An update from the CEO on the new ISO global standards for FM

The vision of Facilities Management (FM) embodied in the new ISO FM Standards, and ISO 41001,  is set to transform the operations of businesses and organisations worldwide.  It represents a genuine win-win for providers, organisations and end-customers.

We have finally managed to nail down our CEO, Stan Mitchell, to get an update. Stan has been integral in the development process.  He inspired international support for the new ISO FM Technical Committee.  He is also acting as its first Chair, and leading the creation of the new FM standards.

What are the new ISO FM standards?

The new standards will provide a framework for global FM.  This includes a common terminology and benchmarks against which organisations and working relationships can be assessed.  Currently, three new standards are under development, or completed and awaiting publication:

ISO 41001 deals with the requirements for, and guidance for use of, management systems. Its aim is to improve awareness and support for effective facilities management regimes globally and across all sectors (in development).

ISO 41011 standardises an international vocabulary for FM.  It affords a clear common terminology for providers and customers (complete, awaiting publication).

ISO 41012 gives guidance on strategic sourcing and the development of agreements.  It will help define and regulate a better working relationship between providers and customers (complete, awaiting publication).

Why is standardisation important?

The global FM industry is growing and evolving at an astonishing rate, encompassing an ever broader range of workplace and operational requirements.  In a context of relentless economic and regulatory pressures, FM’s ongoing expansion seems inevitable.  So too does its increasing importance to compliance, performance and the bottom line.

Yet at the same time, FM means different things between countries, even within organisations.  Bottom-up development in emerging markets is only adding to the complexity and confusion.  There is a burning need for a common language around Facility Management, and a framework which enables consistent, high-quality working relationships and delivery across territories. This need has been the momentum behind the ISO standards.

“The Committee has been able to work together to form strong consensus across the 30+ countries that are currently members. The new standards will help clarify across these countries both the ‘what’ of FM, and also ‘why’ it is a strategically important discipline to all organisations in the management, operation and maintenance of the workplace, its assets and operational efficiencies” CEO, Stan Mitchell.

Of particular importance is the future ISO 41001.  This will help facilitate appropriate Facilities Management structures and resourcing for customers.  It will also give them performance criteria for assessing whether their FM suppliers are fit for purpose. Additionally, it will provide emerging markets with the template they need to develop a world class FM regime.  This includes professional training and certification, and supplier benchmarking for public and private sectors.

If you want to find out more about the new ISOs and how KEY would apply it in the context of your organisation, then contact us on or +44 (0) 1786 841603.

Profile of Senior Key Consultant, Stewart Lackie

Senior Key consultant, Stewart Lackie.

We‘ve dropped in on one of our senior team, Stewart Lackie, at his base in a beautiful coastal village overlooking the Moray Firth – both an idyllic spot and perfectly located for Key’s ambitions to become the True Facilities Management provider-of-choice for the Highlands and Islands region.

Stewart is one of Key’s senior consultants, with particular specialism in strategic business planning, process development and the management of projects, supply chain and contracts. His qualifications include a CBIFM, Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate in FM, and PRINCE2 project management, and he was previously a member of Scottish Government’s benchmarking estates expert group.

For some time, Stewart oversaw services for our multinational customers across 21 countries and 4 continents, including regular site visits to far-flung destinations including Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. Currently, he is spearheading contracts on Key’s home turf.

“A key objective for me right now is to raise the profile of ‘tailored’ True FM across the Highlands and Islands region, and the significant cost and efficiency benefits it can bring to local business and organisations.”

Stewart grew up in an Army family and had a peripatetic childhood. Growing up in Malaysia, cold-war Germany and various locations around the UK, he developed an appreciation of disparate cultures which has served Key well since his appointment. Making an early move into FM, his former achievements include a high-profile role as Facilities Manager at 10 Downing Street.

Relocating from London to the Black Isle in 2002, Stewart worked as Head of Facilities Management for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Head of Business Support Services at Scottish Natural Heritage, before joining the Key team in 2011.

Over a diverse career, Stewart has developed a deep and comprehensive know-how of all facets of facilities management and delivery. His proven track record ranges from the specifics of hard and soft services – mechanical and electrical maintenance, workplace ‘greening’, health and safety, SLAs, landscaping, catering, and more– through to strategic and tactical planning across distributed portfolios.

Stewart’s rare grasp of both the detail and the big picture of operational management is a differentiating characteristic of, and requirement for, all of Key’s senior team. It is this capacity which gives us our unique ability to tailor True FM solutions to any specific operational need, big or small.

If you’re located in the Highlands and Islands region, or anywhere else in Scotland or the rest of the UK, and think you might benefit from Stewart’s help and his True FM toolkit, then may Key might be able to help you. Contact us on or +44 (0) 1786 841603.