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FM Professional Bodies Release Joint Statement on ’Statutory’ Definition

FM Professional Bodies Release Joint Statement on ’Statutory’ Definition
23 May 2024

A group of FM and built environment professional bodies have agreed on a common definition for the term “statutory” in the context of facilities management.

IWFM’s Procurement and Contract Management Special Interest Group (SIG) initiated the collaboration with the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), SFG20 and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

The SIG noted that the industry was lacking a common methodology for compiling specifications for statutory inspections. As a result, there was too much variation in what compliance with statutory requirements looks like, leading to properties potentially being non-compliant from a statutory inspection perspective.

Chris Reeves, Procurement and Contract Management SIG Chair, IWFM, said: “This agreed definition, accompanied with the associated guidance, will help to standardise the understanding and application of a commonly used term within the workplace and facilities management industry. By bringing together and collaborating with other organisations and professional bodies, each with their own perspective and expertise, we have been able to create a common definition which should be of great benefit to all.”


The New Definition of ‘Statutory’


The definition of statutory has been agreed as: denoting anything required by primary legislation such as Acts of Parliament and secondary legislation such as Statutory Instruments (including Regulations).

The statement reads:

“When working to achieve statutory compliance, primary and secondary legislation often focuses on general outcomes rather than prescribing specific activities. The specific activities required to meet statutory compliance may, therefore, be included in government guidance and Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) published by agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or other industry standards and/or guidance (BSI standards, publications by trade associations and professional bodies, etc).

“In the absence of a traceable reference to legislation, following industry standards and/or guidance may assist in discharging duties under the statutory requirements.

“For example: in relation to electrical installations, The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 led to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. This, in turn, is supported by the HSE issued guidance note HSR25 which also references British Standard 7671, which is supported by an on-site guide.


  • Primary Legislation – e.g. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
  • Secondary Legislation – e.g. Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
  • Approved Code of Practice – e.g. HSE Guidance HSR25 The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
  • Industry Standard – e.g. BS 7671:2018 Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition.
  • Industry guidance – On-site guide to BS 7671.


There may be more than one way of discharging duties. To achieve statutory compliance, remedial actions may need to be identified and completed. Applying a documented process will greatly assist in evidencing these decisions.”

Picture: a photograph of several questions marks made out of pastel-coloured paper. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 May 2024


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