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What is a Certified Facility Manager?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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A certified facility manager is someone who has gained a certification in various aspects of maintaining a commercial or industrial facility. The process for getting this certification is handled by the International Facility Management Association. The IFMA establishes specific criteria and paperwork for completing the certification process at its web site.

A certified facility manager gets tested in skills related to different areas of facility maintenance including HVAC, general utilities, groundskeeping and security, as well as other aspects of keeping a property clean, safe and secure. Although many of these areas rely on a combination of skilled trade work and manual labor, some of them have become more automated in recent years. A facility manager may learn about using software to administrate in conjunction with knowledge of more manual technologies for HVAC, electrical wiring, and more. For this, a modern certified facility manager may rely on the foundation of a relevant BA or similar degree, where the same kinds of job roles in decades past relied much more on practical job experience.

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As the practical head of support services, the certified facilities manager is a go-to person for issues related to the functional maintenance of the property. The certified facility manager and the staff working on facility management are part of what is often called “support services.” This illustrates that working on groundskeeping, HVAC, lighting systems or plumbing does not relate to the “core business” of facility owners, but to supporting that core business through solid property maintenance, both to facilitate work being done in the buildings, and to safeguard the business investment in property.

Issues relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)is one of the greatest responsibilities of a certified facilities manager, since facilities are often workplaces. The facility manager will also generally work on issues related to safety and environmental controls. Knowing about compliance with safety law is usually part of the job of a certified facility manager.

The facility manager certification, as pointed out by the IFMA, helps to support the credentials of a professional in this field. In a competitive environment, a certified facility manager qualification can make the difference in landing a job. The process for getting the certification is not extremely time intensive. Individuals can learn more by reading up on resources from the IFMA on what it takes to become a certified facility manager.

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