Hard Facilities Management services for the Volunteer Estate to be delivered by the MOD Built Estates contracts

December 12, 2023
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Ministry of Defence sign

Following the conclusion of the Volunteer Estate Value for Money Study, it has been agreed that Hard Facilities Management services for the Volunteer Estate will in the future be delivered by the MOD Built Estate contracts.

These contracts cover key maintenance work, repairs, servicing and Hard Facilities Management, across the Volunteer Estate to enable Reserves and Cadets to continue to work and train.

The Volunteer Estate Value for Money Study was launched in Oct 22 to determine whether Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) Hard Facilities Management requirements could be more cost effectively met by the MOD Built Estate suppliers than through the existing arrangements.

Following consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including the 13 RFCAs, the Council of RFCAs (CRFCA), the single Services, RFCA customers, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and wider MOD, the Study recommended that the existing MOD Built Estate contractual arrangements should be adopted to deliver Hard Facilities Management Services for the Volunteer Estate.

Adopting the Built Estate arrangements will provide the opportunity to transform the approach to maintaining the Volunteer Estate, whilst ensuring statutory and mandatory compliance and providing a safer place for Reserves and Cadets to work and train. It also allows for the strategic alignment of the Volunteer Estate with the wider MOD estate, generating a ‘one Defence Estate’ ethos. Benefits of the Built Estate contracts include:

  • A move from the current ‘fix on fail’ approach to preventative maintenance and evidence based investment decisions.
  • Adoption of industry best practice maintenance standards.
  • An improvement in Health and Safety compliance.
  • A higher level of investment in the maintenance of the Volunteer Estate.
  • Improved Information Technology to inform and manage Facilities Management on the Volunteer Estate to ensure investment decisions are more data driven.

The 13 RFCAs will align with the four Built Estate regions, and the In Service Dates for the new arrangements are as follows:

RFCABE RegionBE SupplierISD
Highland
Lowland
Northern Ireland
Scotland & Northern Ireland (SNI)Mitie1 Aug 2024
Greater London
South East
South East (SE)VINCI1 Aug 2024
WessexSouth West (SW)VIVO (Joint Venture between Serco & EQUANS)1 Aug 2024
East Anglia
East Midlands
North of England
North West
Wales
West Midlands
Yorkshire & the Humber
Central (CEN)VIVO (Joint Venture between Serco & EQUANS)1 Aug 2024

It has been agreed that the RFCAs and CRFCA should retain responsibility for managing the contractual relationship for the future Hard Facilities Management service delivery across the Volunteer Estate and to continue to act as the estates advisor on behalf of the single Services.

Revised RFCA and CRFCA estate teams’ organisational structures will be put in place to ensure the effective management of the new arrangements. These structures aim to improve the attraction and retention of professionally qualified estates staff.

During mobilisation the DIO, Industry Partners and RFCAs will work together to ensure there is sufficient and capable resource available to undertake all required activities to ensure successful delivery under the new arrangements. Additionally, a comprehensive training package will be rolled out, including to estate users, to ensure future roles and responsibilities are fully understood.

Maj Gen Jamie Gordon CB CBE, Chief Executive CRFCA said: “I see the delivery of Hard Facilities Management on the Volunteer Estate by the Built Estate suppliers providing the RFCAs with the opportunity to transform the approach in assuring statutory and mandatory compliance, and providing a safe place for Reserves and Cadets to work and train.  

“It also keeps the RFCAs front and centre in its role of maintaining and developing the Volunteer Estate. This is but one of the changes that the RFCAs have enacted to deliver their vital support of the Reserves and Cadets over the last 115 years.”

James Crosfield, Senior Responsible Owner to the VE VFM Study said: “I’m delighted that the MOD Built Estate contracts will now be adopted by the Volunteer Estate to deliver Hard Facilities Management for the Reserve Forces and Cadet Associations. This move supports the strategic alignment of the Volunteer Estate with the wider MOD Estate generating a ‘one defence ethos’ and offers the opportunity to transform the approach to maintaining the Volunteer Estate.  

“Mobilisation of these new arrangements will now commence following the best practice Operational Readiness approach which was used to successfully mobilise the Built Estate Contracts.”