Integripedia Topic
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Explore this topic

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental group that develops and publishes standards based on professional research to ensure safety, efficiency, reliability in various situations and industries around the world. Based in Geneva and composed of 165 member countries, the ISO is the planet’s largest creator of voluntary international standards. It was started when delegates from 25 countries met in London in 1946.

The ISO has published more than 19,500 standards on various topics ranging from the risk management governing ISO 31000, to ISO 14000 environmental standards, to the ever popular ISO 9000 quality management standards. Some of the most important to our industry though are ISO 55000, ISO 9000, and ISO 19011:2011.

ISO 55000, Asset management - Overview, Principles and Terminology

ISO 55000:2014 "Asset management - Overview, principles and terminology" is a standard developed and published by ISO that provides an overview of asset management, its principles and terminology, and the expected benefits from adopting asset management. The project was originally started in London in 2010 and the standard was first released on January of 2014. It is still in its first edition.

The general purpose of this standard is to protect the physical assets of a facility. This can include production machinery, protective functions, reputation, intellectual property, and branding, among others.

ISO 55000 is actually made up of three separate, yet related standards. There are ISO 55000, ISO 55001, and ISO 55002. ISO 55000 serves as an overview of asset management, details the principles of the asset management, and gives a list of all terms and definitions related to the topic. ISO 55001 provides the actual requirements for the implementation of an asset management program at a facility. Finally, ISO 55002 details how to actually implement the processes described in ISO 55001.

ISO 55000 is a very versatile standard and can be applied to all types of assets and by all types and sizes of organizations. It can be used in tandem with other ISO standards that relate to management systems. Standards that are compatible with ISO 55000 include: ISO 9001 - Quality management systems - Requirements, ISO 14001 - Environmental Management Systems - Requirements, and ISO 31000 - Risk Management. Compared to other standards, more of the burden for safety is placed on management, rather than on employees.

PAS 55

ISO 55000 was developed based on PAS 55, “Optimal management of physical assets,” a standard originally developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and a group of 50 organizations from 10 different countries and 15 sectors of industry. Compared to PAS 55, ISO 55000 offers a more comprehensive asset management focus and isn’t focused solely on physical assets.

ISO 9000, Quality Management Systems

ISO 9000 is a series of related quality management and assurance standards developed and published by ISO and designed to help organizations document and improve their quality management systems. The ISO 9000 standards were originally published in 1987 and have been periodically updated over the years.

Some of the guidelines include standards on how to be customer focused and implement top managerial qualities. The standards apply to a company's quality management system, not its product or service, and so are applicable for almost any company.

This family of standards includes:

  • ISO 9001:2015 - sets out the requirements of a quality management system
  • ISO 9000:2015 - covers the basic concepts and language
  • ISO 9004:2009 - focuses on how to make a quality management system more efficient and effective
  • ISO 19011:2011 - sets out guidance on internal and external audits of quality management systems.

ISO 9000 is one of the most widely adopted and fastest growing quality initiatives in the world. ISO 9000 standards have been adopted by hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide and continue to grow. This growth is especially evident in countries like China, Japan, Germany, and Italy.

ISO 19011:2011, Guidelines for auditing management systems

ISO 19011:2011, Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems, is a standard developed and published by ISO and intended to provide guidance for auditing management systems. It was published in November of 2011 and is the second edition of the standard. It is a part of the larger ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 collections.

It includes information on the principles of auditing, managing an audit program, and conducting management system audits. It also has information on how to evaluate the competence of individuals involved in the audit process, including the person managing the audit program, auditors, and audit teams. ISO 19011:2011 is primarily meant to apply to organizations that need to conduct audits, internal or external, of their management systems.

Related Topics

Topic Tools

Share this Topic

Contribute to Definition

We welcome updates to this Integripedia definition from the Inspectioneering community. Click the link below to submit any recommended changes for Inspectioneering's team of editors to review.

Contribute to Definition
Articles about International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
    News related to International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
    • Partner Content

      In today's chemical and refining industries, sustained long term reliability of facilities is critical to profitability and competitiveness. In fact, history shows that differences in operating expenses between best-in-class refineries, and poor...

      Inspectioneering Journal

      Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

      Company Directory

      Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

      Talent Solutions

      Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

      Case Studies

      Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


      Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

      Industry News

      Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


      Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

      Expert Interviews

      Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

      Event Calendar

      Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


      Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.


      Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


      Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.