Filling The Skills Gap: Facilities Management

Facilities Management is a role that can be directly transferred from the military to a commercial setting. Military buildings and their services need managing, whether they are in the UK, abroad or in a hostile environment. What sets military professionals apart from their civilian counterparts is the life experience they gain whilst serving in the Armed Forces. The training undertaken and extreme pressure they have routinely been under  instills a drive to succeed and a will to meet the highest of standards.

Soft Skills

Military people have an unrivaled set of soft skills, many of which make them perfectly suited to a commercial role in facilities management. It is these skills that sets them above their civilian counterparts.

  • Written and oral communications.
  • Drive to succeed.
  • Analytical and problem solving.
  • Interpersonal.
  • Confident and ambitious.
  • Flexible and reliable.
  • Relationship-building and networking.
  • Procurement and negotiation.
  • The ability to multi-task and prioritise.
  • Time management.
  • Team working and leadership.

Hard Skills

Former Service men and women in this sector hold relevant qualifications which may include:

  • Health and Safety qualifications e.g. NEBOSH / IOSH.
  • Level 6 City and Guilds Graduateship Award in Leadership and Management.
  • PRINCE2 and APMP.
  • A degree in a relevant subject (Engineering/ Business etc).
  • L3 - 8 Professional Qualification with membership (BIFM).
  • BIFM Facilities Management Level 4.
  • Knowledge of Building Regulations, eg European Energy regulations.
  • Membership of the British Institute of Facilities Management.


Military Facilities Managers are experienced in:

  • Hard Facilities Management including heating, fire safety and building maintenance.
  • Soft Facilities Management including security and waste management.
  • Implementation of Health & Safety policies.
  • Procurement and contract management.
  • Managing contractors and suppliers.
  • Project Management.
  • IT and Microsoft Word.
  • Facilities Management software packages.
  • Report writing.
  • Conducting briefings
  • Budget Management.

So How Do Ex-Military Facilities Managers Add Value? 

The Armed Forces was shown to be the third largest former professional background of Facilities Management professionals in the 2012 FM World Salary Survey (the British Institute of Facilities Management’s magazine). An impressive 10% of the sample came from a background in Facilities Management, illustrating why the profession is fast becoming an obvious path for Service Leavers.

It is the regular training military Facilities Managers have undertaken and their life experiences that sets them apart from their civilian counterparts. They may not be able to compete in terms of qualifications but these can be gained in time. What an employer gets with taking on an ex military candidate are the soft skills that are so hard to find when reading a CV. It is these skills that will make the difference to a business. As one of our candidates puts it:

‘I always relate to a gold standard - where you go in and do more than what is expected. ‘
Billy McDavid Feb 2017

Examples of Armed Forces-Friendly Employers Looking For Facilities Management Experts

  • Mitie
  • Compass Group
  • G4S
  • Sodexo
  • Land Securities
  • Savills Resource Management