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NZ’s first entry-level qualifications in facilities management launched

Facilities Management Association of New Zealand has worked closely with Massey Univeristy's School of Built Enviornment to develop the qualifications.

In a major development for the facilities management industry in New Zealand, Massey University has opened enrolments for Aotearoa’s first entry-level university qualifications in facilities management.

The Diploma in Facilities Management (DipFM) is aimed primarily at school leavers and junior professionals looking to underpin their practice with foundational knowledge of a rapidly growing sector, while the new Graduate Diploma in Facilities Management (GradDipFM) is designed to provide an educational route for professionals to progress into more senior leadership roles.

Facilities management focuses on overseeing the operation management and maintenance of buildings to ensure public spaces and workplaces are safe, healthy, sustainable, fit-for-purpose and productive. The programme will focus on facilities including hopsitals, commercial office blocks, educational institutions, industrial buildings and more.

The Facilities Management Association of New Zealand (FMANZ) has worked closely with Massey University’s School of Built Environment to develop these fit-for-purpose qualifications, which received academic approval by the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) last month.

“Having homegrown university qualifications in facilities management is a ground-breaking advancement for the professionalisation of the industry and one we are extremely excited about,” says FMANZ Chief Executive Gillian Wess.

“These university qualifications provide educational pathways for school leavers and practising facilities management professionals who wish to purse this career and mark the recognition and coming of age of facilities management in Aotearoa. As custodians of the built environment, these professionals make a vital contribution to the world and have an important role to play in many of the seismic shifts taking place in the world.”

Head of School of Built Environment Professor Monty Sutrisna says they are pleased to have developed this in partnership with FMANZ.

“Introducing these new courses will further support the next stage of the maturity of facilities management as a fully recognised profession in New Zealand. We know this is in serious demand and we’re excited to meet this need for companies.”

Both programmes comprise eight 15 credit courses that can be completed in one year of full-time study, or part-time, via on-campus or distance learning.

Focused on the 13 core management competencies, which range from operations and maintenance to environmental stewardship and sustainability, courses include Digital Evolution of Facilities Management, Managing Risk and Operational Sustainability, Construction Health, Safety & Wellbeing, Asset Management, Facilities Management Planning, Construction Law & Contracts and many more papers tailored to the industry.

There is a strong demand for facilities managers in New Zealand, with many employers saying it’s difficult to find the right person for the job. 

Around 30 per cent of employers who took part in a survey conducted by FMANZ in 2018 said they have sourced candidates from overseas because they couldn’t find the right person locally. This is due, in part, to the fact there hasn’t been a clearly defined tertiary qualification pathway in the industry in New Zealand until now.

In the same survey, 62 per cent of facilities managers said they had been headhunted by another company. 

The first intake of students will begin their studies in February 2021.

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