Matthew Lancaster

Job Title: Caretaker

Employer:  St Johns Beaumont School

Executive summary
:  St Johns Beaumont School is an independent preparatory School for boys from the age of 4 years to 13 years old, with around 400 pupils of which 60 are full time boarders.

Background:  I started my career as a suspended ceiling and partition fitter  for 17 years and moved to maintenance in 2010 working for Surrey County Council and now in FM for St Johns Beaumont School for the last 3 years.

How many people does your organization employ in FM?
The School have 5 FM staff but also employs around 15 cleaning, grounds and maintenance staff.

Which market sector is your employer in?
My employer is in the education sector.

Which challenges does your organisation face?
Challenges my organisation faces are maintaining a grade 2 listed building whilst at the same time trying to improve and update its facilities and facilities services.

How long have you worked in FM?

I have working in FM for 3 years now at the School.

What brought you into FM?
After leaving the suspended ceiling and partitioning trade my skill base lent towards a maintenance type career and I wanted to move more into the management side of the industry rather than the practical side, so FM was the next obvious step.

What is your current role?
I am the caretaker at the School and this involves managing the cleaning, grounds and maintenance teams on a daily basis as well as outsourced contractors. This also involves procurement of supplies, sourcing contractors to carry out repairs, carrying out risk assessments, Health and Safety and anything related to building maintenance.

Why did you choose to undertake a BIFM Qualification?

I wanted to do a FM qualification to improve my general FM knowledge and the BIFM was the obvious choice as one of the leader in its field.

Which BIFM Qualification have you achieved?
I have achieved the BIFM level 3 Diploma.

What were your main goals in taking the BIFM qualification?

My main aim was to improve my general FM knowledge and have a better understanding of the industry I am working in. I had a good knowledge of the practical side of building maintenance having worked in the construction industry for 17 years but lacked in knowledge of the management side of FM and wanted to improve this by doing the BIFM qualification.

What did you get out of studying for your qualification?

I now have a far greater understanding of what is involved in facilities management and the FM industry as a whole.

What did you most like about studying the qualification?

I found the Budget Management of Facilities Management Operations module of the course the most interesting, rewarding and challenging as I had very little knowledge of this before I completed the course and it has definitely helped me in my current role and improved my knowledge of the subject.

How have you found studying for the qualification?
I found the BIFM online method of studying for my course very convenient as it gave me the flexibility to fit this in around my work/ home commitments.  The feedback I received from my course assessor has been very helpful and constructive whilst completing the course. I found the way the course was set out very easy to use and the instructions on how to go about completing the course very clear and easy to understand.

How have you put your learning into practice?
I am now much more confident in budgeting for facilities services and dealing with the financial side of FM after completing the course. Completing the course has not only improved my general FM Knowledge but also boosted my confidence in my abilities and given me a solid platform on which build on in the future for my FM career.

What are your career ambitions?
I would like to build on what I have learnt after completing the BIFM level 3 diploma and work my way up to Facilities Manager at the School.

What advice would you give to someone about to undertake a BIFM qualification?

As I did my qualification online, I would recommend always reading the assessment criteria before and during the course for each question, set yourself realistic time targets for completing each module so that you can manage how you progress through the course to achieve your desired qualification and try not to over think the questions, they are fairly strait forward.

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