Five things you may not know about ISO 55001

ISO 55001 is the first management system standard that was developed from the high-level framework. It is about identifying and controlling risk to internal and external stakeholders of the defined asset portfolio.


Events like the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near miss in 2002 where a football size hole from boric acid corrosion was found in the reactor vessel head and the 2010 drilling tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico were case studies used to define why organizations must not only control the risk to internal stakeholders, but also to the external stakeholders as well. The Ohio residents and businesses on the Gulf of Mexico were certainly external stakeholders that were at significant risk if the assets were not controlled appropriately as value is created for those organizations employing those assets.

As the audit and consulting communities ready themselves for the potential of an ISO 9001 like rush to compliance and organizations evaluate their level of interest in and international standard relating to asset management, there are some elements of the standard that may not be apparent to all. These items clearly differentiate this standard from any other management system standard to date and set the tone that all other will follow.

1. ISO 55001:2014-Asset management-Management systems-Requirements is the first management system that was developed from the high-level framework defined in ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1, Consolidated ISO Supplement-Procedures Specific to ISO. This annex contains the framework for all management systems going forward and contains 10 common elements that are assembled in a Deming “plan-do-check-act” continuous improvement process and is currently being developed using this framework for quality management systems and will be released this year. These elements are:


  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership




  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

2. As alluded to in the introduction, ISO 55001 is more about identifying and controlling risk to internal and external stakeholders of the defined asset portfolio, while looking for opportunities for continuous improvement throughout the life cycle. Documenting risks and opportunities are common themes throughout the standard and an organization will find it difficult, if not impossible, to comply with the requirements without following the principles and guidelines found in ISO 31000:2009, Risk Management.

3. The Asset Management Strategy or Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) is derived from the Asset Management Policy and is where the asset management objectives are required to be contained. In development of the strategy, some level of stakeholder mapping is required to define the expectations both internally and externally and communicate those by way of the objectives.

4. The asset management plan is an output of the asset management system and takes into account the technical requirements of the asset portfolio that is within scope of the system and is developed to ensure the asset management objectives are achieved through out the life cycle.

5. Another significant difference from other management system standards is the focus on collaboration. Top management is also required to demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the asset management system by promoting cross-functional collaboration within the organization.

- Mike Poland is the Vice President of Asset Management Services for Life Cycle Engineering and recently completed an internal auditor course for the ISO 55000 series led by the British Standards Institute. You can reach Mike at For more information, visit For more information on ISO 55000, visit The Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP). SMRP is a CFE Media content partner.

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