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What has to be in the asset management policy?

ISO 55001 has 12 requirements for the asset management policy

The standard contains clause – 5.2 Policy. This states what has to be established and implemented.

It has very specific requirements that you have to meet.

Our guidance page goes through each one and gives practical advice on how to comply with the requirements.

You can meet all the requirements and create a great asset management policy

If you use a sensible approach, you can create a policy that works for you and will be accepted by external auditors.

Our helpful guide goes through tips and advice to help you.

Read our guidance

You can read our guidance here: how to create a great asset management policy

Can I use your Lead Auditor Courses to become a Certification Auditor?

ISO 17021 Competence Requirements

ISO 17021 is the set of ISO standards that apply to certification bodies.

Our Lead Auditor courses satisfy the competence requirements through training for Certification Auditors of ISO 17021: 2015 and ISO 17021-5:2014 including:

  • Asset management terminology, definitions and principles
  • Asset management practices, activities and methodologies
  • Asset management system standards and normative documents
  • Business management practices – approaches to determine asset value to the organisation; outsourcing

The courses and certification has been used by several Accredited Certification Bodies for their auditors.

Our Lead Auditor courses enable you to become a certified ISO 55001 auditor by demonstrating the required competence trough training, as mentioned above. You can’t be a certification auditor without passing this type of course.

A subsequent step to becoming a Certification Auditor is to become approved under the technical competence procedures of an accredited certification body (SGS , BSI, LRQA, NQA, AFNOR etc).


Just contact us if you want to find out more.

Does internal audit have to cover every clause of ISO 55001?

No, the internal audit does not have to cover every clause of ISO 55001… but..

There is often an assumption that an organisation’s internal audit programme must include audits against the clauses of ISO 55001:2014.

Technically, there is no specific requirement in the ISO 55001 for internal audit to audit against clauses of the standard.

The actual requirement is:

” Conduct audits … to assist in the determination on whether the asset management system conforms to … the requirements of this international standard.”

So an organisation can audit every clause if it wants to, thereby assisting very nicely. However they can (and many do) satisfy the ISO requirement by using information from audits, together with other evidence, in a systematic review by management of whether the asset management system conforms to the requirements of the international standard.

The evidence of compliance is commonly in the form of a signposting matrix that shows which sources of assurance (including audits) are used to assist in the determination on whether the asset management system conforms to the ISO requirements. The other sources of assurance can include internal and external verification, risk information, management and supervisory assurance, governance evidence etc. An audit trail can then lead to the necessary objective evidence.
This is good practice and it complies with the wording of the ISO requirement.

Another common way is to make a compliance matrix and then validating it to show how the organisation’s own processes ensure compliance with the respective ISO clauses. Then by auditing the processes, this gives assurance of compliance to the requirements of ISO 55001. In order to provide the right level of assurance, audits of processes must verify that they are effective in delivering against objectives, and provide assurance of conformity and risk control.

This seems to be supported by the ISO 55002 guidance standard, which talks about audit:

“to ensure the asset management system conforms to its requirements (and to the requirements of ISO 55001)”.

This question is covered in a bit more detail on our guidance page – click here to read it.

Read our guidance section for more information on this and other topics.

We can help you

We help organisations to develop their management system, train internal auditors, and achieve successful certification.

Find out more about our consulting service – click here.

Contact us to get help and advice.

Do I need certification?

You need certification if it will help your organisation to be successful

Whether you need certification or not depends on your business needs.

You definitely need certification if….

  • Your customers have told you it is a requirement
  • You are part of a group and it is a corporate policy
  • A regulator has indicated it is used in risk or economic appraisal
  • Investors use certification as part of their due diligence or financial appraisal process.

In these cases, the decision is easy – you need to arrange certification by a recognised certification body.

How to decide…

In other cases, it’s a business decision. That means you can apply a logical decision-making approach. Here are some good steps to take:

1 Involve the relevant people, so that you get their views and information.

2  Do your research. Are competitors already certificated? What do your customers tell you – are they using it in tendering or supplier evaluation? Is it widely expected by the market you operate in?

3 Will it bring value to your organisation? Could it help you to achieve objectives, handle risks, and improve governance?

4 How much will it cost? Not just the certification fees, which will be an ongoing cost, but also the internal costs of establishing the system and hosting certification visits.

5 How much will it benefit you? This is harder to quantify, but you can get a good idea of the predicted benefits – access to markets, reduced regulatory concerns, improved customer perceptions, higher sales, reduced risk costs, higher performance, and reduced whole-life costs.

6 Identify intangible benefits that would add value – reputation, integration of departments and processes, alignment of activities with organisation objectives, leadership, communication and competence.

At the end of the day, the decision is often partly intuitive and partly based on quantitative evaluation. But approaching it in a logical way will make it much more likely that you will choose the best option.

Choose well and then manage the relationship

It’s also really important to select the right certification body for your organisation, and manage the relationship to get the maximum value from it.

Check our FAQ on how to choose the right certification body.

We can help you

We help organisations to develop their management system, select the right certification body, and achieve successful certification.

Find out more about our consulting service – click here.

Contact us to get help and advice.



Are we IAM Endorsed Trainers?

IAM Endorsed Trainer Scheme

We fully support the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) and the Endorsed Trainer scheme

Rob Blackett, our principal trainer and consultant has been an IAM member since 2011.

However, we are not IAM Endorsed Trainers, because the IAM scheme is not applicable to the courses that we provide. Our courses are auditor training and asset management implementation courses. We do not provide the types of courses that are specified in the IAM scheme and therefore it is not possible to become an endorsed trainer. The IAM scope is shown below:

IAM Endorsed Courses
The IAM endorses suitable training providers to deliver specified asset management courses. Trainers may deliver one or a combination of the following:

• The IAM Foundation Award

• The IAM Qualifications – Certificate and Diploma
• The IAM 8 Short Course Modules These are based on identified training requirements related to the current version of the IAM Competences Framework and complement the requirements of BSI PAS 55:2008 and/or ISO 55001..

 We do not offer any of these courses, so we can’t be Endorsed Trainers.

ISO 17021 Competence Requirements

Our Lead Auditor courses satisfy the competence requirements through training for Certification Auditors:

The courses cover the competence requirements of ISO 17021: 2015 and ISO 17021-5:2014 including:

(ISO 17021 is the set of ISO standards that apply to certification bodies)

  • Asset management terminology, definitions and principles
  • Asset management practices, activities and methodologies
  • Asset management system standards and normative documents
  • Business management practices – approaches to determine asset value to the organisation; outsourcing

The courses and certification has been used by several Accredited Certification Bodies for their auditors.

This is the most appropriate endorsement for our types of courses.

Do internal auditors have to attend an auditor training course?

Internal auditors have to be competent, but the organisation decides what competence is needed

Here is a brief summary of what the ISO 55001 standard has to say about audits and auditor training:

Internal audit – what is required 

The ISO 55001 Asset Management standard requires the organization to conduct internal audits at planned intervals. A well-planned and managed audit process will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the management system and provide significant benefits. The audit process should be seen as an important management tool for independent assessment of processes and activities, and hence the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation.

Internal asset management auditors – what is required

Audit procedures have to address the responsibilities and requirements for audit activities.

Auditors, like all personnel, have to be competent on the basis of appropriate education, training or experience. The organisation determines the necessary competence and provides training or other actions to satisfy these needs. There is no requirement to attend a particular course or achieve a specific qualification unless there is an additional regulatory or customer requirement.

The organisation has to retain appropriate records of education, training, skills and experience. In practice this normally means retaining evidence that an auditor has completed a suitable training course.

Find out more about our internal auditor training courses for asset management

Most people already have good personal skills that will allow them to be good auditors. Our public and in-house asset management auditor training is ideal for building on these attributes to help them to become really effective auditors.

Click here to see the courses and how to book.

For help and guidance please Contact Us.

How do I choose a good certification body?

It’s a big decision

Selecting a certification body is an important decision. It will have significant implications for your organisation in several ways:

  • The procedures and expectations of the certification body will influence your management system
  • External audit based on inadequate understanding of your business and processes could lead to inappropriate or even harmful audit findings
  • External audit has a cost in financial and internal people resources – if audits do not bring value, the resource costs will not be justified
  • If external audit programmes are not well planned or if audits are performed in a superficial way, they could miss serious issues that present real risks to the organisation.

How to select a certification body that is right for you

Ten important tips – from our consultants who have all worked in certification bodies:

1 Treat it like a procurement event. You are buying a really important long-term service, so follow good procurement practice

2 Involve relevant people who can make useful input or who will be affected.

3 List your requirements and expectations. Create a procurement specification.

4 Contact a range of certification bodies. Don’t just approach the biggest.

5 They will probably ask to visit you and make their pitch, if they think you are a big enough prospect. Be prepared with a good panel and a list of questions from your specification.

6 Check out their expertise in your business sector. Are they accredited for your industry classification (in the U.K. this would be by UKAS – click here to check accreditation). Are their auditors familiar with your sector? How often will they change the auditor – too frequently leads to wasted time developing knowledge, too infrequently can lead to complacency.

7 Identify all the costs. Some companies make the fees very complicated and it can be difficult to get a full cost picture. Work out the bottom line over three years, plus what costs apply for renewal of your certificate when it expires.

8 Get a feel for the culture and values of the certification body. Ask other clients for their experience. Do research on the internet. Are they rigid and bureaucratic? Or too interested in the financial revenue and not motivated to add value to you, their client? Or are they highly professional and client-centred, while not being afraid to bring meaningful findings to your attention?

9 Most certification bodies are run by committed professional management, and send excellent auditors. But problems do happen. Ask them what their procedures are if you feel unhappy with the service, the value gained, or the people they assign. Think very carefully before you agree to use a “certification body” that offers to send you a pre-written manual and then a certificate in the post – read our FAQ about un-accredited certification first.

10 Plan for a long relationship with a key service provider. Set up a structure and process to manage this supplier – monitor their performance, evaluate regularly, communicate with them about their performance. And consider re-tendering periodically to make sure you are getting a good deal.

We can help you

We frequently help clients to prepare for successful certification, including pre-assessments, independent advice in choosing a certification body, and support during assessment. Click here to find out more.

For help and guidance please Contact Us.

What’s wrong with un-accredited certification?

Un-accredited certification can cause you problems

While the companies offering this type of service may be bona-fide organisations, you need to be aware of what you are buying, if you decide to pay for un-accredited certification.

There may be perfectly good reasons why the certification has not been accredited yet:

  • There may be no accreditation for this scope of certification yet. You can check this on the UKAS website
  • The certification body may be working toward accreditation. It does take time and they need to start somewhere, showing that they have assessed client companies. Make sure you knowingly accept that you are willingly fulfilling this role – and your certificate will have accredited status at some point.

Other than the above, if there’s no prospect of getting an accredited certificate, you need to enter the relationship with full knowledge of what you are paying for. Some organisations are attracted by the cost savings that may be offered, and not too worried about the value of the certificate they get.

Issues with un-accredited certification

1 Companies that offer this type of service sometimes include a set of documents that they say will make you compliant with the standard in question. Then they issue you a certificate. Obviously this has limited credibility and is definitely not allowed under the accreditation rules. The issues are:

  • The “system” and documents they provide, however diligently they prepare them, are often based on a template and consequently would be unlikely to suit your organisation, your objectives, or your processes. At best the certificate can be something to show customers but it is unlikely to bring much value to your activities.
  • There is an obvious conflict of interest between the process of providing a management system, and then assessing whether it is any good, or if it complies with the relevant standard. That’s why is is expressly forbidden for accredited certification.

2 You will have a certificate but many customers and other stakeholders will not accept it. Most organisations that use certification as a source of assurance (for example in procurement) are not very impressed with un-accredited certificates. It is easy for them to check, so you may find you have invested time and money in something that is of little use.

3 Un-accredited certification bodies are not regulated or audited by UKAS for the un-accredited scope of certification. In contrast, the certification bodies that are accredited have to pay substantial fees to UKAS – for the service to cover scrutiny of their processes, governance and internal controls. They receive regular audits of the “back office” and of their auditors’ competence. That is one reason why you pay more for accredited certification – there are fees to pay and very robust systems to ensure compliance with the tough accreditation requirements.

Anyone can offer un-accredited certification and the companies providing it are offering a service that may be suitable for some organisations. But you need to make a properly-considered decision before you choose between accredited certification, or un-accredited certification.

You can check if the certification body is accredited by UKAS here: UKAS accreditation lookup

For asset management, the code is AMS.

We can help you

We help organisations to develop their management system, select the right certification body, and achieve successful certification.

Find out more about our consulting service – click here.

Contact us to get help and advice.

What are the changes from PAS 55 to ISO 55001?

There are several changes  – but you can make the transition process work for you

Things that have changed

We have provided a more detailed guidance about all the changes. Read it here: Guidance

There are 9 areas of significant changes from PAS 55 to ISO 55001.

Some of these changes are to do with the new structure of the standard, including different clause titles

Other changes are because the definition of an asset has been changed  – it can now include any thing that has actual or potential value to an organisation

Some of the requirements are different.

Some areas have not changed very much.

You can make the transition work for you

The good asset management principles of PAS 55 have been carried over into ISO 55001

You can easily identify the differences between PAS 55 and ISO 55001 and carry out a gap assessment

Most organisations have found that they can make the necessary adaptations to their existing asset management system without major problems

By aligning the asset management system with your organisation’s key issues and objectives (as required by ISO 55001), you can gain real benefits.

Read our guidance

We have made a useful guidance page that explains the differences between PAS 55 and ISO 55001.

Read it here to find out more: Changes from PAS 55 to ISO 55001 guidance


We can help you

We help organisations to carry out gap assessment, build action plans, implement the necessary changes, and achieve successful certification to ISO 55001.

Find out how we can help you with our consulting support for transition.

Please Contact Us for help and guidance.

What should I put in a strategic asset management plan (SAMP)?

Document the role of the asset management system in supporting achievement of the asset management objectives

The SAMP must be a document. It must describe how the asset management system supports the achievement of the asset management objectives.

This sounds quite simple, and it’s a good idea to have this kind of document. But it can get quite complicated if you don’t approach it in the right way.

You can use a good approach to creating and regularly updating a SAMP that is right for your organisation and works for you.

We have provided a detailed guidance about this. Read it here: What should I put in a strategic asset management plan (SAMP)?

Also, you may be thinking – What does it mean by “Document”? Read our guidance about that: 11 things you’ll have to document – if you want to comply with ISO 55001

We can help you

We help organisations to develop effective, non-bureaucratic asset management systems that are aligned with their objectives. Let is help you – find out more here: Consulting support for your asset management system.

Please Contact Us for help and guidance.

What has to be documented in ISO 55001?

Everything does not have to be documented in ISO 55001. But there are 11 areas where documentation is required

Here is a list of what has to be documented in ISO 55001 Asset Management

We have provided a guidance page where you can see much more information on exactly what is required. Click here to see it: Guidance on documentation required by ISO 55001

This is a brief summary:

1 The scope of the asset management system

2 A strategic asset management plan (SAMP)

3 The asset management policy

4 Asset management objectives

5 Planning for asset management – documented information on plans

6 Documented Information – required by ISO 55001 and required by your own organisation

7 Operational planning and control – must include documented information that is necessary to have confidence and evidence that the the processes have been carried out as planned

8 Performance evaluation – must include appropriate documented information to provide evidence of the results from the monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation.

9 Internal audit – you must retain documented information so that you have evidence of the results of implementing its audit programme and evidence of the audit results.

10 Management review – you must keep documented information as evidence of the results of management reviews.

11 Improvement – Nonconformity and corrective action – you have to keep documented information as evidence the nonconformities or incidents, as well as any actions taken and the results of any corrective action that was taken.

Get more information

Read our guidance on what has to be documented

We can help you to decide on the best type and extend of documentation – click here to see our consulting support for your management system

Please Contact Us for help and guidance.

What’s the best way to communicate about asset management?

There are 3 key areas to focus on

We have provided much more detail in our free guidance on this subject. Click here to see Communicating Asset Management

Here is a brief summary:

1 Communications strategy and plan – it’s vital to plan your communications properly.  If it is handled badly, it will make it harder to implement your asset management system, and more difficult to make improvements now and in the future.

2 If you’re outsourcing communication campaigns, make sure you define exactly what you want, and then control the communications provider.

3 Who and what – decide on who you need to communicate with, and the right way to communicate with them. The audiences should be all relevant personnel – not just top and middle management.

Here are 8 tips to make it work

See more on this in our guidance Communicating Asset Management

Here is a summary of the tips:

1 Asset management is already happening in the company. You are making it work better by using ISO 55001 so that it’s holistic, integrated and systematic. This is a good message, reducing anxiety.

2 Make sure that the behaviour of management always supports asset management principles, and never undermines the change process.

3 Communicate a logical concept behind the programme so that people understand how it is going to work. Keep it simple at first and use your own language.

4 Have a coherent message so that everything makes sense together.

5 Have a consistent message. Keep the messages the same, avoid confusing changes.

6 Don’t allow any conflicting messages, for example between departments, or between short term cost saving and long term sustainability of solutions.

7 Use as many channels, media “touch points” as possible, including training, briefings, visual displays, small scale talks, newsletter, and intranet. Integrate asset management naturally into general communications, using your communications plan.

8 Include communications that are personal, positive and relevant to the people concerned. Tell stories of people doing things the right way.

We can help you

Find out about our consulting support for your implementation and improvement process.

Please Contact Us for help and guidance.

What’s the difference between certification and accreditation?

Certification and accreditation – there is a difference

Here is a round-up of  what both terms mean, in the context of management systems. You may find different meanings apply in other areas, such as training qualifications.


Certification is for organisations that want a certificate showing that they conform to a particular published standard, such as ISO 55001 Asset Management. Certification is awarded to organisations that have been assessed by a certification body and found to be conforming to the requirements of a particular standard – in our case, ISO 55001 Asset Management.


Accreditation is awarded to certification bodies that have been assessed by an accreditation service and found to be compliant with the standard for the type of management system they offer their service for.

The UK official accreditation service is UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). For ISO 55001 Asset Management, UKAS provides accreditation to the standard ISO/IEC 17021 Conformity assessment – requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems, to deliver certification of Asset Management Systems (ISO 55001).

Here is a handy link to find out more: UKAS link

Is my certification body accredited?

You can check here and find out if the certification body is accredited by UKAS for the scope of your management system. For asset management, look for AMS and click on it. UKAS accreditation lookup

What if my certification body is not UKAS accredited?

Remember that other countries have their own accreditation services and these are widely accepted as equivalents. Check online.

It’s also possible that there is no accreditation at the moment for the scope of your management system.

You can check here:  UKAS accreditation lookup

Be wary about using a certification service that is not accredited. Ask –  Why not? Is accreditation available?  When are they getting it?

Read our FAQ about un-accredited certification and the issues it can cause.

We can help you

We help organisations to develop their management system, select the right certification body, and achieve successful certification.

Find out more about our consulting service – click here.

Contact us to get help and advice.

Are policies required for each life cycle stage, such as Acquisition, Depreciation, Usage, Disposal?

No, separate policies are not required by ISO 55001

If by “required” you mean is it required by the ISO 55001 standard, the answer is no, it is not required. The standard only calls for one formal Asset Management policy. It would be a useful policy if it included statements about how the life cycle stages are handled.
However…. many organisations have a whole series of policies directly or indirectly related to asset management. So we frequently see that our clients have engineering policies, capital investment policies, capital project governance policies, outsourcing policies, decommissioning policies – and many others.
The definition of Policy (in ISO 55000) is “intentions and direction of an organization as formally expressed by its top management”. So many of these expressions will exist and they are very useful in communicating the intent of top management when strategies and plans are being developed.

Relax about the standard and focus on a good asset management system

It’s good practice to develop your management system based on the internal and external issues, as well as the needs and expectations of stakeholders. You can decide what policies are needed so that the system works for you, so that you can deliver on the organisation’s objectives – not because the standard tells you how to manage the organisation. So if you need specific policies (or they may already exist), then use them. If not, don’t create unnecessary processes and bureaucracy.

Other requirements could be applicable

Two other areas could be relevant to this question:

Asset management system

This clause (4.4) says you have to “…establish, implement, maintain and continually improve an asset management system, including the processes needed and their interactions….”. So if processes needed includes acquisition, depreciation, usage, disposal or anything else, then the management system would normally cover these. If any of these need a formal policy statement to express top management intent, then those will be useful. But it’s up to the organisation to decide.

Documented information

This clause (7.6) starts off by saying that you management system shall include:

  • documented information as required by this International Standard
  • documented information for applicable legal and regulatory requirements
  • documented information determined by the organization as being necessary for the effectiveness of the asset management system as specified in section 7.5

So if the organisation decides that specific policy statements are documented information that are necessary for the effectiveness of the asset management system, then they need to exist as documents. This definitely applies to the one policy that is a requirement – the asset management policy (5.2) – it must be “available as documented information”.

As to what is meant by “Documented” – why not read our FAQ on this subject?

If you want any help or guidance on this or any other subject, why not Contact Us?

What does an Asset Management Plan look like?

There is no agreed format, but you could include these items

Asset Management Plans (AMP) are very different according to the organisation and the type of asset or asset system.

Each organisation must decide on the best format and the correct content, depending on it’s own requirements. The AMPs must be aligned with the strategic approach documented in the Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP).
Having said that, good AMPs will include useful information that helps decision makers to make the best decisions both now and for the future sustainability of the asset or asset group.

There is a lot of useful information in literature and on the Internet.

Here are some ideas of typical content

(Headings only)

Example Asset Management Plan contents

This is a basic example to illustrate the subject – plans vary enormously between different organisations and industries

1 Introduction

2 Stakeholders

3 Rationale for ownership

  • Service provided by the asset or asset type
  • Legal requirements for having the asset

4 Scope

5 Asset improvement plan

6 Physical classifications and description of asset, asset group and constituent assets

7 Future considerations

  • Demand forecast
  • Technological

8 Related plans, policies

9 Asset history

10 AM Plan

  • Whole life plan
  • Capital investment plan
  • Project management Design, construction, commissioning, handover, integration (into planned maintenance) plans
  • Operational plan
  • Maintenance plan
  • Refurbishment, life extension
  • Asset replacement plan
  • Decommissioning, disposal plan

11 Asset standard of service

  • Criticality based matrix
  • Performance requirement (e.g. availability, time to fix)
  • Condition requirement (e.g. risk based assessment, failure modes)

12 Funding plan

13 Target measures

14 Schematics

N.B. This information is provided for guidance only. You must develop your own asset management plans to suit your organisation’s requirements.


If you want more advice and guidance, please Contact Us

What does “documented” actually mean?

Documentation can be in any form or media – not just on paper

Documented information does not necessarily mean that it has to be on paper. Several types of documentation are used, including electronic media such as intranet, portable devices and control systems. We can advise you on this.

The extent of the documented information for an asset management system should be carefully managed so that it’s suitable for your organization. Several factors can be used to get this right:

  • the size of your organization and the type of activities, processes, products and services it provides;
  • the complexity of processes and how they interact;
  • the competence of people (training experience, qualifications etc.);
  • the complexity of the assets, asset systems, technical processes etc.

This means that the level of documentation for different processes could range from possibly none at all (e.g. low-risk activity, with assurance through training, supervision or built-in process controls) through to very detailed step-by-step procedures for some activities (high-risk, complex).

We can advise on the best form and extend of documentation. We also cover this in our training courses.

Please Contact Us for help and guidance on this or anything else.

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