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K-12 Workflow Management Blog

Conducting an Education Facility Audit

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Though many parts of a school are indelible – memories and friendships made, lives shaped, championships won – school facilities themselves are susceptible to wear and tear like any other structure. 

Maintaining clean, safe environments for students and staff is a key way that facilities managers can help encourage successful academic outcomes for learners of all ages. Proactive maintenance techniques, such as facility audits, can help facility management teams pinpoint issues and work with school district stakeholders to address them before they become more significant problems. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about an education facility audit: what they are, why they’re important, and best practices to follow. Keep reading to learn how regular, in-depth facility audits and data collection can help extend the life cycle of your district’s most important educational asset.

What is an Education Facility Maintenance Audit?

An education facility maintenance audit is a systematic, comprehensive evaluation of the physical condition and functionality of a district’s buildings and facilities. Although the term “audit” is commonly associated with a financial or curriculum-focused review, K-12 facilities audits include factors critical for safety and fostering a positive learning environment

A K-12 facility audit team inspects school buildings, parking lots, air quality, HVAC systems, and more. Their findings are then compiled into audit reports highlighting issues that must be addressed. A school inventory management system is a vital component of any facility audit toolkit, as it can significantly streamline the process. This allows staff to focus their time on gathering insights into necessary improvements and developing maintenance strategies rather than clicking around cumbersome spreadsheets.

Why is a School Facility Audit Important? 

Conducting a regular school facility audit is a major pillar of proper school facility management. It allows facility managers to proactively address issues before they cause disruptions or safety concerns. An annual audit also offers an important opportunity to review non-physical aspects of school building maintenance, including relationships with providers, expenditures, and ongoing initiatives to ensure compliance with Department of Education guidelines. 

School Facilities Maintenance Checklist 

Whether you’re in charge of maintenance for a private or public school, school facility maintenance audits are an essential component of school safety. Creating a prescriptive audit procedure that ensures valid, actionable results is important. 

  • Review District Audit Procedures: Before you plan your facility audit, familiarize yourself with any existing processes established by authorities like your school board. This will ensure that your audit procedure complies with your district’s standards, helping avoid embarrassing oversights and awkward questions when reporting your audit findings. 
  • Interview Key Stakeholders: Engage in discussions with key stakeholders at all levels of your school system, from administrators and faculty members to maintenance and cafeteria staff. Don’t discount kids’ input, either – especially if you’re working with middle or high school students. Their perspectives and firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights into pressing maintenance issues that need attention. 
  • Test Current Access Points: Regardless of enrollment size, every education facility audit should include a comprehensive review of all access points within the school premises to ensure their safety and security. Your safety workflow should include interior and exterior doors and windows.
  • Create an Audit Report: Compile your findings, observations, and recommendations into an audit report to share with stakeholders. This document serves as a vital tool for communicating issues and planning improvements.
  • Distribute the Facility Audit Report: All relevant stakeholders, including school administrators, maintenance personnel, and school board officials, should receive a copy of your completed facility audit report. This will help promote transparency and encourage collaboration when implementing your audit’s recommendations. 

Following this checklist ensures that your school facility assessment meets its objectives for promoting school safety.

Education Facility Audit Best Practices

Once you’ve followed the steps above and established a solid footing for your school facility audit, incorporate these best practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your audit process.

  • Define Objectives and Relevant KPIs: Clearly define the goals for your audit, then link these objectives to specific, measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure outcomes are actionable and aligned with broader educational goals.
  • Run Annual Audits: Implementing a strategic, annual audit process allows for the timely identification of potential issues, facilitating early intervention and continuous upkeep of school facilities.
  • Consider Facilities Management Software: Facilities management software can streamline your audit process with specialized tools and a centralized platform for comprehensive data collection, analysis, and reporting. 
  • Revisit Previous Insights and Recommendations: Regularly reviewing findings and actions taken in response to previous audits can help you measure progress and refine strategies over time, ensuring continuous improvement.

Adopting these proactive facility management strategies ensures that your school buildings’ current needs are met and prepares you for future maintenance challenges. 

Look After Your Education Facilities’ Health 

Conducting routine audits is essential for maintaining a safe, secure, and disruption-free learning environment for students, teachers, and staff. Creating a detailed facility audit checklist customized to your district’s buildings and preferred facility maintenance processes provides a baseline for thorough and efficient audits with actionable outcomes that can help you address issues before they escalate.

Leveraging powerful school facilities management software like Incident IQ can further enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of your audits. Our industry-leading software offers K-12 facility managers a single source of truth for all facilities data, enabling in-depth data analysis and detailed process management for your audit. Streamline your efforts to improve outcomes and deliver more accurate facility maintenance audits for your K-12 schools.