Frequently asked questions

Facility management (FM): A profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology; or Effective management of place and space, integrating an organization’s support infrastructure to deliver services to staff and customers at best value whilst enhancing overall organizational performance.

Why has RICS chosen to collaborate with IFMA?

The strengths of IFMA with its 24,000 members operating in the FM sector and portfolio of FM training, conferences, knowledge and resources provide a global value proposition that complements the RICS offer in the wider built environment to benefit the FM community worldwide. By extending its global reach in FM, RICS can support the establishment of FM as an attractive career option globally for the next generation and together with IFMA can provide a career path to drive best practices across the world.

IFMA’s FM expertise supports RICS’ vision to expand thought leadership in the FM space, and by gaining greater depth in FM, fulfill its life cycle approach to meeting occupier needs and drive greater value from real estate. An increased number of professionals carrying the dual IFMA and RICS qualifications including AssocRICS will not only advance the FM profession but offers clients a greater pool of trusted, qualified and regulated FM professionals.

Why has IFMA chosen to collaborate with RICS?

Among IFMA’s priorities is advancing the visibility and prominence of the profession to maintain relevancy in the future of the facility management industry. However, there are more than 40 different FM organizations around the globe that all have different standards, credentials and training. IFMA looked at RICS as a global professional body that promotes and enforces the highest professional standards across the built environment.

Leveraging RICS’ focus on standards serves a unique fit for IFMA. Through alignment of standards and professional development, IFMA and RICS are uniting the global FM community and solving the problem of fragmentation in the FM community. The aim is to increase consistency and unification of strategy across the life cycle of the built environment, helping facility managers get a seat at the table earlier and more often.

Standardizing the profession will help increase its global professionalism and raise awareness of an industry that has often been misunderstood. It will also create more pervasive recognition of facility management as a career of choice. With offices in 42 cities around the world, RICS also provides collaborative value to IFMA in bringing a much broader reach for support of members globally.

Why is this collaboration significant?

The dynamic collaboration of IFMA and RICS is the most significant evolution in the history of facility management, providing an unprecedented level of industry support to meet the growing demands of the 25 million FM practitioners around the world.

The aim of integrating FM into the wider land, construction, real estate and infrastructure family is to:

  • Improve the overall quality of built environment
  • Optimize space utilization and reduce building operating expenses
  • Enhance productivity of building occupants
  • Conserve resources to contribute to efficiency and sustainability goals
  • Create new pathways for entry into the FM profession.

What does this collaboration entail?

Both organizations are collaborating under mutual commitment and are sharing knowledge and resources in areas such as research, conferences and events, and external relations. IFMA and RICS are also collaborating to offer a suite of professional qualifications in facility management, providing global recognition opportunities for FMs of all educational backgrounds, skills, work experiences and career goals. In addition, the collaboration is working to standardize the practice of facility management around the world through consist definitions and processes to maximize compatibility, safety, efficiency and quality.

These efforts serve to raise the profile of FM, giving increased voice and status to the profession to shape the future of the built environment and enable business success.

How does an RICS qualification differ from IFMA membership?

To join RICS, professionals must qualify for RICS status by attaining a qualification. Chartered status (MRICS) is awarded to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a relevant bachelor’s-level qualification and/or an RICS-recognized professional designation, or have at least 10 years of relevant experience (those with master’s degrees may only need five years)
  • Agree to be accountable to a strict code of conduct
  • Most candidates complete written submissions and a final assessment interview to communicate professional and technical competence
  • Complete and report 20 hours of verified continuing professional development (CPD) per year.

Certified Facility Manager® (CFM®) credential holders are eligible for direct entry to the AssocRICS qualification with no assessment required upon successful completion of an ethics test. Find out more at rics.org/fmcredentials.

To join IFMA, individuals must submit a membership application and support IFMA’s purposes, vision, mission, goals, core values and code of ethics. Members may include current, former and future practitioners of FM, as well as educators and providers of related goods and services.

Does the collaboration change IFMA and RICS fees?

No — the collaboration does not impact IFMA’s existing dues structure or RICS fees.

How does this collaboration impact members of IFMA and RICS professionals?

IFMA and RICS continue to operate as independent entities. Qualification and membership requirements have not changed as a result of the collaboration.

RICS professionals with a stated interest in the FM sector automatically gain IFMA membership in addition to their RICS qualification and begin receiving full IFMA member benefits. In general, IFMA members and credential holders gain:

  • Access to an expanded professional network
  • Increased support and representation outside of North America
  • Heightened status and recognition as market awareness expands
  • Greater audience and influence across built environment community
  • Opportunity to leverage RICS global infrastructure for joint efforts to advance FM

Members of IFMA will not become RICS professionals unless they fulfill the RICS qualification requirements and apply for admission (see note on direct entry for CFMs under How does an RICS qualification differ from IFMA membership?).

What does this mean for other industry organizations?

The goal of this collaboration is to create a less fragmented, more inclusive global facility management community. All organizations with an interest in supporting the health of the built environment are invited to work through the IFMA-RICS collaboration to help foster a robust professional FM knowledge-sharing network worldwide.