4 Factors to Consider When Getting Your FMP
A facility manager wears many hats, and needs to stay informed about various aspects of their workplace in order to maintain efficiency and productivity. Completing IFMA's Facility Management Professional (FMP) credential program is one way to let your team and potential employers know that you have the knowledge and skillset to excel in the field.
Time and scheduling
The FMP certification takes roughly 50 to 100 hours to complete and it includes four courses: Project Management; Operations and Maintenance; Finance and Business; and Leadership and Strategy.
Passing all four courses is a requirement for the certification, so it's important to be cognisant of time requirements before diving in. Time management can be tricky, but fortunately, the FMP has flexible study options.
How many hours can you afford to set aside to study? Would your employer allow you to study at work or will you have to do it after? In-class coursework, online self-study and corporate training are all available, so choose which one works best for you.
Alignment with your goals
Consider the goals and outcomes you expect from getting your FMP—what are both you and your company hoping to gain? If the goals are aligned with company objectives, consider approaching them to cover the cost.
The program can give you practical skills that help your organization cut down on operating costs, while the certification can bolster your personal brand and give you a competitive edge within your company and the industry as a whole.
You can also earn general continued education hours towards your LEED credential management which could be crucial depending on your company vision or personal career goals.
It might take awhile to recall your personal studying best practices if you've been working in the field for awhile. Make sure to reflect on your study style beforehand and take note of what you're going to need to earn your certification. This might include group study sessions, scheduled quiet time, flash cards and resources like books or video tutorials. You can even prepare a sample study plan before making your decision to pursue the certificate—this will give you a better understanding of how much time and commitment will be required to prepare for the assessments.
Getting your FMP is a great achievement, but having a plan of what to do afterwards will help optimize the value out of your certification. Think about how you want to communicate your accomplishment to peers, managers or potential employers—and create actionable steps to implement the knowledge you've learned. Putting forethought into how you'll use your certification is important and can justify the resources you spent to achieve it.
Facilities management will always be a multi-faceted job that draws from many fields at once to get things done. The FMP certification can help expand your knowledge in these fields and provide stronger integrity to your professional brand. Ultimately, if you take the time to improve your skills and put them to work, your actions will speak much louder than your certification.