The Facilities Management Association (FMA) and the Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) are headed into merger talks with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) on a positive note.
The chief executives of both organisations have said that the proposed merger would add value to their members, although it would take time.
A merger, should it be approved, won’t just happen overnight, said Chris Hoar, chief executive of FMA which represents around 100 corporate members whose turnover is close to £50 billion. “A merged body of this size would have a voice which would definitely be heard, but it’s very, very early stages yet and it might not come to fruition but it’s our job to make it so.”
Last week the BIFM announced, along with FMA and CSSA, that they are considering a merger, along with the FM sector’s sector skills council, Asset Skills. Merger talks between the CSSA and Asset Skills were well advanced and more “an issue of implementation rather than concept”, said Andrew Large, who will be leaving the CSSA after nearly seven years as its chief executive. His departure makes the time right for the CSSA to consider merger talks, as it had been doing with Asset Skills before the agreement with the BIFM. The two organisations might still join up before any formal agreement with the BIFM.
Earlier this week, BIFM chief executive Gareth Tancred said that he had received many positive comments, with some people saying the merger is “well overdue”. “But we’re only in the exploratory phase and we may decide not to go ahead,” he said. “Even if we do, it will go to the members for a vote but likely not at the AGM in July, rather an extraordinary general meeting in the autumn.” If the vote were to be for a merger, there would need to be an implementation phase before the physical merger is in place.