Facilities Manager's Desk Reference is a summary reference book covering a broad spectrum of strategic, legal, financial, engineering, health and safety, maintenance, security, IT and human-related issues in the United Kingdom, in as much as they apply to the Facilities Manager. As well as summarising the key issues, it provides checklists, metrics on expected costs, tolerances and other values, and explains the abbreviations and vocabulary that facilities managers are likely to come into contact with when interfacing with other departments and professions.
In just 535 pages which cover 38 separate subject areas, most broken down into twenty or thirty specific sections, this book does not provide in-depth coverage of any topic, although the sections on FM as a strategic and tactical discipline are more extensive and authoritative. However, it does bring together broad coverage of almost every topic that falls within FM's remit, referencing and summarising key legislation, and giving appropriately greater depth in areas where Facilities Managers are expected to take the lead.
As an example of this, the section on TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) Regulations is just 15 lines long: enough to introduce the subject, set out the key issues, and stipulate the requirement, which is entirely sufficient since Human Resources would normally be expected to lead on TUPE. On the other hand, Legionnaires' disease gets almost three pages, in recognition of the fact that the suppression and eradication of Legionella is primarily a facilities issue. Where the facilities manager is expected to bring technical expertise to bear, for example on the illumination required for various tasks, tables are provided setting out exact values and, where relevant, tolerances.
This book will be useful for three kinds of people. Its primary audience is working facilities managers who want a first port of call when reminding themselves of specific issues or preparing for a meeting with a specialist. Second, FM students will find it a useful resource as it sets out clear explanations of many terms, such as PRINCE2, that they will come across in other reading but not be expected to acquire expertise in. Third, directors in organisations which do not have a Board-level estates function, and who therefore collectively carry legal responsibility for compliance, will find it highly useful in informing them of their responsibilities, and also giving a sufficient grounding in the overall discipline to have intelligent and useful conversations with the FM team.
This is a useful guide, and will substantially enhance access to a broad range of knowledge which is not necessarily easy to come by in an authoritative form through online research.