In Conversation With… Gareth Tancred

Gareth Tancred, CEO, BIFM

Image: Gareth Tancred, CEO, BIFM

There’s a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors who we’re regularly in conversation with, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate – and here we share more about them, their roles, priorities and backgrounds. If you would like to feature in this series, or to suggest someone who might, please get in touch through our contact us page or let us know on twitter.

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Today we speak with Gareth Tancred, Chief Executive Officer, British Institute of Facilities Management.

Can you tell us a little about your background?

I have been CEO of BIFM since February 2012; I served as Acting then Interim CEO from October 2011. Prior to this I was COO. I have over 12 years’ experience at board level, ranging from SMEs to largeUK, European and international organisations.

In one sentence, could you sum up your role?

In essence, I take the strategy set by the BIFM Board and ensure that it is actioned; I am responsible for the Institute delivering on aims and objectives for the benefit of our 12,500+ members and stakeholders.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There really is no ‘typical’ day. If I am in the office I ensure the team are motivated, happy and supported, I will meet with colleagues and make sure we are all working to plan. If I am out of the office this could involve meeting with government, industry bodies, professional bodies or partner organisations. In the evenings I try to make time to attend an event organised by a BIFM group so I can meet with members. Recent venues have ranged from HMS Belfast to a chemical factory.

What are the main challenges you face in your role?

Like many CEOs, I need to ensure the Institute is competitive in the current climate whilst delivering improved benefits and services to members. I am confident we have the right team in place, and that we are now more agile so can respond more rapidly to member needs.

What changes do you foresee for your sector over the next 10 years?

I think we will see more consolidation. There will be pressures on FMs to deliver more, most likely with less resource. Through BIFM, changes we would like to see realised include making FM a career of choice, not chance, and promoting FM in order to become a widely recognised discipline through our continuous efforts to professionalise the sector.

Can you briefly explain the role of the British Institute of Facilities Management?

As the professional body for facilities management in theUK, we represent and promote the interests of our 12,500+ individual and corporate members. Members benefit from networking, CPD, qualifications and training.

Aside from that, we work with partner organisations to seek to influence government policy, including the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment.

Do you believe your organisation is achieving its mission ‘To advance the facilities management profession’?

Absolutely. FM is becoming more and more important for the business world as a critical, strategic business discipline.  We remain the constant in continuing to raise the profile of FM to keep it on the business agenda and bring together the FM community. The profile of FM has certainly been raised over recent years but we recognise there is still some work to be done.

How do the qualifications and apprenticeships BIFM provide help individuals within the job market?

Professional qualifications can add considerable value to an individual’s skills and knowledge base, making them more attractive to an employer. All BIFM qualifications are endorsed by our sector skills council, Asset Skills, and accredited within the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), which means they are recognised nationally. They offer a flexible, accessible approach for learners of all levels, from GCSE to a Masters equivalent. Apprenticeships meanwhile offer entry and development routes into and within FM, offering an excellent way for new or existing employees to master practical skills and gain a formal qualification whilst working and earning money.

What value do companies get from BIFM membership?

Becoming a Corporate Member can help companies stay ahead of the competition and raise their profile within the FM industry; membership also clearly demonstrates a commitment to the FM profession and FM excellence. Nominated team members can become Affiliate Members and benefit from professional development, networking, knowledge and information.

Can you sum up the future plans for BIFM?

We are the leading FM Institute inEurope, so we plan to build on that by evolving member benefits and delivering a best in class service. FM makes a massive contribution to the UK GDP – so anything we can do to influence government policy in FM to benefit the economy is part of our future plans.

What would you say is your most memorable moment or proudest achievement?

Most recently it would be my CEO appointment,  closely followed by announcing at our AGM details of the many improvements made to the Institute and the news that our team had surpassed some annual targets by the close of the second quarter of 2012!

Do you have a favourite London landmark?

I would have to say TowerBridge, as when I was young I saw it being raised and it fascinated me. It is a great iconic symbol for Londonand a great feat of 19th century engineering.


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