Facilities Services Operative

Occupational overview

This occupation is found in the facilities management (FM) industry both in the “supplier” side (i.e. those companies that supply FM services to their customers) and the “client” side (i.e. the recipients of those contracted FM services).

A Facilities Services Operative is a broad description of someone who provides facilities services support to customers and FM departments.  This may include services such as security, supporting hard FM functions i.e. maintenance and engineering, and Soft FM i.e. cleaning, catering, front-of-house logistics, post-room services and portering.

The FM industry covers a wide range of industry sub-sectors. Therefore, typically, this role could be found working in a range of environments e.g. in an office and/or on-site, for example, in residential developments and commercial properties, hospitals, schools or retail centres and industrial locations.

Beyond their immediate team, Facilities Services Operatives (FSOs) liaise with colleagues in other departments (e.g. Finance, Procurement/Commercial) and collaborates with technical experts and other FM-related roles such as security personnel, cleaners, catering and front-of-house staff.  This is an outward-facing role where liaison with customers is a key priority and forms a major part of the role.  An employee in this occupation may work alone in a small enterprise or in teams of up anything from 30 to 500 people in a large-scale operation, depending on the size of the contract.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for fulfilling the duties listed below in compliance with legislation and organizational policies and procedures. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues within the FM department and reports to the FM Supervisor.  There is no typical pattern of work, but Facilities Services Operatives are often employed on a Monday to Friday basis. Night working is rarely involved.


  • Legislative requirements and responsibilities relating to health and safety, access & inclusion, manual handling, working at heights, hazardous substances (COSHH), reporting of injuries, diseases etc (RIDDOR)
  • Other legislative requirements and responsibilities e.g. food safety, employment rights and responsibilities, data protection, equality, diversity and inclusion
  • The distinctions between Hard FM (maintenance), Soft FM (support services), Total or Integrated FM and its contribution to an organization
  • The roles and responsibilities of FM technical experts (e.g. contractors, engineers, surveyors etc)
  • The roles and responsibilities of those within the FM reporting structure
  • HSE Five steps to risk assessment
  • The requirements of the emergency and evacuation procedures
  • Good practice in risk management in the FM industry e.g. security, access and inclusion
  • The limits of their personal authority and competence
  • Risk-related information requirements and those of the FM risk register
  • The features and purpose of effective customer service
  • The functioning of FM services and their interrelationships
  • The range of FM contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) including customers’ performance standards
  • The role of customer feedback in providing customer service
  • How the requirements of the contract/SLA with the customer is used to manage their expectations
  • The features of a complaints procedure and typical timescales
  • The purpose of keeping customers informed of developments, issues and delays
  • How innovation and change can support good customer relationships
  • Customers’ and organizational corporate social responsibility and sustainability policies and requirements e.g. environmentally-friendly initiatives; “People, Planet, Profit"
  • The contribution of FM to support sustainability (good practice, profitability, cost-savings, quality enhancements)
  • Trends in FM of sustainable practice e.g. well-being, safeguarding
  • The contribution of soft FM services to an organization (value to customers, profitability, cost-savings, quality enhancements)
  • The factors to be taken into account n costing the delivery of an FM service
  • The features of a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • How to report inefficiencies and defects and suggest improvements
  • The impact of feedback in a service industry
  • The requirements of relevant SOPs
  • Types and sources of FM-related information (e.g. on health and safety, energy usage, efficiency of heating and lighting systems, security and access systems)
  • The uses of FM-related information (e.g. identifying recurrent problems, performance management, cost, efficiency, quality, continuous improvement etc)
  • The nature and benefits of improvements to an FM business (value to customers, sustainability, environmental, profitability, cost-savings, quality enhancements)
  • The features of the FM improvement cycle
  • How to use software such as Word, spreadsheets, email, internet. communications systems and  FM-specific software e.g. Building Management Systems (BMS), I.D card systems and facilities helpdesk and how they support the FM function
  • The functioning of the access management system (health and safety, security, front-of-house) including egress
  • The planned maintenance programme and how it affects the front-of-house
  • Why it is necessary to understand the layout of the facility and any internal access restrictions (e.g. security restrictions, management of deliveries and contractors, access and inclusion, risk management)
  • How to carry out a conditions survey (e.g. taking photos, checking furniture and fittings etc) and prepare reports
  • The different role of those involved in the organisation of events (e.g. security, marketing, IT, hospitality and catering outsourced organisations etc.)
  • The way in which communication used in the front of house function influences visitors' perception of an organisation
  • The contribution of hard FM to an organization (value to customers, profitability, cost-savings, quality enhancements)
  • The difference between and requirements of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) and reactive maintenance
  • The risks and hazards associated with maintenance activities and their consequences if realized
  • The use of Building Management Systems (BMS) and operation and maintenance systems manuals to maintain specified operating conditions
  • The interrelationship and need for collaboration between the Mechanical & Engineering and the FM function
  • The purpose and features of personal performance measurement processes e.g. appraisals, one-to-ones
  • The requirements of a personal development plan
  • Training interventions available to support the development of FM competence and knowledge
  • Sources of information e.g. trade magazines, professional body
  • The features of effective reflective practice and the impact of personal behaviours
  • The way in which an organization’s mission, vision and values affect its operations
  • The purpose of establishing good customer relations and the features of effective customer relationships
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different methods of communication
  • The stages of a project, roles and responsibilities within a project
  • The project management tools that are used in the project


  • Comply with relevant health, safety and environmental legislation (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) e.g. logging incidents, posting/distributing health and safety notices, checking fire extinguishers, fire alarms, confirming that checks have been carried out, use of PPE
  • Comply with other relevant legislation e.g. food safety, employment rights and responsibilities, data protection, equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) e.g. permits to work, contractor risk assessments, safe systems of work, site inductions
  • Carry out health and safety checks in accordance with SOPs
  • Report the findings of health and safety checks in accordance with SOPs
  • Identify risks, hazards and threats to people, property and premises in accordance with SOPs
  • Act on the findings of health and safety checks in accordance with SOPs
  • Implement site emergency and evacuation procedures in accordance with SOPs e.g. acting as emergency evacuation marshal, submitting evacuation plans and reports/audits
  • Report on the actions taken in accordance with SOPs
  • Collaborate with other colleagues (e.g. security officers, cleaning operatives, receptionists, engineers and catering staff) in accordance with SOPs
  • Respond to customers’ queries and incidents in accordance with SOPs
  • Take action that is appropriate to the nature of the FM query (e.g. clarifying straightforward contractual/SLA queries, referrals/escalation)
  • Deal with complaints in accordance with SOPs
  • Keep customers informed of developments, issues and delays in accordance with SOPs
  • Apply policies in sustainability and corporate social responsibility in accordance with SOPs
  • Identify areas for improvement in sustainable and corporate social responsibility performance in accordance with SOPs
  • Make practicable suggestions for improvements to corporate social responsibility performance in accordance with SOPs
  • Operate the stock management system in accordance with SOPs e.g. stock checking, replenishment, stock ordering
  • Confirm the correct functioning of equipment used to deliver FM services in accordance with SOPs (e.g. franking machines, reprographics equipment, cleaning equipment, vending machines, catering trolleys, radios, walkie-talkies etc.)
  • Report the findings of premises and equipment inspections in accordance with SOPs
  • Carry out quality assurance checks in accordance with SOP's to ensure that FM services are delivered to the required standard.
  • Deal with feedback or escalate issues beyond their level of authority in accordance with SOP's
  • Collect FM-related information from a variety of sources (e.g. from BMS, helpdesk or in-house systems) in accordance with the task specification
  • Collate FM and health and safety information as specified (e.g. preparing preliminary reports such as energy usage and sustainability, heating systems, lighting systems, security and access systems) in accordance with the task specification
  • Identify and report on opportunities for improvement from information collected in accordance with the task specification using appropriate software applications and communication platforms
  • Provide support to the access management system in accordance with SOPs (e.g. ID checks, key authorization, security marking, security access data, building security alarm systems (access, CCTV etc)
  • Ensure communal areas meet required standards of cleanliness and presentation in accordance with SOPs (e.g. cleanliness checks, keeping the area tidy and free from hazards, maintaining the currency of publicity displays, dealing with post, deliveries and laundry, acting as a traffic marshal, removing rubbish etc)
  • Greet and treat visitors in accordance with SOPs
  • Ensure service areas are maintained in accordance with SOPs for cleanliness and hygiene (e.g food preparation areas, control rooms, compactors and refuse areas)
  • Support others through the provision of reception services, events organisation, hospitality and catering, room set-up and restoration in accordance with SOPs and the task specification
  • Report issues and problems in accordance with SOPs
  • Log jobs and arrange for repairs and engineering maintenance in accordance with SOPs
  • Carry out inspections of premises and facilities to ensure the correct functioning of buildings and plant equipment in accordance with SOPs e.g. access systems, temperature checks, repairs carried out
  • Carry out minor repairs and maintenance or ensure that they have been carried out in accordance with SOPs e.g. changing toner, changing batteries, replenishing stationary, PPM audits.
  • Report the correct operation of FM buildings and equipment in accordance with SOPs
  • Keep asset registers up-to-date (checks, reconciliation, record keeping) in accordance with SOPs
  • Complete and keep up-to-date personal development plans
  • Keep FM-related skills up-to-date
  • Manage customer expectations in accordance with SOPs and organizational expectations
  • Communicate with customers confidently and clearly using communication methods that are appropriate to the situation in accordance with organizational expectations
  • Support the project team constructively and in a way that engenders positive relationships in accordance with organizational expectations
  • Report on the extent that objectives have been met and escalate any issues in accordance with organizational expectations


  • Customer focus
  • Team working
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Attention to detail
  • Honesty
  • Adaptability

Entry requirements

Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to take the tests for this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 


12 months.

Professional qualifications

Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management / Associate

This is a level 2 qualification

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


Recruiting school leavers? We can help