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Hot Topic Highlight – RICS Global Code of Practice Procurement of Facility Management 1st Edition

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

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What is this week's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we look at the new RICS Global Code of Practice Procurement of Facility Management 1st Edition.

This is essential reading for candidates on the Facilities Management (FM) pathway, as well as candidates on other pathways involved in the provision of FM services.

You can download a copy of the Code of Practice here.

When was the new Code of Practice effective from?

The new Code of Practice was effective from January 2021.

How does it relate to other RICS guidance?

The new Code of Practice supersedes the former RICS UK Professional Statement Procurement of Facility Management.

It should be read alongside the RICS Global Guidance Note Strategic FM Framework 1st Edition and RICS Professional Statement Service Charges in Commercial Property 1st Edition, if relevant. As such, the Code of Practice does not discuss FM strategy or the outsourcing of FM services.

What is the aim of the new Code of Practice?

The new Code of Practice aims to help FM professionals to:

  • Select appropriate procurement routes

  • Consider factors in delivering effective FM procurement processes, leading to successful contracts and outcomes for both the client and supplier

Who is the Code of Practice aimed at?

The Code of Practice is aimed at professionals in the public and private sectors involved in the procurement of FM services, such as property managers, estates directors, heads of FM, consultants and in-house FM teams.

What do FM services include?

FM services may include repairs and maintenance, minor works, grounds maintenance, cleaning, catering, security, mail room, pest control, health & safety, project management, building management, energy management, workplace management and reprographics.

How is the Code of Practice structured?

  • Section 1 – Introduction

  • Section 2 – Key principles

  • Section 3 – Planning

  • Section 4 – Procurement

  • Section 5 - Post-procurement

What is procurement?

Procurement relates to ‘selecting a service provider that is best able to deliver the services required’. These should be provided for a defined term, at an acceptable cost and on optimal commercial and legal terms for both parties, whilst working towards improved quality and service levels.

Successful procurement is contingent on diligent planning and developing clear strategic objectives (in line with the RICS Global Guidance Note Strategic FM Framework 1st Edition).

It is a key stage within the wider scope of developing a successful working relationship between the supplier and the client (defined as RICS as the Demand Organisation).

What does successful procurement look like?

Successful procurement includes:

  • Being open to challenge and market insight

  • Having a clear understanding of strategic requirements, organisational culture, the subject property portfolio, individual assets and FM services required

  • Having a defined budget, timescales and quality levels

  • Being aligned to in-house delivery and contract management functions

What are the key principles (Section 1) for the procurement of FM services?

These are defined by RICS as:

  1. ‘There should be a defined, detailed scope of the services being procured, defining what is and is not included.

  2. The DO should state clear objectives for the procurement project and the subsequent operations.

  3. The DO should provide bidders with enough data and information to allow them to respond with robust proposals.

  4. The evaluation criteria should reflect the DO’s objectives.

  5. The DO should develop a pricing structure stating what services and costs are included, what is excluded and how changes will be calculated and agreed.

  6. There should be specific and reasonable timescales for the procurement process.

  7. The DO should detail a payment mechanism and commercial terms that are transparent and fair.

  8. All parties are required to comply with relevant legislation and rules that apply in the territories where services will be provided, e.g. data protection’.

What does diligent planning (Section 2) include?

Diligent planning of FM services is essential after obtaining internal approval and before starting the procurement process.

The following factors should be considered in the planning process:

  • Strategic factors

  • Scope of services

  • Baseline costs and services

  • Vision

  • Organisational strategy

  • Business case

  • Stakeholder communication

  • Ethics

  • Project governance

  • Project reporting

  • Team and individual roles, e.g. project sponsor, technical lead, financial lead, HR lead and IT lead

  • Data

  • Objectives

  • Market analysis and trends

  • Identification of potential bidders

  • Soft market testing

  • Confidentiality

  • Written brief

  • Transparency, bribery and corruption

  • Procurement strategy, including route to market and project plan

  • Identification of risks

  • Communication plan

  • Submission requirements for bidders

  • Evaluation methodology

What factors should be considered in the procurement process (Section 4)?

To allow bidders to accurately price for services, the following should be set out:

  • Detailed scope of services

  • Service specifications

  • Pricing types, e.g. fixed, variable, guaranteed maximum price, cost plus, pass through, risk-based pricing

  • Subcontractor commercial terms

  • Limits of liability

  • Insurance requirements

  • Indexation

  • Continuous improvement

  • Gainshare mechanisms and other incentives

  • Performance mechanism, e.g. Service Levels, Key Performance Indicators and consequences of failure

  • Value testing and benchmarking

  • Variation and change control

  • Forms of contract

  • Contract duration

  • Dispute resolution

  • Exit and term provisions

The procurement process is likely to include a number of stages, including:

  • Bidder selection, perhaps using a Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) or Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)

  • Invitation to tender for the selected bidders

  • Tender documentation issued in the form of a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation to Tender (ITT)

  • Stages to downselect bidders with realistic timescales

  • Bidder questions and responses

  • Site visits, if appropriate

  • Final presentations

  • Evaluation

  • Dialogue and negotiation

  • Contract award

  • Feedback to unsuccessful bidders

  • Mobilisation

  • Reporting

  • Service commencement

  • Transition

  • Transformation

What happens post-procurement (Section 5)?

Post-procurement, robust contract management procedures should be implemented to ensure that the services are delivered optimally. Ways to achieve this, include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a single point of contract

  • Carrying out joint inspections

  • Regular face-to-face meetings to build good relationships

  • Analysing data to identify problem areas

  • Regular dashboard reporting

  • Having shared objectives

  • Focusing on a customer service ethos

How can we help?

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you.

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.


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