the management of a ‘facility’, for example a hospital or office complex, whereas ‘facilities management’ refers to a broader range of activities.

See the FM definitions below according to our member organisations:


Facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology. IFMA conducts a global job task analysis to identify the tasks and work activities needed to competently perform the FM role by interviewing FM professionals from around the world. The core competencies are:

  • Communication
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability
  • Finance and Business
  • Occupancy and Human Factors
  • Leadership and Strategy
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Project Management
  • Performance and Quality
  • Real Estate
  • Facility Information Management and Technology Management


The Institute of Workplace & Facilities Management (IWFM) is the professional body for facilities management (FM) in the UK. Founded in 1993, we promote excellence in facilities management for the benefit of practitioners, the economy and society. Supporting and representing over 15,000 members around the world, both individual FM professionals and organisations, and thousands more through qualifications and training.

We promote and embed professional standards in facilities management. Committed to advancing the facilities management profession we provide a suite of membership, qualifications, training and networking services designed to support facilities management practitioners in performing to the best of their ability.

“To alleviate the issues caused by numerous different local and international definitions of facilities management, FMA Australia is currently working with Standards Australia, the International Standards Organisation, along with our members and international partner organisations to create a single definition (or consistent series thereof) which will effectively communicate the profession and industry to informed and uninformed stakeholders alike.”