National Academies Press: OpenBook

Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium (1994)

Chapter: FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION

« Previous: THE ARMY CIVILIAN TRAINING, EDUCATION, AND DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM
Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×

FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION

Robert K. Tyson

U.S. Department of State

I am the training officer for the Facilities Maintenance Division, Foreign Buildings Operations, (FBO), U.S. Department of State. FBO designs, builds, and maintains U.S. embassies worldwide. The Facilities Maintenance Division is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 19,000 buildings in 165 countries, at 257 locations.

The purpose of this presentation is to outline a program that has organizational support and requires training throughout a career.

Facilities management was accomplished in the past by General Services Officers. Many of the GSOs had little training in managing facilities. The only official training they received was three days of facilities training to include all the trades used to maintain facilities. The need for professional facility managers has been recognized for some time. Recently, the Department of State initiated a program designed to provide qualified maintenance personnel to operate State buildings. State developed a career field titled, “Facilities Maintenance Specialists Skill Group.” The Facilities Maintenance Specialists or FMS must have a minimum of five years experience in building maintenance. The FMS must be qualified in at least one of the trade skills, i.e., electrical, HVAC, plumbing, or carpentry. As part of the program, a training precepts was developed. The precepts sets educational requirements are tied to the three levels of FMSs. The entry level is a Maintenance Technician, then a Facility Supervisor, and finally, a Facility Manager. The degree of technical and management training varies with each level.

All FMSs must attend an orientation and GSO course and achieve language proficiency required at various grades. Additionally, there is technical training, optional for the first two grades and mandatory for the last four grades and administrative or management training that is required for promotion eligibility for two of the senior grades. It should be stated that promotion is dependent on satisfactory performance. All of the training precepts requirements are for eligibility

Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×

for promotion. Without the precepts training, the individual’s record does not go before the promotion board.

When reviewing the facilities maintenance field and the requirements that are deemed necessary for our facilities managers, one problem kept surfacing. How were the FMSs going to maintain proficiency when assigned to isolated posts. In fact, the assignment of FMSs is designed to be at posts within countries that do not have a large pool of workers trained in the skills needed to perform facilities maintenance. We settled on a certification program that could be accomplished by correspondence. The certifications are the main items I want to address.

There are three levels of certifications required. The first for the mid-level grade is the Building Owners Management Institute or BOMI, Systems Maintenance Administrator or SMA. The SMA’s first four courses are technical. Each lesson requires the passing of an examination for successful completion. These correspondence courses are sent to each of the FMS at the Post. The FMS studies the material in each course, and when ready, sends a letter to BOMI requesting the examination. The examination is sent to a proctor who administers it and returns it to BOMI. Because our locations are throughout the world, we have arranged with BOMI to send all course material to the FMS at one time. This allows the FMSs to proceed at their own pace and reduces the need to rely on the mail. The completion of the SMA allows the Maintenance Technician to become a Facilities Supervisor. This lateral proficiency increase allows the FMS to serve at posts that require a facility supervisor. The ability to hold positions that require a greater degree of technical expertise and management experience is another stepping stone in the FMS career. Perhaps the more important item is that completing the SMA makes the FMS eligible for promotion to the next grade.

After promotion to the next grade, the FMS is required to complete the BOMI Facilities Management Administrator certification or FMA. The FMA primarily consists of courses designed to teach management skills. There are seven courses and successful completion of an examination is required to complete each course. The completion of this certification will accomplish two things for the FMS. First, the FMS will be changed from a facilities supervisor to a facilities manager. This allows the FMS to be assigned to positions designated as a Facilities Manager. The posts designated for a Facilities Manager are larger and have a more complicated environment for facilities maintenance. Once again, the more important point is that it makes the FMS qualified for promotion to the next grade.

The final certification required is the American Institute of Plant Engineers, Certified Plant Engineer. Unlike the first two certifications that require the completion of courses, the CPE is an examination only. Study material is purchased for the FMS.

Currently, AIPE does not require the test to be taken by people who have experience and education in the facilities management field. They review each application and make a determination if the test must be taken or if the CPE will

Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×

be issued to the person. Beginning in 1994, everyone will be required to take the examination to receive the CPE.

Once again, the purpose of the certification program is to maintain a standard within the facilities maintenance specialists. All of the certifications are updated as changes take place within the facilities maintenance field so the certifications are one way to keep our technicians and managers up to date. The certifications provide us with a method of setting standards for each person before promotion. They provide a method of providing up-to-date material for the FMS.

A final point, the certification makes the FMS eligible for promotion; performance is what gets them promoted.

Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×
Page 11
Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SPECIALISTS EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1994. Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9138.
×
Page 13
Next: CONTINUING EDUCATION IN THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION »
Continuing Education for Construction Professionals: Summary of a Symposium Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!