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Ultimate Guide To Compliance In Facilities Management

Table of Contents
  1. Benefits Of Compliance
  2. Statutory Compliance
  3. Compliance With Legislation
  4. Building Maintenance Legislation You Must Comply With
  5. Understanding Your Compliance Responsibilities
  6. Building Safety Act ‘Accountable Persons’
  7. The Duty To Ensure Compliance
  8. What Compliance Means For Individuals
  9. What Compliance Means For Organisations
  10. The Building Safety Regulator
  11. The Golden Thread Of Information
  12. Creating A Golden Thread Of Information
  13. Greatest Compliance Risks
  14. The Consequences Of Non-Compliance
  15. Facilities Management Strategies To Achieve Compliance
  16. Building Your Maintenance Strategy
  17. Establishing A Solid Foundation To Achieve Compliance
  18. The Future Of FM Compliance
  19. Facility Management Compliance Tools
  20. Benefits Of Using SFG20 And Facilities-iQ

Facilities Management can be a maze, especially when you are balancing compliance with competing strategic priorities in your business. 

It’s no longer about fixing what’s broken, it’s about playing a strategic role in the success story of your business. From driving energy savings to ensuring your buildings are safe and legal and optimising productivity, facilities management is stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight. 

But what specifically is facilities management (FM)? 

Facilities Management is ensuring the environment people interact with is functional, comfortable, and safe. This encompasses the buildings people live and work in, and ensures spaces are safe, clean, and secure to aspects of sustainability, efficiency, and functionality. 

SFG20 help turn the complexities of FM into your strategic advantage. With 30 years’ experience helping 2500+ customers manage their maintenance, SFG20 is the industry standard for building maintenance. 

The most important thing in FM is compliance. If a building is not compliant, it is not safe and there is significant risk to building owners and everyone occupying the building. Without following the SFG20 standard, the scope for a drastic failure increases exponentially. 

Throughout this ultimate guide to compliance in FM, you will uncover the importance of facilities maintenance in today’s world, and how to comply with the ever-evolving legislation and best practice.

By the end of the guide, you will have obtained the insights required to truly understand how to manage your facilities to make them fit for purpose, compliant, and thriving in today’s landscape.

Get ready for a journey that turns your FM challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

 

 

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Benefits Of Compliance

Compliance is a hot topic right now in maintenance, not just because it’s important to comply, but because of high profile incidents such as Grenfell Tower that have driven public attention to the construction, handover, and maintenance of buildings. 

Non-compliance is not just a legal piece, but a reputational issue that has to stand up in the court of public opinion.

There is nowhere to hide – it has never been more important to understand your responsibility for building maintenance. 

The great thing is that compliance comes with many benefits: 

  • Ensures a safe environment for building occupants: all building owners have the obligation to keep their tenants safe. Ensuring assets are appropriately maintained in line with legislation reduces risk of safety incidents in the building. Man-carrying-out-maintenance
  • Builds trust: For the occupants of the building, whether they are employees, tenants or actually your employers, the ability to demonstrate compliance by the FM provider allows the creation and building of trust between the parties that safety is paramount.  This helps industrial relations and business relationships and that just makes good business sense. 
  • Builds confidence: on top of trust, compliance can help build confidence within the occupants of the building that the building is being maintained to ensure they have a high-quality indoor environment that supports their endeavours and makes them efficient and more productive. The use of an internationally recognised, industry recognised tool that helps manage and monitor compliance provides a high degree of assurance to build that trust and confidence. 
  • Prevents sanctions: the obvious benefit is avoiding sanctions which would otherwise come with significant cost implications and reputational damage to your organisation. Non-compliance with just one element of maintenance can result in fines or legal penalties. 
  • Reduces costs: maintaining assets properly can maximise the lifecycle of the asset. It reduces the risk of a catastrophic failure which can cause significant second order damage. This often means fewer ‘fix on fail’ costs which over time will result in savings for your organisation. 
  • Visibility of statutory tasks: by having visibility of your statutory tasks from an operational point of view, you can focus your resource where it is most needed. This makes it possible to take a risk based approach for non-statutory tasks. 
  • Enables you to better understand your assets: to comply with legislation you are required to document maintenance of assets at all stages of a building lifecycle. By doing this you understand your assets better and can apply site specific knowledge to your maintenance strategy. 

To achieve compliance, you must navigate the complex web of legal and regulatory requirements that govern your industry and the wider sector, and ensure that people with the right skillset, knowledge and attitude carry out maintenance tasks. 

The successful completion of statutory tasks enables building owners and managers to achieve compliance with the primary and secondary legislation.

A significant focus in recent years has been on fire safety but there are equally strict laws covering other aspects of maintenance such as air quality, water quality, electrical safety, sanitation, and environmental control. These laws all have an impact on the day-to-day management and operation of building services. 

 

Statutory Compliance

“Statutory” compliance in the context of facilities management is anything required by primary legislation such as Acts of Parliament and secondary legislation such as Statutory Instruments (including regulations). 

When working to achieve statutory compliance, primary and secondary legislation often focuses on general outcomes rather than prescribing specific activities.

The specific activities required to meet statutory compliance may, therefore, be included in government guidance and Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) published by agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or other industry standards and/or guidance (BSI standards, publications by trade associations and professional bodies, etc). 

In the absence of a traceable reference to legislation, following industry standards and/or guidance may assist in discharging duties under the statutory requirements. 

 

Compliance With Legislation Building-worker-colleagues-talking

A number of parliamentary acts give the general outcomes that you need to carry out to ensure compliance.

Compliance with legislation is primarily about making sure a building is safe for the occupants, a secondary aspect is protecting the property from risk and foreseeable issues.

Although legislation is what you need to comply with, it doesn’t always spell out the specific tasks that you need to complete when carrying out maintenance. 

The legal framework for building maintenance encompasses a broad range of regulations, standards, and guidelines. These can include national legislation, local building codes, industry standards such as SFG20, and even internal policies set by your organisation.

Understanding this framework is crucial for facilities management professionals, as it sets the baseline for what is required to achieve compliance. 

There is a four-step process to go through to take legislation and make an interpretation to know what maintenance tasks to carry out.

Here's how the SFG20 technical authoring team use this process to develop maintenance schedules:

 

Primary Legislation 

The first step is to take information from the primary legislation. These are the specific acts passed by Parliament, for example the Building Safety Act 2022, or the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Primary legislation focuses on general outcomes such as building owners making sure a building is safe.

If you just look at primary legislation, you won’t have a specific outline of tasks that need to be carried out to ensure compliance. 

 

Secondary Legislation 

The second step is to look through secondary legislation which will provide the next level of detail. Secondary legislation is law created by Ministries (or other bodies) under powers given to them by an Act of Parliament. It is used to fill in the details of Acts (primary legislation).

These details provide practical measures that enable the law to be enforced and operate in daily life, such as ensuring an asset is regularly inspected.

This includes regulations such as the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, or the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022. Secondary legislation can be used to set the date for when provisions of an Act will come into effect as law, or to amend existing laws.  

 

Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) 

The next step is to look at Approved Codes of Practice which are generally written by industry experts. For example: The Provision of Premises Information Boxes in Residential Buildings which had been a recommended Code of Practice by the National Fire Chief Council since 2020. 

However, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 made it an Approved Code of Practice and therefore a legal requirement for existing high-rise residential buildings in England to have a secure information box installed on the premises from 23 January 2023: Or HSE Guidance HSR25 - The Electricity at Work Regulations, which highlights what can be done by duty holders to achieve electrical safety compliance with the duties imposed by the Regulations.

Approved Codes of Practice include step-by-step procedures that you can implement on site when carrying out maintenance. 

 

Industry Standards 

Everything from primary legislation to Approved Codes of Practice are distilled into maintenance schedules. These schedules make up the industry standard for building maintenance which is called SFG20. SFG20 gives you the information required to carry out your maintenance tasks, including what tasks to complete, task frequency, and task criticality. 

SFG20's schedules also help you allocate resources effectively and match tasks with appropriately skilled personnel. Content can be tailored to suit your site-specific needs and can be integrated with FM systems such as CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) software for maximum work efficiency.

If you are reading this guide and wishing you could just click a button and have all your compliance struggles vanish, hit the one below! 

 

Building Maintenance Legislation You Must Comply With 

There are endless amounts of primary and secondary legislation you need to comply with to achieve building maintenance compliance.

The Building Safety Act 2022 is a common talking point in the FM world due to the changes that it has created for high-rise residential buildings, and the raised standards it is setting in building maintenance.

It is easy to focus on just one Act, but the table below provides a brief summary of some of the major legislation you must be compliant with. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. 

 

Legislation Summary
Building Safety Act 2022
This is the primary legislation which establishes in law a framework for building safety both during design and construction and in occupation.

It introduces the ‘Golden Thread’ to support duty holders in designing, constructing and managing their buildings as holistic systems, taking into account building safety at all stages in the lifecycle.

The Golden Thread is both the information that allows you to understand a building and the steps needed to keep both the building and people safe, now and in the future.

The Act also established a new Building Safety Regulator to enforce the law and hold responsible people accountable for the maintaining of the Golden Thread. A lot of the detail of how the Act will operate in practice has been defined through its supporting secondary legislation.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This sets out the framework for managing workplace health and safety in the UK.

The act defines the general duties of everyone from employers and employees to owners, managers and maintainers of work premises (etc) for maintaining health and safety within most workplaces.

The Act requires that workplaces provide:
  • Adequate training of staff to ensure health and safety procedures are understood and adhered to.
  • Adequate welfare provisions for staff at work.
  • A safe working environment that is properly maintained and where operations within it are conducted safely.
  • Suitable provision of relevant information, instruction and supervision
Building Act 1984 Outlines minimum requirements for securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of persons in or about buildings and of others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings. This enables secondary legislation such as the building regulations which includes fire protection and structural safety for both dwellings and non-dwelling.
Defective Premises Act 1972 This requires those involved in constructing a dwelling to ensure that the dwelling is ‘fit for habitation’ when the work is completed. It enables claims to be made for defective work relating to the construction of dwellings where the work renders the dwelling unfit for habitation.

Post BSA22 the limitation period (deadline) for claims under the Defective Premises Act is now extended from 6 years to 15 years for new claims. Furthermore, where the claim relates to construction rather than refurbishment, there will be a retrospective 30-year limitation period.
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 The Fire Safety Order provides a framework for managing fire safety in all non-domestic premises including workplaces and the parts of multi-occupied residential buildings used in common in England and Wales.


This includes carrying out regular Fire Risk Assessments (FRA), implementing training for occupants, and establishing fire safety measures.
Fire Safety Act 2021 Stipulates that responsible persons must manage and reduce the risk of fire to the structure and external walls of buildings and flat entrance doors through a formal Fire Risk Assessment. Introduced to improve fire safety in multi-occupied residential buildings, with two or more sets of domestic premises.

 

Understanding Your Compliance Responsibilities 

To ensure statutory compliance, it is critical to understand your legal obligation and responsibilities.

There are various individuals who hold a level of responsibility to ensure the right maintenance is carried out, but the accountability sits with the building owner.

They need to ensure the right things are done at the right time and for the right reasons. What this specifically looks like for each responsible person is outlined in the table below. 

 

Role Responsibilities
Building Owner
  • Ensuring buildings are safe, including fixing historical safety defects
  • Ensuring maintenance is carried out
  • Staying up to date with legislation and compliance regulations
Property Manager
  • Coordinating and scheduling regular maintenance tasks
  • Handling emergency repairs and maintenance issues
  • Managing contracts relating to maintenance
  • Staying up to date with legislation and compliance regulations
Service Provider/Contractor
  • Hold up health and safety when carrying out maintenance
  • Ensure all workers have the required skills, knowledge, training, and experience to carry out the maintenance

For further information on understanding your responsibilities with compliance, check out our Building Maintenance Compliance: Do You Understand Your Responsibility? SFG20 webinar which details the responsibilities that key players in the FM industry have when ensuring compliance with legislation. 

 

Building Safety Act 'Accountable Persons’ 

Under the Building Safety Act 2022, the Accountable Person is responsible for managing new requirements for the inspection and maintenance of fire and structural safety risks of a high risk building ‘HRB’.

An Accountable Person is an organisation or individual who owns or has a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building. Common parts of the building include any aspect of the structure and exterior that is provided for the use, benefit and enjoyment of the residents of more than one residential unit.

The meaning of Common Parts is best described under the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS): Residential Buildings, as those parts of a building providing shared facilities that typically do not change over time, including for example, circulation areas, stairs, escalators, lifts/elevators and motor rooms, toilets, cleaners’ cupboards, plant rooms, fire refuge areas, and maintenance rooms. Outside-shot-of-hospital-building

These requirements are further explained in the supporting secondary legislation, such as The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 and The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022, and associated Government guidance documents and British Standards. The secondary legislation covers both maintenance and capital development, especially where building control or any activity that can be described as construction work. 

Under the Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015 'construction work' means the carrying out of any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work and includes: 

The construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration or other maintenance (including cleaning which involves the use of water or an abrasive at high pressure, or the use of corrosive or toxic substances), de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of a structure.

The new requirements include a routine monthly check of lifts and essential fire-fighting equipment, evacuation alert systems and automatic door release mechanisms linked to fire alarm systems.

The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 also require the installation and maintenance of secure information boxes and wayfinding signage. In addition, for certain types of building, the fire doors in communal areas must be checked at least every 3 months. 

While FMs may not be the duty holders as described within these pieces of legislation, in certain cases, they will often be the ones that support the duty holders with meeting their requirements, including when it comes to collecting and maintaining the relevant information towards evidencing the Golden Thread and the safety case report. 

However, if you commission, or carry out maintenance work that is covered by the building regulations or CDM2015, you now take on new duties as a ‘duty holder’ client and are subject to new requirements within the Building Safety Act. 

 

The Duty To Ensure Compliance 

In all cases, FMs have a legal duty to be competent and compliant. 

Everyone who has a stake in a project have duties to make sure the FM work complies with Building Regulations or the relevant regulation, standard or specification that is required.

The Regulator has made it clear that established industry standards such as SFG20, will be the benchmark in which compliance will be measured. 

If your work requires Building Regulation notification, The Defective Premises Act outlines that in all cases maintenance regimes should be reported, recorded, and evidenced for 30 years. 

 

What Compliance Means For Individuals 

The new regime places a significant focus on competence. For individuals, this means evidencing skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours.

You must be able to demonstrate you are competent to carry out your duties and undertake the work you are asked to do. This can include: 

  • Cooperating with others working on the project 
  • Refusing to carry out work that is beyond your competence 
  • Ensuring work complies with relevant requirements and refuse to carry out non-compliant work. 
  • Ask for assistance from others when necessary. 

Individual competence can be demonstrated through completing formal training or providing a portfolio of work detailing relevant experience and knowledge. 

If you are unclear whether you have the right competence to carry out a maintenance task, SFG20'S software Facilities-iQ outlines skillsets that are required to conduct each maintenance task. 

 

What Compliance Means For Organisations 

Organisations must be able to demonstrate they have the organisational capability to perform contractual duties and undertake the work.

This means having policies, procedures, systems, and resources in place to make sure employees comply with all relevant regulations. This includes how you manage the competence of your employees and contractors, as well as being able to monitor and have oversight of all FM activity. 

As the duty holder you are required to cooperate with other duty holders, coordinate their work (where applicable) and communicate to provide and share information. Where this involves changes to specification, additional work, or identified risks, this should be done in writing to evidence your approach. 

 

The Building Safety Regulator 

The Building Safety Regulator is part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). As part of the Building Safety Act 2022, it was set up to regulate higher risk buildings and increase the safety standards in all buildings.

A big part of the regulator role is to create a culture of compliance and competence in the building and construction industry to ensure safety of building users and occupants. 

For high-rise residential buildings, the Building Safety Regulator keeps a register of the building and their Principal Accountable Person to ensure compliance with laws in place. Each building must have one clearly identifiable AP, known as the PAP. If the PAP is an organisation, then someone from the organisation can be the single point of contact for BSR.   

The single point of contact can also be a third party separate to the organisation, such as a management company.

This individual should have authority or duties relating to the safety of the building, but this does not make them or the third party the PAP. It is the organisation that is the PAP. 

The PAP must give written consent to the third party. If this consent stops, the PAP must update the single point of contact with BSR. 

The regulator must approve applications for building work for new or existing higher risk buildings, including any change control plans for the work to be carried out. Part of this process is to ensure risk and impact of any changes have been carefully considered and documented. 

The regulator is responsible for enforcing any consequences of non-compliance. This can include verbal warnings, prosecution and fines. Any consequence that is given also comes with reputational risk (we cover this in more detail later). 

 

 

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The Golden Thread Of Information

The Building Safety Act which was established in response to the Grenfell Tower fire created the concept of the Golden Thread to ensure safer buildings throughout a building's lifecycle.

This ensures that any individual or company involved in management or safety of a building has access to details that help to identify, assess, and mitigate against risks to the building and its occupants. 

The Golden Thread covers a clear, continuous information and responsibility chain throughout the lifecycle of a building.

Every aspect of a building’s maintenance and safety must be documented, ensuring that information is easily accessible and up to date. This is a requirement for high-risk buildings but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply the concept to all your buildings.

In fact, it will likely become a requirement in future as part of a drive to creating a culture of accountability and transparency in FM. 

In creating your Golden Thread, you will need to use digital tools and systems to record all aspects of the building lifecycle, including the design stages. It must be held digitally but it can be stored across multiple systems. 

 

Creating A Golden Thread Of Information

There are two main pieces required to be covered in the Golden Thread: construction of the building, including design work, and maintenance. Being able to capture all aspects of the design and build stages ensures, any modifications are documented accurately to make it easier to identify potential risks associated with the building. 

The Golden Thread needs to be started when designing specifications for the building. By creating a change control log, you will be able to capture any changes proposed, decision makers, and rationale for the changes to keep a full record of the building. 

During the design and building phases, the Golden Thread responsibility sits with the principal designer or contractor. Once the building work has been completed, the responsibility of maintaining the Golden Thread sits with the Accountable Person. Man-carrying-out-maintenance

The information of a building must be kept digitally, be secure, and be made available to individuals who are carrying out any tasks relating to the building. This gives them the information required to make an informed decision on any work to be done on the building. Management of digital information is a critical piece of the puzzle. If you are responsible for the Golden Thread of information, ensure you and your team are familiar with the UK Building Information Modelling (BIM) Framework.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a Golden Thread. Where new buildings can embrace BIM, legacy buildings may need to take a different approach. Each building is different and therefore it’s Golden Thread should be bespoke and specific to the needs of the building and those using it. 

 

Greatest Compliance Risks

Navigating regulatory compliance in Facilities Management is complex and always changing.

The last few years have seen significant changes in legislation and regulations within the FM space such as the Fire Safety Act 2021, the Fire Safety Regulations (England) 2022, and The Building Safety Act 2022.

There is no doubt that these changes in the industry have forced a shift in priorities and duties for those working in facility management.

Compliance has always been a critical piece of the maintenance puzzle, but it can’t be ignored with the risks higher and the penalties more severe than ever before. 

The greatest compliance risks are: 

 

Safety 

Safety is the biggest consideration for FMs when it comes to compliance. When designing or making changes to a building, ensuring safety is not compromised is essential.

An incident may lead to injury or loss of life and so management of this risk is critical. Safety as a risk can be managed through the Golden Thread of information, ensuring a change control log is kept.

This should include keeping equipment and assets in proper working order by applying the appropriate maintenance.

Accountable persons need to ensure they have the latest information on prevention and protective measures of assets.

This might include organising your building in a safety management system which shows the planning, organisation and control of risks which may impact safety of your building. 

 

Training 

Maintenance tasks must be carried out by competent people. What this means will be different depending on the task being carried out.

The correct knowledge and training must have been completed to ensure that maintenance carried out is to standard to ensure compliance.

To make this easy for you, each SFG20 maintenance schedule specifies the competencies required to carry out the task. 

 

Data 

The data you collect on a building and the maintenance done is a critical piece of the compliance puzzle

Being able to evidence the actions taken to maintain and modify buildings is critical as ultimately this forms part of the Golden Thread of information. Without accurate data across the history of your building, you can't make a completely informed decision on what maintenance needs to be carried out. 

 

Supplier Management 

Everybody in the maintenance supply chain needs to be on the same page and working to industry standards.

Whether you are a Building Owner, Property Manager or Service Provider, you are responsible for ensuring anybody carrying out maintenance is capable and consistent with standards.

Previously, some companies have claimed compliance with the SFG20 standard but didn’t have an active licence.

Now, with the SFG20 member list, you can check whether a supplier has an active licence. Outsourcing to a maintenance company doesn’t diminish your risk. Building Owners are still legally responsible for the actions a maintenance company takes. Before outsourcing, make sure your supplier has access to the latest SFG20 standard by checking out our member list

 

Contracts 

Outsourcing the work may make you feel like you have passed the accountability on, but that is not the case. A common challenge is the gap between what is outlined in a contract and what is actually delivered.

When a maintenance contract is drawn up there should be a catch all obligation placed on the contractor ‘to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, regulatory policies, guidelines or industry codes which may apply to the provision of the Services’. However, what this entails and how it can be assured presents a challenge. 

Whilst the wording places a contractual obligation to monitor the legislative environment and ensure all necessary actions and controls are in place to maintain compliance, both parties need to have a common position on how discharging the legal obligation is achieved.

Directing/recommending the use of SFG20 means that there is an accepted industry standard approach to compliance and a trusted partner who can take out the worry of legislative changes, through maintaining an up-to-date license. 

The use of SFG20 means that the Contractor can clearly demonstrate their commitment to a ‘due care’ clause in a contract too.  As SFG20 is accepted as good industry practice and its use demonstrates the necessary degree of skill, care, prudence, efficiency, foresight and timeliness as would be expected from a company within the FM sector. 

 

Ethics 

When you are under resourced, time poor, and with budget constraints it might be tempting to cut corners. You have the legal and ethical responsibility to ensure you do the right thing at the right time for the current state and stage of your building. You are legally responsible for the buildings and assets you manage – ensure you remain compliant with legislation. 

 

The Consequences Of Non-ComplianceTemplate-1 (5)-4 

Non-compliance means you are carrying a series of risks that can compromise both your business and your workers. No harm is required to commit a criminal offence – non-compliance with health and safety rules means you become accountable and can receive sanctions as a result. 

A single instance of non-compliance can result in written advice, a prohibition notice, or prosecution, depending on the severity of risk carried. This can be costly for an organisation with heightened expenses as a result, including: 

  • Reputational damage causing loss of sales 
  • Increased insurance premiums 
  • Legal penalties (including fines and the potential for prison sentences) 

The Building Safety Regulator issue fines and all are documented on their website. Health and safety fines are proportional to the size and turnover of the business that is non-compliant, however the average fine is £150,000. 

 

Facilities Management Strategies To Achieve Compliance 

Maintenance strategies have traditionally varied for organisations based on their resource, budget and priority of maintenance within the business.

While some situations have led to a ‘fix on fail’ strategy, others have implemented a planned maintenance approach, blending Planned Preventative Maintenance with other approaches such as condition based or predictive maintenance.

It is the growing desire of many FMs to be able to steer away from reactive maintenance and move towards planned preventative maintenance. Whichever strategy or combination of approaches you use, being intentional about the approach is critical to ensure you do the right thing for your assets at the right time. 

Your strategy might differ depending on the asset and its stage in the building lifecycle. It is increasingly common to see a diversified approach to building maintenance – this allows for you to embed site specific knowledge into your maintenance strategy to ensure you are doing what is right for your building. 

Technology is advancing the techniques that can be used for building maintenance, with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). As technology and tools develop, the industry will need to adapt to ensure that data capture and use of technology helps make buildings safer. 

When it comes to compliance, it requires more than demonstrating you have been fixing, repairing, and replacing asset. There is a requirement to prove you have been keeping certain assets in good order through routine inspection and testing. 

The periodicity of these is either prescriptively laid down in secondary legislation, standards and ACOPs or recommended in published guidance by professional bodies and is deemed to be industry best practice. 

There is also requirement for the retention of certain records of all maintenance activity for specific periods of time, in order that they may be inspected and audited by the appropriate authorities.

Retention of records is general good practice to demonstrate a culture of compliance in the event of an incident that could lead to a prosecution or sanction.  

Whether you choose a strategy based on either reactive or proactive, or a combination of both there will be requirement to undertake regular inspections and testing. 

Knowing what those schedules are and undertaking them within the prescribed period will ensure your property remains compliant - that is where SFG20 can be an invaluable tool. 

 

Building Your Maintenance Strategy 

There is no one silver bullet to maintenance. A balanced approach of different strategies is often the optimal way to maintain buildings. Different buildings require different needs depending on their stage of life. For more information on designing your maintenance strategy, check out the SFG20 e-guide on Boosting Your Operational Efficiency.  

 

Establishing A Solid Foundation To Achieve Compliance 

If you think of maintenance compliance like building a house, you can’t start building the structure before you establish solid foundations (an accurate asset register).

To truly have the best chance of compliance, you need to understand your assets, create your maintenance plan and stay up to date with what is required.

Compliance isn’t easy, but it can be simple if you take a structured approach and use the right tools to help you.

Ignorance is not a defence in a court of law - failure to understand your asset base and ensure it all remains compliant will not reflect well on you or your organisation and may lead to even more severe sanctions. 

 

Step One: Update Your Asset Register 

An accurate and up-to-date asset register is the cornerstone of effective building maintenance as it serves as the blueprint where you can plan and execute all your maintenance activities from.

However, the challenge lies in the fact that many facilities operate with outdated, inaccurate or, in some cases, non-existent asset registers. This oversight can lead to inefficiencies, increased costs, and compliance risks. 

Understanding the full inventory of a building's assets allows for more strategic maintenance planning. It ensures that all necessary maintenance activities are accounted for and scheduled appropriately, reducing the risk of unexpected failures or compliance issues.

Often, organisations find themselves with outdated asset registers which can lead to a reactive maintenance approach, where issues are addressed only after they arise. This not only increases the risk of non-compliance but also results in higher maintenance costs and potential downtime. 

With an accurate asset register, FMs can shift from an overly reactive approach to a proactive maintenance strategy. This allows for the identification of maintenance needs before they become critical, ensuring that the building remains compliant with all relevant regulations and standards. 

Meticulous documentation and record-keeping are vital for demonstrating compliance in the event of an audit or legal challenge. This includes keeping detailed records of maintenance activities, audits, training, and any incidents or non-compliance issues. 

So, ask yourself: are your asset registers up to date? To achieve compliance, this is your place to start. 

 

Step Two: Create A Comprehensive Maintenance Plan 

Once your asset register is updated, the next step is to develop a maintenance plan that aligns with current legislation and the specific needs of the building.

Utilising tools like Facilities-iQ can greatly facilitate this process, providing clear and comprehensive guidance that ensures compliance while allowing users to tailor the SFG20 standard to suit the unique requirements of each of your facilities. Colleagues-talking-and-using-digital-tablet

Staying up to date with the latest legislation is crucial for compliance. A comprehensive maintenance plan includes all relevant statutory tasks for that facility as a bare minimum. By adopting the SFG20 standard, FMs can build a maintenance plan that meets legal requirements and optimises the lifespan of their assets. 

Many FMs find themselves trapped in a cycle of reactive maintenance, which can divert resources away from planned preventative maintenance activities. By creating a comprehensive maintenance plan, FMs can break this cycle, allocating resources more effectively and ensuring that maintenance activities contribute to overall compliance. 

Conducting regular compliance audits and risk assessments can help facilities identify potential areas of non-compliance before they become issues. These assessments should be thorough, covering all aspects of the legal frameworks that apply to your assets. 

 

Step Three: Stay Up To Date 

Once you have a comprehensive maintenance plan in place, that’s not the end of the road. You must stay up to date in all aspects of FM. Ignorance won’t hold up in a court of law – you must be informed with the latest information. 

This starts with education and training, ensuring that all staff, from management to maintenance personnel, are educated on compliance requirements and best practices.

This includes training on the use of the SFG20 industry standard and understanding the legal implications of their work. You should be aiming to build a culture of compliance, which requires an ongoing commitment to education and engagement at all levels of your organisation. 

The path to compliance is full of challenges, from the complexities of legal and regulatory landscapes to the practicalities of implementing new maintenance strategies and technologies. 

These challenges also present opportunities for growth and improvement. By adopting a strategic approach to compliance, FM teams can improve operational efficiencies, reduce risks, and enhance the overall value of assets. 

 

The Future Of FM Compliance 

With FM constantly changing, new legislation and evolving best practice can be a mammoth to tackle

To get on top of what it takes to achieve building maintenance compliance, lean in and don’t sit back. If you sit back and wait to see what happens next you will find yourself non-compliant and face fines or prosecution. 

The Building Safety Regulator was put in place to build a culture of compliance, transparency and accountability in the FM sector. They are leading from the front, and being proactive in distributing sanctions where buildings are non-compliant, and this will continue to widen in scope from just high risk and high-rise residential buildings. 

The regulator is looking for proof that you are complying with current regulations and that the people working on projects are competent to carry out the specific tasks assigned to them. It is in your interest to start embedding the legislative changes that the regulator is enforcing, as everybody in FM has made a commitment to safety. 

To achieve compliance, the simplest thing you can do is to treat every building as high risk. 

 

Facility Management Compliance Tools

There are various CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) and CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System) software solutions available to help you plan and manage your building maintenance, but that doesn’t help you with the compliance piece unless you have the up-to-date guidance.

CAFMs and CMMS systems are great operational planning tools but they come as a blank canvas. The maintenance task instructions, frequencies and task timings need to be created and fed into these systems to create a plan. You can either do this yourself, which drains your time and resource, or you can rely on our team of SFG20 technical authors who create and upkeep the SFG20 standard. 

Andi headshot  “We know what you’re up against because we’ve been there; you’ve neither the time or resource to keep up with the thousands of pages of legislation and guidance to ensure compliance. And this is where the Technical Team at SFG20 can help. We are a team of experienced engineers and support staff. We search for any developments in the industry that may have an impact on maintenance. We then research and create/update content to align with the revised guidance.”  

 

The SFG20 standard is made up of a library of schedules covering every building asset you could imagine. You access these schedules through the brilliant SFG20 software solution Facilities-iQ, empowering you to craft compliant maintenance plans in just a couple of clicks. 

 

Benefits of Using SFG20 And Facilities-iQ

Our intelligent maintenance guidance software solution Facilities-iQ is the best way to use and access SFG20, the industry standard for building maintenance compliance. 

The main benefit of using SFG20 is the ability to achieve and maintain compliance. The SFG20 standard is updated monthly, meaning that users can always stay ahead of legislative requirements as long as they have an active licence.

The team of SFG20 technical authors produce guidance in line with changing legislation and are the guardians of the upkeep of the standard.

Users of the SFG20 software solution, Facilities-iQ, receive automatic notifications when the standard is updated so that they can review existing and new guidance side by side before choosing when to implement updates. This makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest version of the industry standard and mitigate against business risks. 

Facilities-iQ will provide you with an understanding of where you should focus resource to enable operational efficiency. This can result in cost savings for organisations, including not needing to hire additional compliance professionals and the elimination of considerable time taken to review primary and secondary legislation, all supporting codes of practice and your maintenance plan. 

In addition, Facilities-iQ is: 

 

  • Accessible - via the SFG20 website or the SFG20 companion app, the standard can be accessed by everyone, anywhere that needs to use it. 
  • Easy to use – the software solution, Facilities-iQ, has a simple interface which is fast and easy to use, with user training included in the license fee. 
  • Scalable - with a single, central hub for all maintenance plans, it is easy to organise maintenance operations across the largest of estates, to save time and effort on reporting and daily management. 
  • Easy to integrate with all FM systems – SFG20’s API solution allows quick and easy integration with your FM systems such as CAFM, CMMS, IWFM etc. 
  • An effective collaboration tool - Once a Facilities-iQ Maintenance Regime has been created, it can be shared via a secure sharing link. Collaborators can use these links to access the maintenance tasks or regime that the creator wants to share for tendering purposes, or to help FM teams plan and carry out the required work. In addition, engineers in the field can view task instructions using the companion app. 

 

Facilities-iQ will help you to achieve compliance and maintain control of your estate and allow you to outsource the interpretation of legislation and changes to SFG20. Last year, there were over 700 updates to SFG20 maintenance schedules, so that's a HUGE time-saving. 

 

Take A Leap Towards Compliance With SFG20 

If you want to take a big step towards compliance, check out the SFG20 software solution Facilities-iQ to intelligently manage your building maintenance compliance.

Stop tearing your hair out about another legislation update by outsourcing your compliance knowledge to SFG20.

Facilities-iQ is the best way to put SFG20, the industry standard for building maintenance compliance into practice. Book your Facilities-iQ demo with our product experts today, and make sure to download our guide for future reference.

You Can't Compromise On Compliance

 

 

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