Asset Management Standards Developed in South Africa Meeting

Suzy Jamieson, ICML

Earlier this year, the newly formed project committee ISO PC 251 met in Pretoria, South Africa, to continue the development of a series of standards on asset management. During the week-long meeting, more than 55 delegates from 14 of the participating member countries took part in the discussions and further advancement of the three documents comprising the upcoming standards series.

During the meeting, ICML advisory board member Leith Hitchcock served as liaison from ISO TC 108/SC5 to PC 251 and offered the following report on the progress of the documents and the future panorama for industry with the advent of the ISO 55000 series.

“The first standard, ISO 55000, introduces the general concepts, principles, terms and definitions associated with asset management, asset management systems and assets,” Hitchcock stated. “Most importantly, this document provides guidance to organizations and individuals on the benefits of asset management, asset management systems and the use of this series of standards. It will be of great significance for the first-time user and for senior executives wishing to create and implement asset management throughout their organizations.”

Hitchcock noted that the terms and definitions pertaining to assets, asset management and asset management systems have been created to ensure widespread applicability of these standards beyond the realm of physical assets.

“The original intent of the development of these standards was to use the British specification PAS 55 as a base,” he explained. “This intent has been maintained. However, the two-part PAS 55 has been expanded to a three-standard series with the scope of implementation being expanded beyond the limits of physical assets.”

According to Hitchcock, the second standard in the series, ISO 55001, is being crafted as the primary standard to be used for the design, development and certification of asset management systems.

“This standard specifies the requirements for asset management systems,” he said. “Such requirements cover a wide range of subjects inclusive of, but not limited to, top management responsibilities and accountabilities, policies, plans, organizational structure and requirement for asset management personnel training and qualification.”

ISO 55001 also specifies requirements for linkage across other organizational management systems, such as those for risk and financial management.

“Embedded in this standard are the requirements for continuous improvement as being an essential part of asset management,” Hitchcock added.

The third standard, ISO 55002, is intended to provide guidance for the development and implementation of an asset management system. It is structured so there is direct linkage between the statement of the requirement in ISO 55001 and the specific guidance provided in ISO 55002.

“This document will be of most use for personnel involved in implementing asset management systems through an organization,” Hitchcock said. “It is not intended for use as the basis for any certification program. The guidance in this document is designed to be generic for most types of assets, inclusive of those that are deemed to be non-physical. Further expansion of this document will provide linkage to supporting technical standards that exist as ISO, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) or other national standards. ISO 55002, however, is not intended to offer specific details on technical requirements for asset management.”

The complete series of standards is expected to be released in 2013. National standards bodies should be receiving draft international standards (DIS) documents for comments and vote in the latter half of 2012. It is recommended that each standards body gain wide review and feedback from its participating organizations and members.

The next meeting is scheduled for mid-2012 in the Czech Republic’s capital city of Prague, where maximum attendance is expected with the growing participation from countries worldwide achieving member status. Linkage to other ISO technical committees, international standards development bodies and industry sector representative organizations has been established and is being maintained via an increasing number of liaisons to PC 251.

“This series of standards is expected to have significant impact on organizations from public works and public utilities to manufacturing, industrial and defense sectors,” Hitchcock said. “As such, this series of standards warrants wide participation, close scrutiny and rigorous discussion, given the global impact such standards are likely to have.”

The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) will continue supporting the development of pertinent international standards impacting the machinery lubrication and oil analysis industries and their practitioners. All interested parties are encouraged to participate in the development of these and other standards. Remember, it is better to participate now than to reluctantly comply later.


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