The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) announced that it will begin holding facility management educational courses in China this month. The announcement follows formal recognition of IFMA earlier this year by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which acknowledged facility management as a distinct discipline and career pursuit.

Courses will be held in China’s Special Administrative Region of Macau, an area which consists of many hotel, gambling, entertainment and conference facilities. The announcement marks the first partnership between IFMA, the Macau Management Association and the Labor Affairs Bureau of the Macau government.

“With the world’s largest population and a robust, expanding economy, China has a real need for quality facility management courses and training,” said IFMA President and Chief Executive Officer David J. Brady. “Conducting these courses is the culmination of a four-year process and several meetings between IFMA representatives, Chinese officials and others. Facility management is evolving rapidly in China, and the Chinese are eager to identify and adopt our best practices. We hope to continue to have a productive, dynamic relationship in the future.”

Classes will commence Saturday, Sept. 22, and will be conducted over eight weekends for a total of 56 course hours. Out of 300 applicants, 140 facility managers were selected to attend. The educational sessions will be in the areas of operations and maintenance and project management. These sessions represent two of the nine facility management core competencies IFMA has identified and developed since introducing the competency-based Certified Facility Manager credential in 1992. IFMA plans to provide a series of courses based on these competencies in the future.