Civil servants to go to 'property school'

The Cabinet Office has launched a new 'School of Government Property' for public sector staff managing the Government Estate. Ahead of the launch Director of Government Property emphasised the importance of good asset management in a changing property environment.

Admiralty Arch.

London's Admiralty Arch was occupied by the Cabinet Office before being sold to a developer with plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.  (Photo: Le Liz via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Annette McGill

The Government has launched a new training programme to improve public sector skills in property management.

The 'School of Government Property' will support civil servants who deal with government property assets to gain industry-recognised accreditations via the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management.

The aim is to ensure that public sector staff will deliver better property and estate management for public buildings - including assessing whether to dispose of properties.

'A relentless focus on asset management strategy'

Writing in a blog ahead of the launch, the Interim Director of Government Property, Janet Young, emphasised  the importance of asset management skills in a changing property environment. 

She said: "We have to make sure our people are well-placed to deliver the transformation we will need to manage and run a modern public estate. This means understanding whole-life asset management and making every property decision with sustainability considerations front and centre.

"It also means a relentless focus on asset management strategy and releasing property that is no longer needed. 

"Disposing of surplus or unwanted government property and land can help boost local economic growth, release land for housing, cut running costs and create the local prosperity we need to help the economy recover from the pandemic."

300,000 buildings

The Government Estate is the UK's largest and most diverse property portfolio. It includes 300,000 public buildings ranging from nuclear power plants to hospitals and historic government buildings.

More than 5,000 people are involved in looking after these assets.

As part of the new programme, property professionals will be able to access:

  • Core Training: training designed exclusively for members of the Government Property Function
  • Long-term leadership development programmes
  • Support to access Civil Service Learning and training from professional bodies, including the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management.

More than 300 property professionals from every Government department attended the online launch event.