26 March 2013 — The first students have graduated from the Facility Management Association of Australia’s and Holmesglen College’s recently established Diploma of Facilities Management.

Programmed FM senior facilities manager Jason McMillan is the first recipient of the qualification, which was developed in 2011 by the FMA in conjunction with its industry partners in education – Brookfield Johnson Controls, Programmed, DTZ and UMS.

FMA chief executive officer Nicholas Burt said as the first formal qualification to be developed by, and tailored for the industry, it meant facilities managers were now able to undertake specialist studies in their discipline.

“The (industry partners’) collaboration has been crucial, and importantly, it recognises that the long-term success of every FM business depends on establishing professional, recognised standards across the industry,” he said.

The other two graduates to complete all 18 areas of study required to achieve the diploma are Programmed FM facilities coordinator Melissa Cavill and DTZ facilities coordinator Kristy Duffy.

Programmed chief executive officer Steve Taylor said the importance of the qualification and the ability it had now given facilities management companies to support staff to become industry qualified was vital to the future growth and professionalisation of facilities management.

DTZ Asia Pacific chief executive Henry Arundel said the diploma was an essential tool for the growth of the industry.

“It determines a national standard of training from which to benchmark professionals and establish a cohesive and influential network.”

The development of the Diploma was an FMA initiative. Facilities management is estimated to generate in in excess of $20 billion of GDP and employs more than 200,000 people.

Mr Burt said the next challenge for the industry was to develop a career roadmap.

“This was a key plank of the Association’s recent Commonwealth budget submission and the FMA is also aiming to release a ‘Good Practice Guide to Careers in FM’ later this year,” he said.

“These initiatives together with the Diploma will ensure facilities managers have well defined career paths and the opportunity to succeed.”