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Last edited 30 Jul 2020
Facilities management audit FMA
A facility management audit (also referred to as a facilities management inventory) is a complete review of the assets in a new or existing building that relate to the preservation of an optimal environment.
The purpose of conducting a facility management audit is to document as much information as possible about equipment, protocols and policies within the facility to set a benchmark for future measurement. This activity allows the facility manager to note, for example, the age and condition of assets in order to weigh options about repairing or replacing them.
Knowing about the conditions of assets and being able to understand the conditions of facilities can enable facility managers to develop proactive measures to improve operations and reduce costs. Facilities management audits may make the process of budgeting more accurate and straightforward.
An objectively conducted audit should ideally document facilities management assets to departmental expectations and enable a comparison with external benchmarks. Once the audit is complete, the task should be repeated on a regular basis as an essential part of a facilities maintenance programme.
- Furnishings (including desks and chairs).
- HVAC systems.
- IT equipment (including software licenses, computers, mobile devices, printers, radios).
- Plant equipment or machinery.
- Safety equipment.
- Security devices (including keys and badges).
- Tools and instruments.
 The audit process
The first step in a facilities management audit is to confirm the core business of the organisation. While this may seem like something that should be widely known, it is not always obvious - particularly in a fluid business environment when organisations change their strategies, partnerships or structures.
Next the facility manager should verify that the support services provided by the department are aligned with the core business objectives of the organisation. Support services typically fall into three main categories:
- Building condition.
- Direct maintenance and operations services.
- Indirect maintenance and operations services.
Assessment would begin with a thorough walkthrough followed by a cost analysis for each item. The total cost for repairs or improvements can then be broken down into priorities based on criteria such as:
- Immediate maintenance.
- Short term projects that will provide investment payment or functional improvements to the organisation (to be completed within one to two years).
- Long term projects to improve the value of the asset or to adhere to codes (to be completed within three to five years).
 Direct maintenance and operations services
These support services correspond to those required to support the core business of the organisation, including both personnel (such as mechanics, electricians, technicians and so on) and fixed annual expenditures (such as insurance, taxes, utilities and so on). Also included in this group would be service contracts for things such as landscaping, security, food services and so on.
 Indirect maintenance and operations services
These services are associated with activities that support the repair and maintenance of the facility. This can include external services associated with IT support, accounting, facility construction, design and engineering, delivery and shipping and so on.
Once the information is gathered, the next step is to categorise everything using benchmarks from resources such as the Experience Exchange Report from the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA International) or facilities management benchmarking data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
 Internal or external audits
If the inventory is assigned to an internal staff member, the person should be up to date on current codes and standards. When an external facility management auditor (FM auditor) is hired to handle the process, it is also important for the person to be aware of those codes and standards that may be industry specific).
In either case, the person or team should be permitted (and even encouraged) to call attention to potential obstacles within an organisation. This may include reporting on the level of service being provided by the facilities management department or possible deferred maintenance backlogs that have accrued.
Once completed, the audit may give the organisation a means to track costs from year to year, compare operating costs with benchmarked averages and identify areas of improvement within support activities and services for the site. The audit should help facilities managers meet future challenges and provide strategic value to the organisation.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Asset management.
- Benchmarking as business tool.
- Experience Exchange Report EER.
- Facilities management.
- Facility condition assessment FCA.
- Facility condition index FCI.
- Hard facilities management.
- Maximising maintenance budgets after lockdown.
- Operational costs.
- Performance gap.
- Property management.
- Safety audit.
- Soft facilities management.
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