ISO 55001 Asset Management

Word cloud concept image centred on asset management, plus other related words and terms relevant to managing company or organisational assets

ISO 55000, ISO 55001 and ISO 55002 are each part of the 2014 series of three international standards for best practice in asset management, drawing on but superseding the British Standards Institute’s specification for the optimised management of physical assets, PAS 55.

The three standards provide any organisation with a comprehensive picture of asset management, together with the information and guidance necessary to put it into practice:

  • ISO 55000 contains an explanation of the wording and definitions to be used throughout the standards, under the three documents, together with an overview of asset management.
  • ISO 55001 sets out the requirements for a best practice asset management system that can be integrated with other management procedures operated by an organisation.
  • ISO 55002 contains guidance for setting up and implementing an asset management system.

Together, the three documents offer businesses and other organisations the information, guidance and the tools that they need to utilise their assets to the organisation’s best advantage, while managing risks, controlling costs and complying with all relevant legal, health & safety and other requirements.

An asset management system that complies with the requirements set out under ISO 55001 can be certified to the standard.

Why Is Asset Management Necessary?

Most organisations own a range of physical assets to enable them, directly or indirectly, to create or deliver products and services and to facilitate other tasks, to carry out their routine activities and achieve their ultimate goals. Assets have a value in their own right, with a cost attached, and also in terms of their value in helping an organisation progress its aims.

Assets are often considered to be items such as machinery and equipment but an organisation’s assets will also be likely to include:

  • Financial resources.
  • Intangible items, such as information or knowledge.
  • People.

Every organisation needs to realise the best and the most that it can from its assets, while ensuring that it acts lawfully and reasonably, complies with all relevant obligations and identifies and mitigates associated risks. Physical assets can be effectively managed throughout their life cycles to achieve these aspirations and enable an organisation to optimise their worth. 

Best practice in asset management takes into account the nature of the organisational structure and places emphasis on the connection between the management of assets and people.

Through a systematic and co-ordinated approach to asset management procedures across an organisation, it is possible to monitor and manage the performance of assets throughout their life cycle and remain in full control of other crucial factors, including risk, cost and compliance.

The Benefits Of Asset Management

The requirements for an asset management system, as set out under ISO 55001, provide the means for an organisation to improve the operation of its business over the long term with the aim of supporting and achieving domestic and international growth and realising its goals, with a range of benefits, including:

  • A reduction in the cost of asset ownership.
  • The realisation of better value for money.
  • Competitive utilisation of assets.
  • A reduction in risk that can arise from the ownership and use of assets.
  • Better management and deployment of assets generally.
  • Improved reliability of assets and a reduction in risk.
  • Improved levels of performance and efficiency.
  • Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • A comprehensive management system that can be audited and demonstrated.
  • Enhanced reputation and customer confidence.

An organisation that operates to the requirements of ISO 55001, based on the guidance set out under ISO 55002, is able to maintain and continuously improve a professional asset management system, aligned with its other management systems, with a clear policy and strategy.

How Certification To ISO 55001 Can Be Achieved

As with any management system, the process of establishing a set of new management processes needs to be supported and encouraged by the organisation’s management team. 

The detailed policies and procedures that make up the system must be tailored to suit the needs of the organisation concerned, while also complying with ISO 55001. The standard is written in such a way as to allow scope for organisations to adapt the requirements to match the way they do business.

It is also important to keep everyone in the organisation informed and involved and to enable them to participate in the process of designing and installing the system, with recognised roles and responsibilities. A range of people will also need to be trained to operate, maintain and update the system, once it has been implemented, and it is useful for them to take ownership from the outset.

A gap analysis will assist in the first instance in identifying the current state of the organisation and any relevant management processes that are already in operation. The findings can then be compared with the requirements of ISO 55001 and the vision of how the organisation should be expected to look, once the new management system has been implemented. The gaps between the current and future situations can then be identified and analysed and then plans can be formulated as actions to bridge the gaps.

The results of a gap analysis, combined with a thorough understanding of the organisation, including its people, the way it operates and its aims, can be used to inform a clear methodology and programme of work going forward to design and implement the new asset management policies and procedures that will form part of the new system.

If an organisation already has an asset management or other management system in place, it may be possible to amend or extend some of the existing procedures to incorporate the requirements of ISO 55001.

Once the new system has been set up and reviewed and has been operating smoothly for a period of time, an independent assessment can be carried out to determine whether the procedures fully comply with the requirements of ISO 55001. If there are any discrepancies, they can be amended as appropriate. Once all the procedures comply with ISO 55001, following a formal assessment, an organisation can receive certification to the standard to demonstrate that compliance has been achieved. 

The organisation will be awarded a formal certificate and the right to display an official logo, as evidence of its success.

Achieving ISO 55001 Certification By A UKAS Accredited Body

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body that assesses the organisations that provide formal certification to international management standards, such as ISO 55001. UKAS is a non-profit distributing organisation, recognised by the UK government.

UKAS accreditation serves as evidence of the competence, impartiality and performance capability of the bodies that have been accredited and are entitled to carry out the certification process. 

Following the implementation of a new management system by any of its client organisations, Touchstone Renard always recommends that formal certification to the standard be carried out by an independent certification body, accredited by UKAS. This enables the final certification process to remain independent from the work carried out by Touchstone Renard in setting up the system, providing transparency, confidence and reassurance that the new procedures are sufficiently robust and that they comply with the requirements of the standard.

Touchstone Renard will support all clients in designing and implementing the relevant management procedures, to comply with the requirements of the standard, before facilitating the selection of a UKAS accredited body (of the client’s choice) to carry out the final assessment and certification of the new system, independently of Touchstone Renard. 

Combining Asset Management With Other Management Procedures

ISO 55001’s asset management framework and requirements have been designed and produced to allow organisations to integrate their asset management procedures with other management processes.

This means that asset management can be combined with other procedures that also comply with recognised international standards, such as quality management procedures under ISO 9001.

If an organisation has already implemented a quality or other management system and is seeking to establish an asset management system, the procedures for two or more systems can be integrated as far as possible.

The integration of management procedures can provide a range of tangible benefits. However, certification to the individual standards can still be achieved, provided that the combined procedures comply with the requirements of each standard.

Which Processes Can Be Integrated?

Examples of processes that can be combined to accommodate the requirements of more than one standard include:

  • Internal auditing.
  • Document control.
  • Training and development.
  • Management review.
  • Taking corrective action. 

What Are The Benefits Of Integrated Procedures?

Streamlining of management procedures to the requirements of two or more standards can benefit organisations in a range of ways by:

  • Reducing duplication of effort.
  • Optimising the use of time and resource, improving efficiency and performance.
  • Reducing confusion and inconsistencies.
  • Cutting costs.
  • Providing an holistic picture of management aims and objectives.
  • Enabling people to cooperate and communicate effectively.

So, if an organisation already has a set of management procedures in place and aims to introduce another management system or is seeking to implement two new sets of procedures at the same time, it is always essential to consider the feasibility and benefits of integration, before going ahead.

How Touchstone Renard Can Help Any Organisation Implement An Asset Management System

Touchstone Renard has a long, successful track record of supporting clients in creating and maintaining robust systematic management procedures, including the management of assets.

Prior to the introduction of ISO 55001 or its predecessor, PAS 55, Touchstone Renard had devised its own asset management methodology, known as MAIN10, enabling clients to improve their in-house or outsourced asset maintenance programmes. This was successfully adopted by clients in the public and private sectors for many years.

Asset Management Case Study Snapshots

Police Maintenance Facilities

Touchstone Renard was commissioned to carry out an independent review of the vehicle maintenance facilities of three Welsh Police Constabularies, utilising over 2000 vehicles, within an extensive geographical area.

Following a gap analysis, we identified clear opportunities to enable our client officers to tackle the transition to best practice, in terms of the use and management of their vehicles and workshop facilities. We also took account of the interrelationship between physical assets, employees and other factors.  

We supported the Police in designing and implementing a new asset management system, enabling them to achieve increased productivity and reduced costs to the public sector. Greater efficiencies were soon realised, going forward, in a climate of cost pressure.

A Global Truck Rental Client

Touchstone Renard’s client was well known as one of the largest global truck rental companies, covering distribution, maintenance, renting and leasing, operating out of 30 different UK workshops.

Our client recognised, however, that their existing fleet management procedures, governing major physical assets, involved a wide range of unnecessary and uncoordinated activities, with inconsistencies and confusion over roles and responsibilities.

Our review of their management system revealed vast discrepancies between operating procedures at different depots, resulting in variations in customer care, output and profits margins, with a direct impact on productivity for the business as a whole.

Having identified the problems, we were able to propose an improved fleet management system, addressing workshop procedures and roles and responsibilities of our client’s people. The new fleet management system was rolled out across the company’s facilities, providing a consistent approach, improving performance and enabling our client to achieve increased productivity.

Getting Started Achieving Certification To ISO 55001

Touchstone Renard has a friendly, experienced, professional team, with the skills to support any organisation of any type or size to design and implement an asset management system tailored to suit the needs of the organisation, with the option of achieving certification to ISO 55001.

We are able to provide the support needed while enabling our clients to continue with the daily operation of their organisations, without distraction or disruption.

We will carry out any or all of the steps needed to help any organisation design, document, install and monitor the policies and procedures that it will need to achieve and maintain a management system under one or more standards. We can also offer awareness training and 'dry run' assessments, prior to formal assessment by an independent body.

If an organisation wishes to do part of the work itself in-house, we will suggest ways to adapt and reduce the level of support that we provide. An increased level of help can be offered to clients who would welcome more assistance. 

After a new management system has been implemented and is running smoothly, we can offer further support, if required, in maintaining an organisation’s management procedures in the future. This will ensure that the procedures continue to operate effectively and are kept updated, so that re-certification to the relevant management standard governing the system continues to be obtained.

We can also support clients who wish to integrate their management procedures to reduce duplication of effort, save time and cut costs. We have helped many organisations to design and introduce management procedures that comply with the requirements of more than one standard while achieving separate certification to each standard.

We welcome assignments of any duration and are always pleased to help. For example, a client may only require a relatively brief gap analysis or review to be undertaken to assess its readiness and ability to implement a new management system.

Every client organisation that engages our services receives a free copy of the standard.

Your ISO 55001 Asset Management Requirements

If you would like to discuss how asset management can be used to support your organisation’s goals, please call or email:

Phil Austin, Managing Director on:

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