A guide to ISO 55000: Creating effective asset management

January 9, 2024

Are you thinking about embarking on the journey towards ISO 55000 certification for your property assets? This comprehensive guide will help you understand the key considerations, overcome potential challenges, and make the best use of available resources to ensure your journey to certification is a success.

Quick access:

What is ISO 55000?

What are the objectives of ISO 55000?

What are the components of ISO 55000 certification?

Why is ISO 55000 important?

What are the benefits of the ISO 5500 certification?

Integrating ISO 55000 with ESG goals

How to get the ISO 55000 certification?

Key considerations when attempting to get the ISO 55000 certification?

ISO 55000 resources to get started

What is ISO 55000?

ISO 55000 certification, issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), represents an organization's commitment to implementing and maintaining an effective asset management system (AMS). This global standard offers a structured approach to continual improvement in asset management, taking into account efficiency, performance, and value from the assets.

The certification process requires an organization to establish an asset management policy, set targets in accordance with this policy, make informed decisions based on asset data, measure outcomes, review policy effectiveness, and continually refine its asset management processes.

Acquiring ISO 55000 certification can aid organizations in optimizing the use of their assets, complying with relevant legal and regulatory requirements, enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and improving their overall business performance.

What are the objectives of ISO 55000?

ISO 55000 provides a structured approach to managing an organization's assets effectively, enabling organizations to achieve their strategic goals while balancing cost, risk, and performance related to their assets​​.

Key objectives of ISO 55000 include:

  1. Optimizing Asset Performance: Enhancing the performance, efficiency, and effectiveness of assets to meet organizational objectives.
  2. Risk Management: Identifying, analyzing, and managing risks associated with assets to ensure business continuity and reduce potential losses.
  3. Cost Efficiency: Achieving cost savings through informed asset management decisions, thereby improving the cost-effectiveness of asset ownership.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring compliance with legal, regulatory, and statutory requirements related to asset management.
  5. Sustainable Development: Supporting sustainable development by managing assets in a way that considers environmental impact and social responsibility.
  6. Stakeholder Confidence: Building confidence among stakeholders through transparent, systematic management of assets in line with organizational objectives.
  7. Continual Improvement: Fostering a culture of continual improvement in asset management practices through regular review and adaptation of the asset management system.

What are the components of ISO 55000 certification?

The ISO 55000 family comprises three individual but interconnected standards:

ISO 55000: Overview, principles and terminology for Asset Management

ISO 5500 introduces the concepts and terminology needed to develop a long-term plan that includes a company’s mission, values, objectives, business policies and stakeholder requirements

ISO 55001: Asset Management System - Requirements

ISO 55001 provides a comprehensive framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an asset management system. ISO 55001 promotes a systematic and structured approach to managing the lifecycle of assets, from the acquisition, operation, and maintenance to the eventual disposal.

ISO 55002: Asset Management System - Guidelines on the application of ISO 55001

ISO 55002 supports the implementation of the ISO 55001 requirements. It provides further clarification, examples, and guidance on how to implement an asset management system as per ISO 55001. This standard is designed to assist organizations in understanding and applying ISO 55001, offering practical advice on such aspects as how to align asset management objectives with organizational objectives, the role of leadership, and how to integrate asset management into regular organizational operations.

Why is ISO55000 important?

ISO55000 defines assets as any “item, thing, or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization.” Assets can include material assets such as machinery, equipment, property and vehicles as well as intangible assets such as patents, licenses and intellectual property. 

Effective asset management practices require the protection of assets that provide value to your company – in this case, your properties. To effectively manage your property assets, you must develop an ISO 55000 asset management plan, which outlines how your company obtains value from its assets by optimizing performance, risks and costs across the asset life. The plan specifies the activities needed to classify, analyze, control and measure the effectiveness of asset management strategies. By combining organizational goals and structure with process, data, technology and auditing tools, ISO 55000 maintains effective asset operations throughout the business cycle. 

By having a comprehensive ISO 55000 asset management plan, companies can make incremental improvements to their asset management strategies. As a result, companies improve performance, enhance tenant satisfaction, reduce costs and deliver increased value to investors. 

What are the benefits of ISO 55000 certification?

Obtaining ISO 55000 certification provides property owners with numerous benefits, due to its international recognition. Here’s just a few of the potential benefits:

  • Improved asset management: The certification creates more structured, transparent and efficient management of assets, based on KPIs and suitable business processes. This helps to extend the lifespan of assets, reduce overall costs, and improve the return on investment.
  • Risk management: ISO 55000 certification helps property owners to identify, analyze, and mitigate risks associated with their assets
  • Sustainability: The ISO 55000 series provides guidance on incorporating sustainability into asset management. This can help commercial property owners in balancing financial, environmental, and social outcomes.
  • Enhanced brand reputation: Being ISO 55000 certified showcases a commitment to best practice asset management. This can improve reputation with stakeholders, investors, and tenants, which in turn can lead to more business opportunities.
  • Reduced operating costs: By implementing systematic processes and making informed decisions based on the life cycle of assets, commercial property owners can optimize their utilization and yield greater financial performance
  • Easier and more reliable decision making: The certification promotes the use of data and analytics in making informed decisions about assets, from acquisition, through operation, to decommissioning or replacement.

Integrating ISO 55000 with ESG goals

As investors and tenants increasingly prioritize sustainability and ethical governance, ISO 55000 emerges as a pivotal framework for aligning asset management practices with these ESG goals.
ISO 55000 certification places a strong emphasis on optimizing asset performance and efficiency. This inherently supports environmental sustainability by encouraging the implementation of practices that reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and lower carbon emissions. By adopting a lifecycle approach to asset management, organizations can make informed decisions that contribute to the conservation of natural resources and the achievement of broader environmental targets. This includes investing in energy-efficient technologies, retrofitting properties to meet green building standards, and employing renewable energy sources wherever feasible.

The integration of ISO 55000 with ESG objectives creates a synergy that drives value creation for all stakeholders involved. For investors, it offers a clear indication of a property’s long-term viability and sustainability, making it an attractive investment proposition. For tenants, it ensures that the spaces they occupy are managed with an eye toward environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and governance excellence, enhancing their satisfaction and loyalty.

How to get ISO 55000 certification

To achieve ISO 55000 certification, organizations must undertake a series of strategic steps to demonstrate their adherence to the standards set for asset management systems. ISO 55000 is a family of standards aimed at helping organizations manage the lifecycle of assets more effectively. Below is an overview of the steps involved in obtaining ISO 55000 certification:

1. Understand the ISO 55000 Series

  • ISO 55000 provides an overview of asset management and the standard terms and definitions.
  • ISO 55001 outlines the requirements for an integrated, effective management system for asset management.
  • ISO 55002 offers guidelines for applying ISO 55001.

2. Conduct a Gap Analysis

  • Assess your current asset management system against the ISO 55001 requirements to identify gaps.
  • Utilize the gap analysis to develop an action plan for compliance.

3. Develop an Asset Management System

  • Implement an asset management system that aligns with ISO 55001 requirements. This system should cover all aspects of asset management, including asset life cycle management, risk management, and continuous improvement.

4. Train Your Team

  • Ensure that your team understands ISO 55000 standards and the implemented asset management system. Training should cover the importance of asset management, the organization's objectives, and everyone's role in achieving compliance.

5. Implement Your Asset Management System

  • Put your asset management system into practice across the organization.
  • Focus on integrating the system into everyday business processes to ensure it becomes part of the organizational culture.

6. Conduct Internal Audits

  • Perform regular internal audits to assess the effectiveness of your asset management system and ensure ongoing compliance with ISO 55001.
  • Use audit results to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes.

7. Choose a Certification Body

  • Select an accredited certification body to conduct the external audit of your asset management system.
  • Ensure the certification body has a solid reputation and experience with ISO 55000 certifications.

8. Undergo an External Audit

  • The certification body will review your asset management system to assess compliance with ISO 55001.
  • Be prepared to provide evidence of your system's effectiveness and to discuss how it has been implemented across the organization.

9. Address Any Non-Conformities

  • If the audit identifies any non-conformities, you must address these issues within a specified timeframe.
  • Implement corrective actions and possibly undergo a follow-up audit to verify compliance.

10. Obtain Certification

  • Once your asset management system is deemed compliant with ISO 55001, you will receive ISO 55000 certification.
  • This certification is typically valid for three years, with surveillance audits conducted annually to ensure continued compliance.

11. Continuous Improvement

  • ISO 55000 certification is not a one-time achievement but requires ongoing effort to maintain.
  • Continuously monitor, review, and improve your asset management system to adapt to changes in the organization and ensure long-term compliance.

For more detailed information on ISO 55000 certification, including finding accredited certification bodies, you can visit the International Organization for Standardization's website at ISO's official website or consult specific guidelines provided by certification bodies.

Achieving ISO 55000 certification demonstrates an organization's commitment to managing its assets effectively, enhancing overall performance, and supporting its long-term objectives.

Key considerations when attempting to achieve ISO 55000 certification

To gain ISO 55000 certification for a commercial property, you need to consider the following elements:

Asset management policy: A well-articulated policy shows your organization's commitment to continuous improvement in asset management. It should also comply with all relevant legal requirements.

Asset inventory: Identify and document all assets within the property. This inventory serves as the baseline for future improvements.

Asset review: Conduct a systematic review of asset performance based on collected data to identify areas where asset utilization can be improved.

Asset Performance Indicators (APIs): These measure the performance and effectiveness of the asset management system. APIs should be clear and measurable.

Asset objectives and targets: Based on the asset review and APIs, set clear and achievable objectives and targets for improving asset performance.

Training: All relevant personnel should be adequately trained and competent in asset management principles and practices. Employee understanding and involvement are critical to the success of an AMS.

Communication: Regularly communicate about the asset management policy, objectives, achievements, and improvements to maintain system sustainability and success.

Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation: Monitor and measure asset performance regularly, comparing it against the policy, objectives, targets, and action plans.

Internal audit: Regularly audit the AMS internally to ensure it works as intended. Management should also periodically review the system to ensure its suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness.

ISO 55000 resources for getting started

Achieving ISO 55000 certification for commercial properties requires a solid understanding of asset management concepts and a clear roadmap for implementation. Fortunately, various resources can aid property owners and managers:

ISO 55000:2014 Document: The International Organization for Standardization's official document for ISO 55000:2014 is the primary resource to understand the standard. It provides clear guidance on all aspects of setting up an asset management system.

ISO Website: The ISO's official website provides various resources related to ISO 55000, including articles, case studies, and training opportunities.

Government and non-profit organizations: Numerous governments and non-profit organizations provide resources and guidance for asset management. In the US, examples include the National Property Management Association (NPMA). In the UK, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides similar resources.

Cillian Casey
January 9, 2024