How Asset Management Software helps the School Facilities Manager
When you think of school asset management software you probably think in terms of managing and tracking your IT equipment, software licences and furniture. However, it can also be a very useful tool for staff directly responsible for inspection, maintenance and repairs within their school. It can be used to effectively create a planned preventive system of inspection and maintenance based on compliance with relevant health and safety legislation.
The inspection and maintenance programme should be prepared by the Facilities Manager working with the premises committee of the governing body. The actual work will then be completed by competent contractors although some schools may wish to hand the whole process to a private facilities management company.
Regular planned inspections of the school premises are an integral part of a successful inspection and maintenance programme. The Facilities Manager will have a good knowledge of the school, plant, equipment and supporting services systems, and should develop health and safety inspection and maintenance checklists. Asset Management software can support this sort of programme by diarying in key inspection and maintenance schedules against specific pieces of equipment and also store important manufacturer information and warranties which can be made available to contractors. Any relevant documentation can be stored in the database eg: risk assessments and safety certifications.
If we take the example of fire safety inspections, these need to include the alarms, fire doors, emergency lighting, fire fighting equipment and even signage. All of these elements have a supporting programme of safety inspections eg: the alarms require a daily check to ensure the fire alarm panel indicates normal operation, a weekly check by operating a call point to ensure the fire alarm operates and a six monthly check carried out by a competent person. Your asset management software can include a fire safety asset category with an inspection diary, physical location of all fire safety assets and any supporting information including checklists and test certificates. In addition to fire safety, a school should also have a planned programme in place for :
Plumbing and Mechanical Inspections
Legionella Risk Assessment
General Building Upkeep
Statutory Thorough Examination and Inspections on equipment such as lifts, gas appliances and pressure vessels
Asbestos Management Plan
These inspections will typically generate a certificate, detailing such information as: who conducted the inspection, when, what was inspected (model and serial numbers as well as a description of the plant), defects identified and remedial action required.
Managing a schools facilities is a demanding role, asset management software can potentially centralise, organise and schedule a comprehensive planned inspection and maintenance programme, ensuring all your important supporting documentation is always on hand.