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ISO 55001 57 availability improvement and 42 drop in unplanned costs

Is this for real? Can’t be. Maybe. Yes.

Who knows what your actual value will be and how you will measure it? You are the only one able to answer this question.

By now you have participated in many discussions debating the value of yet another ISO standard and the additional demands it will place on you and your already overworked team. You will have come to a conclusion to embrace it or not. If you decided to embark on the ISO journey, it is important to understand the requirements and process that will apply.

Some helpful definitions:

  • Accreditation: formal recognition that an organisation meets certain standards of quality, performance, technical expertise and competence. In this context it applies to a Certification Body as defined below.
  • Certification (of management systems to an ISO standard): conformity assessment activity resulting in an acceptable, credible certificate of conformance to the applicable standard.
  • CB / Certification Body: organisation performing the certification activity; also known as a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB).
  • Certified client: organisation whose Asset Management (AM) system has been certified
  • Management system consultancy: organisation participating in designing, implementing or maintaining an AM system en route to certification
  • IAF: International Accreditation Forum – the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies (CAABs), tasked with the primary function of developing a single worldwide programme of conformity assessment. The IAF does not directly provide certification or conformity assessments. Instead, its membership is open to (mostly national) bodies that conduct and administer programmes by which they in turn accredit CABs.
  • SANAS: South African National Accreditation System, the local CAAB.

Preparing for and taking the certification plunge

If you want the certificate, it is important to ensure that you use the right service providers for the right purpose.

  • Certification will take place against the requirements of ISO 55001 – not ISO 55000. However in order to interpret the (fairly broad) compliance statements contained within ISO 55001, it will be essential for auditors and those being audited to also understand the contents of ISO 55002, and, to a lesser extent, ISO 55000.
  • Conformity Assessment is the process that a client organisation must go through in order for their management systems to be certified as conforming to the requirements of any of the ISO Management System standards (including ISO 55001 – Asset Management).
  • Formal certificates of compliance can only be issued by an accredited CAB. If you require a formal certificate of compliance, ensure that you select a CAB that is properly accredited by its CAAB to deliver a compliance assessment against the requirements of ISO 55001.
  • At time of writing (June 2014) we do not have confirmation that there are CABs that have been accredited by their CAAB to deliver this service, since this process is dependent on and subject to the requirements of the ISO 17021-5 standard (only published April 2014).
  • If your organisation is already certified against other Management Systems schemes (Quality Management (ISO 9001), Safety Management (OHSAS 18001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001) etc), consider the synergies of having all these assessments done at the same time by the same CAB, or consider whether or not there is value in engaging specialist CABs with the necessary experience to assess some or all of these systems separately.
  • If you do not require a formal certificate of compliance, but only wish to assess the extent of any gaps between your current AM system and the requirements of ISO 55001 (for example, as part of a pre-certification audit, or in order to establish an AM improvement programme), then you have more options open to you.
  • While formal certificates of compliance can only be issued by a certified CAB, there are no restrictions on the organisations that can provide gap assessments and/or consultancy to assist with bridging those gaps.
  • Organisations that are not CABs but which provide “gap assessments”, such as consulting organisations, are not required to comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17021-5. Indeed they cannot receive certification against ISO 17021:2011, as this is only available to CABs.

If you are interested in analysing the gap between your current AM system and the requirements of ISO 55001, Pragma can assist you with the process. We can also provide you with the next steps to ensure that you move toward your targets swiftly and purposefully.

More on ISO 55000 in our next edition.

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