Getting in to Condition: Why every asset management plan is premised on the Condition Survey
The responsibility of managing a single academy trust is a challenging business. With such fluidity in the sector and the number of trusts expanding and merging, the task of understanding the condition of the increasing estate’s built environment becomes ever more arduous.
The sheer volume of surveys, reports, assessments and records to audit and maintain is a job in itself and if there are different service providers operating across individual school sites, the role becomes even more demanding.
The most important and useful of all surveys, is the Condition Survey. It is the foundation upon which all staff concerned with the school’s built estate,will refer back to; from the site manager to the school business manager and up to the director of finance.
Without accurate and contemporary data, it is not possible to quantify and build the necessary plans and programmes for the maintenance of the estate, the procurement of future contracts, nor assess potential funding streams for those academies eligible for the Condition Improvement Fund.
The initial building block for any trust’s development plan or asset management strategy, starts with the information captured in the condition survey.
The finance director will refer to its analysis to understand future liabilities in order to prepare budgets and establish reserves. An up to date condition survey will also be required for insurance and valuation purposes.
The condition survey is undertaken by Make’s team of chartered surveyors, who will capture data relating to the condition of the school buildings fabric (Roofs, windows etc) and key components (Boilers, distribution systems etc) and score them in terms of condition, priority, residual life, life expectancy and further, quantify them in, term of numbers or forms of measurement so as to provide accurate cost profiles.
From this collected and collated information, I can analyse the data and provide life cycle reports that highlight where, when and what the replacement work packages will cost in the year of their expiration.
I can then act as strategic partner for future tendering and ensure best value procurement is achieved.
My bespoke and flexible condition survey allows the trust to help shape what they require from the survey and its final report. This gives control to the trust to determine what they value and what would be most useful to them.
It is not simply about the quantity of data, it is more about the quality and how effectively it can be used to provide the trust with short, medium and long visibility of its risks and liabilities. Once these have been identified, together we can work to align budgets and ensure optimal return via funding and internal investment.