It’s just two weeks until the BIFM Awards 2017 ceremony takes place at the stunning Grosvenor House Hotel in Central London, and I am honoured to be resuming the role of Chair of Judges for a fourth time.

For me, the annual BIFM Awards is a chance to recognise the very best of the facilities management profession and an opportunity to celebrate the great strides that continue to be made every year in FM.

I am always extremely privileged to be a part of this unique industry event on both a personal and a professional level for so many reasons. Professionally, the Awards is a chance to gain an unrivalled insight into the world of FM right now, the innovations, work and changes that are taking place across the sector; And personally, I get to be a part of BIFM’s independent, robust and rigorous approach to judging the FM sector, which makes me immensely proud.

I also feel proud to have been a part of the transformation of the Awards process when they were relaunched during 2015. This followed the appointment of Grant Thornton after the 2014 awards who conducted an external audit and made recommendations to strengthen the already robust process we had in place. This was to ensure we had an even greater degree of transparency and rigour.

I believe that this process realignment contributed to the BIFM Awards winning the Association Excellence Award in 2016, which ultimately recognised the time, effort and attention-to-detail that goes into organising and running such a profoundly important industry event.

This recognition also highlighted to the rest of the FM industry just how much goes on behind the scenes – an aspect of the Awards that many people do not know about.

It isn’t just one month or two months of work needed to put together the Awards. What’s more, every judge involved in the outcome of the Awards is highly scrutinised and assessed – to ensure independent and robust judging standards. As a result each year a number of judges are removed from the process, or the category then are involved in when these conflicts occur. This year, the eagle eyed may have noted that two of our lead judges swapped categories after the entries closed. If a judge is unsure of their conflict, then it is my job as Chair of Judges to review the evidence and make a final decision.

Similarly, we protect the integrity of the awards by ensuring that sponsors are not allowed to enter the categories which they sponsor. And, again all sponsorship is managed centrally by the BIFM Head Office team and does not involve the judges.

This November, when the BIFM Awards 2017 ceremony is over, we will once again review the categories, finesse the processes and further ensure that the BIFM Awards institution is the very best it can be now and in the future, and is fully representative of FM.

This yearly assessment and process, which is undertaken by BIFM and a team of industry experts who make up the Awards panel, ensures that the judging process continues to be refined and honed – particularly as the FM industry changes and evolves.

A Lead Judge is appointed to take responsibility for each of the Awards categories, overseeing the judging team and ensuring the standards set out throughout the year are adhered to.

Thanks to these stringent judging processes and attention-to-detail the BIFM Awards continue to be a highly-regarded occasion that FM professionals richly deserve. It makes me proud to know that the BIFM Awards are not only recognised as the FM event of the year in the UK but also around the world – an accolade that continues to boost the perception of the FM industry globally.

I want to say a huge thank you to the judges involved in the Awards for volunteering their valuable time and expertise. It’s thanks to their dedication all year round that we are able to deliver the BIFM Awards ceremony with such professionalism and gain such important FM industry learnings year-after-year.

For those who have attended the BIFM Awards ceremony before, you may have heard me talk in even more detail about the process of the Awards and how important it is. You may have heard me say that the Awards isn’t just about one night, it celebrates all of the hard work and dedication that is applied all year round to the FM profession.

With all of that in mind, it’s time for everyone involved and new to FM to get excited about this year’s ceremony – an evening when the hard work finally pays off for FM professionals and the BIFM Awards team alike. The 2017 BIFM Awards is fast approaching and tickets are selling fast, and I am personally looking forward to another fantastic evening of celebration, recognition and invaluable insight, as well as a chance to catch up with old colleagues and meet the new shining lights of the FM industry.

I hope to see you there to celebrate another year of FM success and achievement!

Steve Gladwin

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