Although the certification of an organization according to ISO 55001 is not a necessary prerequisite for the successful implementation and sustainable operation of an asset management system, it can objectively demonstrate through regular external audits that a management system has been effectively implemented.
The audit provides evidence that the requirements laid down in the standard are met. This evidence helps to demonstrate that the organization, e.g. the road authority, is able to sustainably implement the defined policy in the best interest of external stakeholders and to follow the set goals in a transparent way. This improved external presentation, especially to stakeholders, but also to banks, insurance companies and the public, is one of the most important motivations for certification.
Furthermore, the certification also has advantages in the cooperation with external service providers, such as construction companies or winter services. Above all, risks associated with the achievement of objectives are minimized.
The already certified organizations responsible for the management of infrastructure, especially roads, railways and airports, report positive experiences also with regard to the efficiency of their own activities. The systematic control processes “enforced” through the standard help to identify weaknesses and potential for improvement in one’s own system and make it easier to determine suitable measures.
The figure below shows the processes and the related components of the ISO 55001 standard that are audited as part of the certification process
The audit plays a special role in every certification. In the case of certification to ISO 55001, the aim is to check whether the organization meets the requirements for the asset management system. The key task here is to interview the top management and the designated AM system officer.
The certification is carried out for the defined scope of duties, e.g. the maintenance management of roads and cycle paths, or for the specific organizational area. The certificate is valid for three years, provided that monitoring audits are successfully conducted in each of the following two years (see figure below).
Some skeptics express their reservations about implementing the asset management system in the organization at least until certain management levels are met and the organization has reached a ” minimum maturity “. This position contradicts the spirit and letter of asset management. All solutions for implementing asset management systems must necessarily correspond to the respective organization’s level of maturity. There is therefore no organisation that is not already “mature enough” for the asset management system, unless the need has not yet been perceived at all (so-called maturity level zero).
There is not currently a uniform standard for determining the maturity level of an organization with regard to the implementation of an asset management system. The most common classification proposed by the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) is the five levels of maturity: 1 – conscious, 2 – in development, 3 – competent, 4 – optimized, 5 – excellent.  There are practical procedures and good practices that enable the current level of maturity of the organisation to be determined. The scope of the asset management system will then be adapted to this level of maturity and can be expanded accordingly over time.
- Degelmann, R., Heller, S., Korn, M.: Guidelines für ein Infrastructure Asset Management im Freistaat Bayern, Straßen und Autobahn, 6/2018
- Böcker, Ch., Balck, H., Skakuj, M.: ISO-zertifiziertes Asset-Management-System des Landkreises Viersen, Straßen und Autobahn, 6/2018
- Asset Management Maturity, a Position Statement, Global Forum on Maintenance & Asset Management, 10/2015