10th Jan 2023

The latest meeting of the Further Education Facilities Management Network (FEFMN)’s North West networking group was held in December at Salford’s Procurement House, with more set for 2023.

Split into cohorts across the United Kingdom, the purpose of these regional networking groups is to drive performance excellence within estates and facilities management; and membership is open to CPL members who have responsibility for estates and facilities management at their institution.

There are multiple benefits to joining the FEFMN network, including:

  • Working in a forum to share information, knowledge and best practice.
  • Increasing learning and development in estates and facilities management.
  • Collaborating and keeping in the loop of matters arising that may impact procurement activities.
  • Promoting the importance of estates and facilities management and its role within procurement.
  • Finding out about relevant training and increasing awareness on current and future frameworks.

As typical, the north west group meets three times a year; twice virtually and once in person.

Colleagues from the CPL Group also attend these meetings to help provide management, administrative support and offer delegates advice on funding and training opportunities.

Continuing in the North West in 2023, as well as the Yorkshire and Humberside region, the new year aims to see FEFMN chapters established in the South West, as well as the London/South East area

Discussion points planned for future FEFMN meetings span a variety of topics, including new procurement regulations, sustainability and decarbonisation, energy savings, security measures and access control systems, insurance and software solutions. 

“The FEFMN brings together estates and facilities professionals from North West colleges”, commented Head of Estates & Facilities at Stockport’s Aquinas College, Chris Green.

“Discussions take place to work through current issues such as capital funding/projects, health and safety and other estates topics that are mutually beneficial to its members.

“The group creates a network of like-minded professionals where issues can be discussed inside or outside the group to find quick resolutions.

“The group also looks at bulk buying power amongst its members for projects such as renewable energy sources, etc.

“I have found the group to be mutually beneficial to all the estates professionals in the area.

“Meeting in person after the restrictions COVID brought aids us by having full face-to-face conversations whilst improving networking opportunities, although a hybrid mix of face-to-face and online meetings helps to ensure meetings are well-attended”.

“I feel the group is a good source for information and insight into what other colleges are doing”, added Health, Safety and Facilities Manager at Wigan’s St. John Rigby College, Lisa Daley.

“It provides me with a group of people who I can refer to for help and to share and gain knowledge, advice, help and guidance.”

The next meeting for the North West and Yorkshire & Humberside will take place in February 2023. 

If you are responsible for estates and facilities management and would like to find out more or join your local Further Education Facilities Management Network (FEFMN) group, then please get in touch via [email protected]

Our regional Procurement Advisory Groups (PAGs) meanwhile convene three times per year, with groups now established in the North West, North East, Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, Wales, South West and London/South East. 

Details of their agendas will be shared in early 2023, with meetings tentatively scheduled for the weeks commencing 3rd March, 3rd July and 9th October.