ISO 55001 - What Asset Managers Need to Know

ISO 55001


The International Organization for Standard (ISO) published ISO 55001 in 2014. ISO says that ISO 55001 “…specifies the requirements for the establishment, implementation, maintenance and improvement of a management system for asset management, referred to as an asset management system.”

Components of an asset management system

ISO 55000 outlines the components of an asset management system, including:

  • Organizational context
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

These components are developed further in ISO 55001, which we’ll summarize below so you don’t have to review the complete standard until you’re ready. (Note: These components are developed even further in ISO 55002.)

Organizational context

The framework of the organization is a description of the primary players (stakeholders) and the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP). ISO calls this framework an organization’s context.

The stakeholders are internal and external participants who are relevant to the SAMP. ISO 55001 says that their participation in decision making, along with their unique requirements and expectations, must be defined by an organization to meet the criterion of ISO 55000.

The scope of the SAMP is defined, “by the boundaries and applicability of the asset management system.” The range of assets covered is a required documentation step in the SAMP.

The SAMP must be a living organism. It should display an ability to maintain and continuously improve itself.


The organization’s top leaders shall demonstrate leadership and commitment to the asset management system. In the actual standard, a list of 10 topics are provided that identify the role of leaders and their involvement.

After these ten tips, the leadership section expands on the SAMP and lets everyone know their duty to the SAMP.


Planning is required “…to address risks and opportunities for the asset management system.” The SAMP must plan beyond action and have a metric to determine the effectiveness of its plan.

The roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder at each level is a documentation requirement. An example of this requirement would be describing reports required from a maintenance activity and how senior leadership is needed to respond to the successes and failures of the event.

Eleven steps outline what a good plan should consider. A significant component that is new to many asset strategists is the planning process addressing the life cycle of assets. It is just one of the 11 steps that are required.

These plans include a definition of the various risks and opportunities with each asset. A tool that might be useful in this process is Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA).


Support for the SAMP is broken down into several categories in ISO 550001.

The primary components of support are:

  • Resources
  • Competence
  • Awareness
  • Communication
  • Information requirements
  • Documented information

Establishing support requirements goes beyond financial considerations. Team members must have documented evidence of their skills and leadership must periodically review current and future competency needs.

The culture of an organization should be prepared to grasp the significance of its SAMP.

Organizations who are actively involved in Continuous Improvement (CI) efforts will find meeting many of the culture requirements easy to grasp up and down the ladder of an organization. For example, machine operators will have a metric to use when describing the functioning and abilities of their equipment. They can make the appropriate SAMP information a part of their CI journey. Senior leaders can do the same.


The operation component of an SAMP displays its holistic features. It outlines the process and controls that are needed for success. These can include input from a group of stakeholders—even changes are a topic that is highlighted by the requirement for a Management of Change process.

Activities considered for outsourcing go through the same rigorous operational process as internal activities. They must meet the same criterion, regardless of their role within an organization. For instance, a boiler inspector should meet the requirements of regulatory bodies and also those of the SAMP.

Performance evaluation

The performance evaluation module shall measure asset performance and the performance of the SAMP. The criterion for these evaluations shall even include an analysis of the evaluation process itself.

These evaluations fall into Support Category outlined above which must be controlled and maintained.

Three categories define performance evaluations, including:

  1. Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation
  2. Internal audits
  3. Management review


The SAMP should always looks to improve assets and asset management. Participants who identify nonconforming activities are to take action to control them and implement steps to correct them. These actions prevent further nonconforming events from occurring.

An effort to continually improve the process is a requirement of an ISO 55000 plan and documentation of this commitment is required.


The extensive requirements presented in ISO 55001 are supported by ISO 55002 which goes into even greater detail and support for these requirements. However, you do not need to be on the ISO 55000 journey alone. A list of resources include consultants and supporting organizations.

Some potential vendors for certification support include:

  • ABB – International Engineering firm offering ISO 55000 Gap Assessment
  • Bureau Veritas – A global company offering ISO 55000 services
  • SwainSmith – An American company with a deep investment and experience in ISO 55000 development

Some organizations have a lot to say about asset management. They offer professional development programs and comprehensive resources through their members and industry-specific components.

Supporting organizations include:

  • IAM – The Institute of Asset Management
  • ANSI – The American National Standards Institute

Want to keep reading?

ISO 55000 - What Asset Managers Need to Know

Get an overview of ISO 55000 before reading the entire standard. The most important information is highlighted in this article
View Article

ISO 55002 - What Asset Managers Need to Know

Get an overview of ISO 55002 before reading the entire standard. The most important information is highlighted in this article.
View Article

What are the most common ISO standards for manufacturing facilities to follow?

The most common ISO standards to follow for manufacturing facilities are ISO 55000, 55001, and 55002. All require an asset management system.
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