Inspectioneering Journal

An Overview of ISO 55000 - Standardizing Asset Management

By Walt Sanford, President at Pinnacle. This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Maximizing return on investment of physical assets, while at the same time operating safely and in an environmentally responsible manner is now more critical than ever for organizations within the heavy process industries. While many facilities can successfully achieve these goals individually, oftentimes the efforts to maintain uptime, improve safety, and ensure compliance lack alignment with each other. As a result, facilities can waste precious time, funds and resources accomplishing each effort individually.

By aligning these efforts under a common, comprehensive asset management system as outlined in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 55000, facilities can experience greater return on asset investment. This article provides an overview of the new ISO 55000 family of standards and the requirements facilities must follow to meet this standard’s criteria.

Evolution of ISO 55000

In 2004, the British Standards Institute (BSI), together with the Institute of Asset Management (IAM), released Publicly Available Specification 55 (PAS 55). This specification was very successful, with widespread adoption in the energy, transport, mining, process, and manufacturing industries.

In 2008, 50 organizations from 15 industry sectors in 10 countries worked together to release the latest update to PAS 55, known as PAS 55: 2008. It contained two parts:

1.PAS 55-1: Specification for the Optimized Management of Physical Assets, and

2.PAS 55-2: Guidelines for the Application of PAS 55-1

The new update provided clear definitions and a 28-point requirements specification for establishing and verifying an aligned, optimized, and whole-life management system for all types of physical assets. In late July 2009, BSI, supported by IAM, submitted a proposal to form a "Project Committee" to develop an International Standard. This ISO Standard would be based upon the good work already captured in PAS 55, and include input from other industries and learned societies located worldwide.

Thus, in January 2014, under the umbrella of the International Organization for Standardization, the ISO 55000 family of standards for asset management was published.

The ISO 55000 Family of Standards

Generally referred to as “ISO 55000,” this standard includes three key chapters:

  1. ISO 55000 – Asset Management – Overview, principles and terminology
  2. ISO 55001 – Asset Management – Management systems – Requirements
  3. ISO 55002 – Asset Management – Management systems – Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001

According to the IAM, “These three international standards are important not only for their content, but because they represent a global consensus on what asset management is and what it can do to increase value generated by all organizations.”

In addition to outlining the definition and terminology of asset management, ISO 55000 standards can integrate with other major management system’s standards. These include, ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, OHSAS 18000 for occupational health and safety, and ISO 31000 for risk management.

The ISO 55000 family is also the first management system standard to implement the new ISO Annex SL, which establishes a consistent basis for all management systems, enabling better integration and coordinated monitoring, audit, and certification. To align with this new template, other management system standards will be updated to meet these criteria.

Management Standard

While the fundamental organization of ISO management system standard families start with 000 (e.g. ISO 9000), the actual requirements for compliance are typically in the 001 standard for each family (e.g. ISO 9001:2008), against which compliance is audited and certified. This is the case with the ISO 55000 family. Thus, ISO 55001: 2014 (ISO 55001) establishes the requirements facilities must meet to be ISO certified.

In order to describe the fundamentals of ISO 55001, it is useful to first explain what it is not. ISO 55001 does not dictate what to do to manage physical assets. Rather, ISO 55001 provides requirements for how to operate the system within which activities are defined, organized, and managed. As with most other ISO management standards, there is a great deal of flexibility in what the user actually does. The emphasis of requirements is instead placed on assurances that what the user says they will do, is actually done consistently, verifiably, and in a manner where nonconformance and proactive opportunities can be recognized and acted upon to achieve continuous improvement.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Yousuf Hasani on March 14, 2022
Thanks for posting, very good and informative... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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