The NEC4 Facilities Management Contract (FMC) combines facilities management (FM) terminology with NEC best-practice procurement principles. This also means FMC users benefit from NEC’s global support and training services, plus continuing evolution of the contract to meet their changing needs.
Previously the NEC4 Term Service Contract (TSC) was often used to procure FM works. But the contract and its language are better suited to ‘hard’ FM, such as structures and mechanical systems. The FM market, led by Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), needed a contract that could also deal with ‘soft’ FM, such as cleaning and security services. As described by Sofie Hooper on page 1, this prompted a four-year collaboration between the NEC and IWFM, resulting in the launch of the FMC and the Facilities Management Subcontract (FMS) in January 2021.
The Facilities Management Short Contract (FMSC) and Facilities Management Short Subcontract (FMSS) were published later in the year for straightforward, low-risk works, completing this unique new contract suite.
Positive user feedback
A key benefit reported by the fast-growing number of FMC users is the inclusion of service and project orders, which are considered better suited for the type of work done in the FM sector than TSC task orders. This is also due to the language being better aligned with the way the FM sector thinks and works. Not surprisingly, among NEC users the FMC is gradually replacing the TSC where appropriate as existing contracts and frameworks come to an end.
New FMC users who have not previously used NEC contracts have also praised the contract for its simplicity, which along with the modular nature of the contract has empowered them to shape it to suit their circumstances. These factors enable users to realise the benefits of using an NEC collaborative contract in the FM sector, including savings on costs and time and robust risk management.
Certainly the NEC need for ‘active management’ to achieve these benefits has also been noted by new users. While some consider this to mean a greater focus on administration, it is also recognised that striving for best contract management practice will pay dividends across a project’s duration.
NEC’s collaboration with the IWFM has continued over the past two years. As with all NEC contracts, various practice notes have been issued since the launch to help FMC users incorporate bespoke contract requirements. So far these include social value requirements, paying a living wage throughout the supply chain, and implications of international and crossborder contracts.
Like all NEC contracts, FMC is written to be independent of any specific legal system so it can be used worldwide with minimum adaptation. For UK users a practice note will soon be issued on The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, or ‘TUPE’, which will help them deal with protection of employment rights in FM term service contracts.
Training and networking
NEC is providing ongoing support for the adoption of the FMC across different regions by hosting FM-related events and providing specific FM training courses, helping users get the best value from the contract, including continuing to develop sector-relevant material to achieve this.
In addition, FMC users have shown a strong appetite for more engagement, in particular a space to network, exchange best practice and share resources related to NEC and FM. The recently launched NEC Community App will play a central role in delivering this space in the near future. NEC is keen to hear and understand what kinds of further engagement FMC users across the world will find valuable.
Moving forward, NEC will continue to engage with and support the FM sector by creating market-led solutions built upon the core NEC principles of mutual trust and co-operation.