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What Is ISO 55001?

07 March 2018
In this post, we look closer at ISO 55001, its history, and the organizations and industries that use it. If you are interested in certification, get in touch with us and we can talk you through the process.

ISO 55001 is a standardised system for asset management that applies to organisations of any size, in any industry. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) designed it to help businesses manage risk by implementing performance benchmarks that are refined over time as part of a continuous improvement cycle.

In this post, we look closer at ISO 55001, its history, and the organisations and industries that use it. If you are interested in ISO 55001 certification, get in touch with us and we can talk you through the process.

What Is An Asset?

“Asset” is a broad term that encompasses any economic resource controlled by a business or non-profit. Assets can include physical property — equipment, vehicles and technology — as well as financial reserves, intellectual property, human capital and other intangibles.

Assets can add value to an organization, or they can be a financial drain on your company. For this reason, establishing formal processes for managing them and optimising their benefit are critical to your long-term success and stability, as well as the long term efficiency of the asset(s).

History And Background

The ISO 55000 family is based on PAS 55, a publicly available specification initially released by the British Standards Institution (BSI). Working from this document, ISO spent over ten years developing ISO 55000, releasing its three core documents — ISO 55000, ISO 55001 and ISO 55002 — in 2014.

The current working version of the standard is ISO 55000:2014. The ISO 55000 document contains an overview of its general principles and terminology. ISO 55001 provides detailed specifications for developing an asset management system, while ISO 55002:2018 outlines best practices for its implementation.

Industry Applications

All businesses have assets, and all can benefit from ISO 55001 certification. However, the standard typically delivers the most value in capital-intensive industries, including the following.


Water, power and other utility providers face many pressing issues — including aging infrastructure and increased regulatory scrutiny — that ISO 55001 can assist with. For utility companies, asset management standards are tools for both big-picture planning and day-to-day maintenance. If your organization frequently works with subcontractors, ISO 55001 promotes engagement and communication between parties, leading to improved accountability and efficiency.

Real Estate And Property Management

ISO 55001 is also useful for real estate and property managers, including:

  • Private and commercial landlords

  • Housing associations

  • Facilities management organizations

  • Co-ops

It provides tools for ensuring compliance with building code and municipal bylaws, managing large renovation projects and addressing tenant complaints. As it does with manufacturing operations, ISO 55001 aligns with real estate environmental management and energy management systems, working together to lower ongoing costs while keeping units in well-maintained condition.

Oil And Gas

Efficiency is a critical concern in the oil and gas industry. The amount of equipment and staff involved in refining, transporting and processing means any unanticipated downtime can be extremely costly. For oil and gas companies, an asset management system can help ensure equipment is well-maintained and functioning efficiently. One key advantage of ISO 55001 for the oil and gas industry is it is scalable for deployment in multi-site operations, ensuring uniform standards of asset management that are flexible enough to evolve with your organization.


The construction industry is similar to oil and gas in that it involves expensive, specialised equipment that must be correctly maintained to ensure efficient — and cost-effective — operation. ISO 55001 is a highly useful tool for fleet management. Construction crews use it to manage light-to-heavy-duty equipment and accessories, among other assets. For construction companies or contractors, the benefits of ISO 55001 include lower operating and ownership costs, as well as more reliable equipment.


As more manufacturers move toward leaner production models, asset management will continue to be an important priority. For manufacturers, ISO 55001 provides a way of overseeing building and equipment maintenance. As part of the ISO family of standards, it integrates with environmental, information security, health and safety, and other management systems, emphasising the common risks and opportunities these protocols share.


Transportation companies benefit from ISO 55001 through improved fleet management, smarter and more efficient route planning, and lower fuel and maintenance costs. ISO 55001 can identify trends that cost your organization money while maximising the use of your existing resources. Standardised transportation asset management also helps reduce the burden of paperwork involved in record keeping and compliance audits.


Complex global supply chains can involve assets located around the world — getting parts and products where they need to go requires standardised systems and repeatable, measurable processes. The benefits of ISO 55001 for distribution companies include lower costs, increased transparency and greater accountability when things go wrong. ISO 55001 can also help distributors improve regulatory compliance and minimise risk while expanding into new markets.

General Benefits of Asset Management

Ultimately, an ISO 55001 asset management system is a tool for running a more streamlined operation. Like all ISO standards, they are based on repeatable processes that are documented and measured against a set of established metrics. ISO 55001 certification has several general advantages that can benefit organizations regardless of industry. Compliant organizations can use it to:

  • Develop a reliability centred planned preventive maintenance system that will help manage risk over the life of an asset

  • Demonstrate to funders, insurers and other stakeholders that your organization has an independently audited management system in place to care for critical assets

  • Reduce operational costs by extending the life of key assets and prioritising effective preventive maintenance over costly repairs

  • Enable better planning for major capital expenditures, making your organization more flexible and better positioned to respond proactively when change occurs

  • Provide a framework for managing and monitoring the performance of suppliers and subcontractors

  • Create safer workspaces and reduce the risk of occupational injury by increasing machine and equipment reliability

Stakeholders around the world recognise the value of ISO standards, and as more organizations become familiar with ISO 55001, certification will be even more vital from a marketing and reputational standpoint. Whether you’re moving into new markets or growing in other ways, ISO 55001 certification will remain a highly useful tool for strategic planning.

Becoming ISO 55001 Certified

One of the first and most important steps in becoming ISO 55001 certified is to conduct a gap analysis of your existing asset management system. If you are currently or have in the past been PAS 55 certified, it may be possible to utilise much of what is already in place, bearing in mind that the ISO standard has expanded its definition of an asset to encompass intangible items such as software, financial products and more. This means it is a good time to review current process and practices and improve/update them to ensure maximum efficiency is gained from your Asset Management System.