By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
Every major profession has organizations and societies to govern it—even up-and-coming ones like facilities management. There are no shortage of facilities management professional organizations for FMs to align themselves with, and even more reasons to do so. These organizations do everything from issue guidance on industry best practices, to host learning events. They’re resources for information, clarification, education, and networking.
Whether you’re an established FM professional or on-track to become one, facilities management resources offer the resources necessary to excel in this field. You’ll find them in several places. Below are some of the most important and essential facility management organizations, ordered by their stewardship of the industry.
International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
A stalwart among facilities management associations, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) sets most industry precedents for training, education, and action. IFMA has an extensive professional development curriculum and a robust community network around the globe. It sponsors numerous annual events to help professionals stay on the cutting edge of a growing industry. IFMA also puts out regular publications, including a magazine, newsletters, briefs, case studies, press releases, and books. The organization’s mission is simply about empowering facility professionals worldwide.
Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)
An organization specific to the United Kingdom, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) mirrors much of the stewardship laid down by IFMA. IWFM is a spectacular resource for data and insights derived from surveys, polls, and studied—all unbiased and commissioned by the organization. Members receive access to newsworthy information about industry trends and shifts, as well as access to special events. Like IFMA, IWFM also provides continuing education and certification opportunities for U.K. facility professionals.
Global Facility Management Association (Global FM)
The mission of the Global Facility Management Association (Global FM) is to work as a single united team with FM organizations around the world to advocate the betterment of the FM profession. The organization hosts a number of global events to bring facility professionals together, where many industry trends also come to light. Global FM advocates generally for the profession and coordinates with other organizations around the globe, including IFMA and IWFM. Global FM promotes excellence within the industry by offering awards to FMs who exhibit excellence.
Facilities Management Institute (FMI)
The Facilities Management Institute (FMI) is the only government-affiliated organization on this list—it’s linked with the U.S. General Services Admission (GSA). The FMI governs the evolving criteria for the facilities management career track. Its mission is to promote and accelerate the development of the facilities management profession across both public and private sectors. It’s an organization focused primarily on training and education in a traditional sense.
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) goes beyond facilities management specifically, and instead focuses on the many different facets of commercial real estate (CRE). Many facility managers turn to BOMA for insights and education on macro trends that relate to CRE, to inform them of how these changes may affect facilities management. BOMA is the de-facto resource for education and information about the Internet of Things (IoT) and other digital building concepts. BOMA’s broad range of members and followers makes it easy for professionals to see examples of facilities management in peripheral industries or by fellow industry experts.
Industry-Specific and Other Organizations
The beauty of facilities management is its diversity. Facility management of a hospital, tech startup, and engineering facility are incredibly different, but the premise remains the same. To that end, there are industry-specific organizations and other groups to support each sector and segment of the market. Below are some of the most prominent, however this is by no means a complete list.
- Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)
- Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA)
- International Association of Museum Facility Administrators (IAMFA)
- National Association of Church Facilities Managers (NACFM)
- Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA)
- Association of Asset Management Professionals (AAMP)
- The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP)
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- Campus FM Technology Association (CFTA)
Even beyond these many examples, new industry voices emerge every year—including major universities and continuing education outlets. As a professional, make sure to follow these organizations and stay abreast of developments in this fast-evolving field.
Professionals who track industry trends and stay informed about impending changes to facility management best practices position themselves and their companies for success. Facility management has evolved tremendously over the past decade and will likely continue this evolution in the next 10 years. Are you in a position to keep abreast of the changes? If you’re a member of one or more of these organizations, the answer is probably yes.
Keep reading: Facility Management Software Buyers Guide.