The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) / PC 251 workshops, held in Prague recently, are testimony to the fact that the ISO 55 000 for asset management is close to becoming a reality.
The ISO started a process about three years ago to develop a standard for asset management, and the South African ISO delegation has just returned from the recent ISO 55 000 workshops that took place in Prague, Czech Republic. The delegation consisted of six people, three of which are represented on the SAAMA Council. The workshops were attended by 70 people from 18 different countries, and some important milestones were achieved.
Says Alan Tait, SAAMA President and MD of Pragma: “The ISO 55 000 standard is due for release early 2014. Prior to this a final face-to-face ISO workshop will be held in April 2013 in Canada, at which the final approval will be given before ISO applies the final finishing touches. In order for this to happen, we have to reach what ISO calls a Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, which we've managed to reach on time in Prague. So far we're on track!
“The ISO 55 000 document is the overview document, introducing the Principles, Definitions and Concepts of Asset Management. The 55 001 document is the Requirements document, essentially what you need to have in place to be compliant. The 55 002 document is the Guidelines document, containing examples and guidelines on how to comply. Probably the most important distinction that has come out of the Prague workshop is that finally we're in agreement as to what an asset, asset management and asset management system is.”
Accordingly, it was agreed that an asset is something that has potential or actual value to an organisation, asset management is the co-ordinated activities of an organisation to realise value from assets, and a management system is a set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organisation to establish policies, objectives and processes to achieve those objectives. Finally, an asset management system is the management system for asset management. Tait continues: “The above might seem very trivial and easy to work out, but keeping in mind that not all English language translates the intent easily into other languages, it was important to break these elements down properly.”
The other important note on the standard is that it is a standard for the asset management system. Says Tait: “So for compliance, your management system for asset management will be evaluated. Another note is that the management system is not the CMMS (computerised maintenance management system), but includes all processes, tools, systems, etc.”
Tait believes it is important to emphasise the importance of this standard and SAAMA's position on it. “I firmly believe there are two kinds of people in this world, ie, those who do things for ego (getting the certificate on the wall) and those who do things to make a difference in their organisations. SAAMA's position on the standard is thus that we will support the ISO 55 000 standard as the best internationally available standard once it is released. We will also support organisations that wish to make a difference through the implementation of the necessary management system for asset management and not just use this for window dressing.”
Where does this leave PAS 55? Says Tait: “My advice is to continue with any PAS 55 implementations or training you might have embarked on, as this will already put you in the right direction.”