FM Management Systems

FM Management Systems (ISO 41001)

The publication in early 2018 of ISO 41001 Facility Management – Management Systems – Requirements with Guidance for Use marked a watershed in the recognition globally of facility/facilities management*. ISO 41001 adopts the same high-level structure as ISO 9001 (quality management systems), ISO 14001 (environmental management systems), ISO 50001 (energy management systems) and other recently published management systems standards covering safety, security, health, medical science and IT.

FM organisation

ISO 41001 focuses on the role of the FM organisation; that is, the entity responsible for the facilities management as distinct from the entity that has facility-related needs and the authority to incur costs in having its requirements met (see ISO 41011); for example, a facility owner, operator, owner-operator, tenant or, some cases, a managing agent acting on behalf of an owner. This entity is referred to as the demand organisation. Both terms – FM organisation and demand organisation – are used in subsequent ISO 41000 series standards to differentiate the two main parties in a way that is easy to understand for anyone anywhere in the world.

FM management system

A management system is the way in which an organisation manages the interrelated parts of its business in order to achieve its objectives. These objectives can relate to a number of different matters including product or service quality, operational efficiency, environmental performance and health and safety in the workplace. They help organisations to improve their performance and create an organisational culture that reflexively engages in a continuous cycle of self-evaluation, correction and improvement of operations and processes through heightened employee awareness and top management leadership and commitment. The classic plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model underpins the above and forms the basis of the standard’s requirements.

PDCA virtuous cycle of continual improvement


In practical terms, the FM organisation must be able to define key aspects of its business operations, including the following.

  • Leadership and commitment
  • Policies
  • Organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities
  • Actions to address risks (threats and opportunities)
  • FM objectives
  • Resources and competence
  • Awareness and communication
  • Operational planning
  • Coordination with users
  • Integration of services
  • Performance measurement, analysis and evaluation
  • Internal audit
  • Management review
  • Continual improvement

ISO 41001:2018 is available from the BSI bookshop.

Audit and certification

The standard lays down requirements for audit and the process for dealing with non-conformity and corrective actions. Users of the standard can therefore claim compliance with its requirements and seek third-party certification by approved bodies. Contact us for further details.

If certification in conformity with ISO 41001 is your organisation’s goal, you should contact Management Systems Auditing & Certification Services to find out about low-cost self-certification.

* Note that ISO standards adopt the term facility management; whereas, in the UK and many other countries the term facilities management is used. The definition of FM is common to both terms, namely an organisational function which integrates people, place and process within the built environment with the purpose of improving the quality of life of people and the productivity of the core business (see ISO 41011).