Julia Flook

BIFM Recognised Centre: Leeds Beckett UniversityJulia Flook

Levels attained: Level 5 Certificate in Facilities Management

Job Title: Operations Manager

Organisation: Amey

Executive Summary
Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.

Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.

Amey is owned by Ferrovial. They are one of the world’s leading infrastructure management and investment companies. Ferrovial employs approximately 65,000 employees and operates in over 25 countries. Ferrovial’s activities focus on four business sectors construction, airports, toll roads and services.  Amey is part of the Services division.

Interview with Julia Flook:

How long have you worked in FM?
Eight years

What brought you into FM?
My early career was forged very strongly in Administration and an MI reporting background which is how I came into Amey. At that point I had come into the company within an Administrative role; this quickly progressed to Project work with the FM contracts leading to move fully into current operational role.

What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am Operations Manager responsible for the facilities management and service delivery of both hard and soft services across 10 Sites, with over 150 direct reports.

Why did you choose to undertake a BIFM Qualification?
BIFM is recognised across the industry and a much respected qualification. It has supported me in my role when carrying out everyday duties and has helped to increase my overall knowledge of the FM industry.

Which BIFM Qualification have you achieved?
Level 5 Certificate

What were your main goals in taking the BIFM qualification?
I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of FM and equip myself with the tools required to allow me to perform more strategically within my role. The industry we operate in is ever changing I want to make sure I am, and can continue to be, at the top of my game.

What did you get out of studying for your qualification?
The FM world is continuously changing and I definitely realised there is a lot to know and learn. Studying for my qualification helped to reinforce things I already knew but also gave me the desire to learn more about other areas, particularly in relation to my current role.

What did you like most about studying the qualification?
It’s a great feeling learning something new and expanding on things I already knew. I enjoyed having the opportunity to push myself and step out of my comfort zone. It has been too many years to mention since I last studied so much! There is a real sense of achievement when you receive feedback on your assignments.

In your own words, please express how you have found studying for the qualification and how achieving the qualification has helped you: e.g. how achieving the qualification helped you in your career; whether you have been able to put into practice the new knowledge and/or skills gained, if it has helped you achieve your goals/aims etc.
Well, my initial thought when I received my first assignment was “What have I signed up for!” My slight wobble was probably down to being out of education for some time but once I got into it, I found it easier and really began to enjoy it. Pushing harder to complete each assessment was a challenge coupled with my demanding role but seeing your work come together is hugely rewarding. I must say that the information available via the BIFM website and FM World is great; these are fantastic tools that I would recommend to anyone in the industry. As it is early days since I passed my course my career path hasn’t changed just yet but watch this space!

What kind of training/qualifications do you expect to undergo in the future, and why?
I haven’t got anything planned just yet but to support my career ambitions I have looked into increasing my BIFM qualifications and working towards my diploma. I think I will take a slight break first though.

Have you put your learning into practice?
Absolutely, I confidently challenge our current working practices and arrangements to ensure we are using the most effective approach, for example, even simple things like reviewing how our salt is stored at site borne from my assignment on sustainability.

What are your career ambitions?
I hope to move to a promoted role with greater responsibilities. I feel I could have even more of an impact at this level and put my BIFM gained industry knowledge to great use.

What advice would you give to someone about to undertake a BIFM qualification?
Take the leap. Yes it can be hard, but the sense of achievement is worth it especially if you wish to carve out a career for yourself in FM, the increased knowledge is invaluable.

What has the achievement of a BIFM qualification done for your career?
It is still early days but I am confident it will support me in making the next step.

What other future challenges will your studies help you with?
Provide increased service to our clients and hopefully, the next move in my career.

Find out more about BIFM Qualifications

To find out more about the different levels and size of qualifications in facilities management that are available, click on the links below:

Contact us with any questions

If you have any queries about what’s right for you, where to study, and if you’re an employer, how the qualifications can work for your organisation, contact us at:

t: +44 (0) 1279 712651
e: qualifications@bifm.org.uk