Why is an SLA so important?

ISO 41001 Facility Management Systems

The international standard, ISO 41001 Facility Management – Management Systems, is one of a growing number of management system standards. Its publication comes many years after the first management system standard on quality and others concerned with the environment and energy, for example. While the requirements are broadly the same across all management system standards, ISO 41001 is among those standards that are sector specific. So what does this mean?

The requirements for auditing and certifying Facility Management Systems (FMS) to ISO 41001 are not the same as for the more generic management system standards such as quality, environmental and energy management. In addition to competence in audit, it is necessary to demonstrate competence in facility management. The last thing you want to hear from an auditor is: “tell me, why is an SLA so important?” or, worse, “what is an SLA?”

As a safeguard to users of ISO 41001, ISO has published competence requirements for auditing and certification. ISO/IEC TS 17021-11:2018, Conformity assessment* specifies competence requirements for those involved in the audit and certification of an FMS. These are the requirements that FMS Audit works to when auditing and certifying your FMS. So, when you talk to other auditing and certification bodies, put this question to them: “can you provide evidence of your auditors’ experience in facility management and understanding of the applicable standards in this sector?”

*ISO/IEC TS 17021-11:2018, Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems – Part 11: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of facility management (FM) management systems