What is compliance in facility management?

Compliance is “to be in accordance” with a certain plan, regulation, legislation, or standard. Therefore, compliance in facility management implies complying with a given task plan, safety regulations, the legislation of the country, or ISO standards.

But this definition is very generic! To ensure compliance in maintenance and FM, the manager must be familiarised with the objectives of each company and the country’s regulations. In addition, as outsourcing is extremely common in FM, supplier compliance management must also be done.

Over the lifetime of a building, annual operation and maintenance expenses vary between 1-2% of the initial cost. If we consider a 40-year lifetime, the maintenance of the building can be up to 80% of the initial cost. After 50 years, the maintenance cost can even be equivalent to the construction cost. So, there is a tendency to see FM as a “cost”.

However, maintenance, FM, and building management are essential if the infrastructure is to continue to meet expectations, needs, and legal requirements.

Internal vs. external compliance

Internal compliance focuses on internal processes and the quality of products or services. Conducting internal audits proves invaluable in standardising processes and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Should an audit uncover a non-conformity, reactive measures can be swiftly implemented to address the issue within the organisation.

Conversely, external compliance pertains to adherence to state standards and other regulations. Non-compliance in this realm carries potentially severe and public repercussions for the company. For instance, failure to comply with GDPR regulations could result in fines reaching up to €20 million. The fallout from Volkswagen’s emissions scandal illustrates the far-reaching consequences of non-compliance with environmental regulations.

How important is compliance in facility management?

Simply put, it is paramount.

It serves as the cornerstone for ensuring that facilities operate safely, efficiently, and within legal and regulatory frameworks. If we had to point out the 5 most important reasons to assure FM compliance, those would definitely be:

  1. Legal requirements (of course!).
  2. Risk management, since non-compliance can lead to accidents, injuries, property damage, among others.
  3. Reputation management (commitment to legal and ethical standards = trust).
  4. Operational efficiency (complying can improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and lower operational costs in the long run).
  5. Financial implications, aka losses due to fines, legal fees, increased insurance premiums, and damage to property or reputation.

So, maintenance and FM compliance not only improves your business performance, but it also saves you money on fines! As such, in the long run, there is no doubt that having compliant suppliers is very beneficial for your company. But beware: set all the standards to be met in an SLA (Service Level Agreement) to avoid unpleasantness.

On the other hand, if you are a service provider, demonstrating compliance with maintenance plans should be a priority. You should always think, “am I achieving compliance? How can I prove it to the customer?”.

✅ Follow the standards that apply to your business area, namely HACCP plans, fire regulations, and other applicable legislation;

✅ Make sure that the building’s Centralised Technical Management (CTM), or Building Automation and Control Systems, follow the requirements stipulated by law;

✅Comply with health and safety standards, especially with regard to disease prevention (e.g. Legionella) and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ);

✅ Guarantee data privacy, as FM suppliers must ensure the confidentiality of all information to which they have access;

✅ In the event of an accident, demonstrating your suppliers’ compliance with all recommended standards prevents the insurer shifting the onus onto your company.


Key areas of compliance in facility management

Compliance applies to any matter that falls within the FM sphere. As such, it can include building compliance management (which concerns the life cycle of the building, e.g., asbestos removal), safety protocols, HVAC maintenance, and so on. However, they almost always fall into these 8 areas:

  • Legislation (e.g., air quality legislation);
  • Requirements (e.g., using approved materials)
  • Rules (e.g., use of personal protective equipment);
  • Standards (e.g., ISO standards, OSHA standards)
  • Policies (e.g., comply with the company’s environmental policy)
  • Transparency (e.g., reporting to the customer)
  • Regulations (e.g., do periodic inspections);
  • Governance (e.g., not stipulating an ethical code).

📩 Sustainable Development Goals and Facility Management [free guide]

Compliance and data protection

In recent years, the challenge of ensuring privacy of the data collected has also emerged — and FM and maintenance businesses are collecting a wealth of data. The consequences of data breaches can be far-reaching, impacting not only users’ financial security and privacy but also the provider’s reputation and legal standing. According to IBM Security, the cost of data breaches can be staggering, with the average cost per lost record exceeding $150 in 2023.

In 2021, a Honeywell study found that 27% of facility managers experienced cybersecurity issues, which violates data protection rights.

So, if you are a supplier, you should ensure your software is protected. If you hire or outsource, you should confirm that the supplier and IoT devices follow GDPR or ISO 27001 (Information Security Management Systems).

Non-compliance in FM and the main areas of risk:

✖ Manpower (ensuring everyone has the right knowledge);

✖Supplier management (from both a financial and ethical perspective);

✖ Data (demonstrate compliance through reporting);

✖ Contracts (keeping all legal documentation and supplier agreements);

✖ Ethics (e.g., taking responsibility for your mistakes, refusing “offers”).

With such strict frameworks in place, 100% compliance is no longer a “nice-to-have” feature on a facility management system. Simply put, it’s mandatory.

Smart maintenance software is the answer to that need.

How to improve compliance in maintenance and facility management

Ideally, compliance in preventive maintenance is around 90%. If your compliance is below this threshold, the first step is to detect where the non-compliances are. On the Infraspeak platform, you can easily find non-compliances using the Audits app.

When you detect a non-conformity, the first step is to contain the damage: reactive maintenance. Only after you have a solution — even if it is temporary — can you move on to the next step. Applying a root cause analysis (for example, a simple 5 why analysis) allows you to find the source of the non-compliance and prevent it from happening again.

Technology that has the potential to revolutionise facility management compliance is already here, and it offers:


Technology can automate routine compliance tasks, such as data collection, monitoring, and reporting. Automated systems can ensure that compliance requirements are consistently met, reducing the risk of human error and oversight.

Data Management

An intelligent, FM solution can centralise and data management processes related to compliance, which includes storing documentation, tracking compliance activities, and generating reports for auditing purposes. Also, transitioning from paper-based documentation to digital formats can streamline documentation processes and improve accessibility.

Real-Time Monitoring

IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors can be deployed within facilities to monitor various parameters in real-time, such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and equipment performance. This continuous monitoring enables proactive identification of potential compliance issues and timely interventions to prevent problems from escalating.

Advanced Analytics

Analytics and IA can analyse large volumes of data to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that may indicate compliance risks, so that facility managers can anticipate potential issues and take preemptive measures to address them.

📝 You may also like: The role of data analytics in facility management

Mobile Applications

Mobile apps can empower facility managers and staff to access compliance-related information, report incidents, and perform inspections from anywhere, using a smartphone or tablet. This enhances communication, collaboration, and responsiveness in managing compliance tasks.

Additionaly, a cloud-based FM platform enables remote monitoring and management. This is particularly beneficial for multi-site organisations or facilities located in remote or inaccessible areas.

Integration with Regulatory Updates

Technology solutions can integrate with regulatory databases and update systems to ensure that compliance requirements are kept up-to-date, so that you can stay informed about changes in regulations and adapt their compliance practices accordingly.

100% compliance with SLAs and regulations for FM operations

With Infraspeak, you can develop an optimal FM strategy, guaranteeing adherence to predefined SLAs and enabling full compliance with safety and legal requirements.

You’ll be able to design and tailor audits for various locations and assets, experiencing quality control like never before with PPE checklists and protocols in place for unexpected health and safety issues.

Infraspeak is also ISO-27001 certified, the world’s best-known standard for information security management systems (ISMS) and their requirements. To cut a long story short, this means you can trust us with your data and your digital transformation.

And the best part? The platform is fully customisable, scalable, and adapted to you business’ needs.  

Don’t just take our word for it…

As one of the world’s biggest engineering companies, Siemens is responsible for the Bank of Portugal’s infrastructure operations. This includes HVAC maintenance, space maintenance, and responsibility for onsite equipment.

To make technicians more autonomous, Siemens utilised Infraspeak’s mobile technology and NFC tags.

Fully able to comply with the central bank’s quality standards and deadlines, Siemens managed to meet their SLA requirements, leading to more efficient operations and transparent relationships.

A 10-minute call is all it takes.
Learn how Infraspeak can help with intelligent maintenance management.