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The FM skills gap is real–and there are ways to bridge the deficit

by Eileen McMorrow

The responsibilities of facility managers have been growing and evolving rapidly. Based on the global study, the 2022 FM Training Outlook Survey, the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI) explored the need for FM training and credentials from both the management and staff points of view.

When it comes to addressing the FM skills gap, ProFMI identified 24 cross-functional competencies and FM knowledge areas required of FMs today. Many of these skills can be developed over time with on-the-job experience, but as the need for job-ready FMs grows, time is a limiting factor. Benchmarking existing knowledge and filling the gaps with training is an efficient path to a skilled workforce.

Identifying required FM skills is the first step
  • 49% of employers have a formal definition of the FM knowledge and skills required for their FM team or department.
  • 55% of FM managers identified compliance and standards as a training priority for their staff.
  • 36% of FM staff identified project management as a top training priority for themselves.
Training priorities vary for FM managers and staff

Managers were asked to identify areas where their teams could benefit from training and areas where they themselves
needed training. Staff were asked to identify their own training needs. Here are their ranked top priorities:

  • FM managers identify compliance and standards, strategic planning, project
    management, capital planning and environmental health and safety training as priorities for themselves.
  • FM managers say their team’s top training needs are compliance and standards,
    leadership skills, and emergency management, project management and strategic planning/communication.
  • FM staff say their top training needs are project management, emergency management,
    capital planning, utility management, and strategic planning.

The most efficient way to deliver training is to understand what knowledge and skill gaps exist. Facility managers who have a clear picture of their existing skill sets are more in tune with where FM training is needed. Self- and team-assessments are an ideal way to uncover strengths and set a benchmark for development. While nothing replaces experience, training gives FMs at all levels access to global best practices and a solid foundation for facing new situations.

The latest ProFMI survey was conducted in February and March of 2022 to identify FM workforce trends, determine the current need for FM training and credentials, and gauge how sentiments may have shifted over time. Respondents included readers of Building Operating Management (BOM), fnPrime, The McMorrow Reports, FMLink, the Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE) and the NPFMA.