The only official magazine of The Cleaning Show

BIFM qualifications: what happened in 2011?

Published 17th January, 2012 by Neil Nixon

BIFM qualifications: what happened in 2011?

In the last 12 months the BIFM qualifications in facilities management have really started to come into their own and establish themselves within the FM sector. The qualifications were only accredited onto the Qualifications & Credit Framework back in March 2010, and represented a big step forward from their predecessors. For example, did you know BIFM qualifications:

• were devised by FM professionals, for the FM profession?
• have assessments which are all practical and work based?
• are built up from a combination of mandatory and optional units?
• come in three sizes (award, certificate, diploma) at levels 4, 5 and 6?
• are open to all FM professionals - not just BIFM members?

2011 was the first full year of the qualifications being available, and it was a very successful 12 months, with key highlights including:

• a 200% growth in the number of recognised centres (now 15 centres in the UK) and more becoming available in 2012.
• the first international centre (Portobello Institute in Ireland).
• the first further education college: Westminster Kingsway College.
• the first university: Leeds Metropolitan.
• the first university which offers dual awards: Sheffield Hallam.
• a 143% increase in the number of learner registrations (485 to date).

Valerie Everitt, director of education and professional standards at BIFM, said: “The strides made in 2011 are a testament to the quality of the institute’s qualifications, and shows they met industry needs. It took a lot of planning and consultation within the profession to develop the qualifications. 2010 was very much a foundation year and we recognised that there would be a period of transition to the style of qualifications. We will now build on the momentum from 2011 and carry this through into 2012.”

The outlook for qualifications in 2012 is already looking positive if the results from the BIFM 2011 membership survey are used as a benchmark. The survey (from July 2011) shows that 21% of respondents are considering undertaking a BIFM qualification in the future whilst 35% of respondents are ‘perhaps’ considering undertaking a BIFM qualification in the future. Furthermore there is certainly a need for qualifications. A 2011 Asset Skills survey found 29% of FM companies said they wanted to move into new areas of work but only 42% were confident their staff had the necessary knowledge and skills to do so.

BIFM qualifications in facilities management can help organisations fill this skills gap and enhance performance with highly motivated teams.

BIFM qualifications will continue to evolve in 2012. The institute is hoping to launch Level 7 qualifications, which have been developed with a higher education institute and employers, in the autumn of 2012.

Article links