Communiqué on the 4th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

Communiqué on the 4th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

By Charles Corrie


ISO/TC 251 has held its fourth meeting in March 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Following the October 2016 meeting two new work item proposals had been launched, along with a ballot on a Committee Draft for the revision of ISO 55002 Asset management -- Management systems -- Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001. The new work item proposals concerned the development of ISO/TS 55010 Guidance on alignment of asset management, finance and accounting and ISO 55011 Guidance on the development of government asset management policy. 

ISO/TC 251 had held its third meeting in October 2016. Following the meeting two new work item proposals had been launched, along with a ballot on a Committee Draft for the revision of ISO 55002 Asset management -- Management systems -- Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001. The new work item proposals concerned the development of:

  • ISO/TS 55010 Guidance on alignment of asset management, finance and accounting 
  • ISO 55011 Guidance on the development of government asset management policy  

The ballots for the new work item proposals and ISO/CD 55002 had returned good majorities and were all approved.

The development of ISO/TS 55010  was assigned to the existing Working Group (WG) 5, and a further Committee Internal Ballot had agreed that the development of ISO 55011 should be assigned to a new WG7.

The TC had also released a number of feedback surveys on its standards prior to the meeting, but had received relatively few responses. These would be analysed by WG4.

The 4th meeting noted that the membership of the TC continues to grow, so that it now has 30 P-members (increase of 1), 13 O-members (no change) and 25 Liaisons.

TC251 Brisbane Team

Delegates at the meeting

An unexpected event during the meeting was the arrival of Cyclone Debbie. While the cyclone had initially made landfall a long way north, it had then swirled south and passed directly over Brisbane.

For safety reasons, everyone was warned to stay indoors on Thursday 30th March and not to venture from their hotels. Fortunately, by using webinars, the WGs were able to continue working electronically, with only limited disruption to their activities.

Cyclone Debbie

The TC was delighted to receive the news the following morning that everyone was unharmed and the Energy Queensland's offices were not in any way damaged, so that the meeting could resume there.

The Chairman’s Advisory Group had held a meeting the day before the TC’s opening plenary, where it gave consideration to:

  • The need to develop guidance for other TCs or sectors in the development of documents or standards on asset management and how to avoid conflict with those from TC 251. This was allocated to WG4 for further development.
  • The need to ensure that the development of new terms and definitions are consistent with ISO 55000
  • An overview of the work programme of the TC, and its relation to a potential revision of the Annex SL "High Level Structure"
  • Reports on the activities of the five TC251 WGs in preparation for the Brisbane meeting
  • The provision of briefing sessions for new members, prior to the start of a TC plenary.

At its opening plenary meeting, the TC received a liaison report from ISO/TC267 Facility Management presented by Mr Ballesty. He detailed the work of TC267, particularly the development of ISO 41001 Facility management (FM)- Management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. He advised that the two TCs share a number of common areas of interest and should work together to avoid duplication or contradiction between their respective standards; they should also work together to enhance and leverage the benefits from their respective and complimentary standards.

The Secretary gave a report on the recent activities of the ISO/TMB/TAG13 Joint Technical Advisory Group on Management System Standards (the JTCG), and its Task Group (TG) 5 on the development of the ISO Handbook on the Integrated Use of Management System Standards (the IUMSS). He advised that the JTCG had held a meeting at the start of March where it had agreed to launch a formal review of the Annex SL “High Level structure” for management system standards which will be circulated to national standards bodies later during 2017. It had noted that a draft of the IUMSS handbook will be circulated to the JTCG's members for review in August, for the return of comments by September, to enable the work on the Handbook to be completed before the end of the year.

At the closing plenary meeting:

a) WG3 Communications reported that:

  • It had reviewed the liaison processes used by the TC and made plans for improving them.
  • It had produced additional general materials for promoting the TCs standards
  • It had planned improvements to the TC's web site (
  • It had continued exploring the need for specific materials for specific audiences
  • It had conducted a quick survey of delegates on their awareness of the published (on the web site) finance articles from WG5
  • It had completed a leaflet about the work of TC251
  • It had initiated consideration of the alignment of the TC's work to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

b) WG4 Product Improvement reported that:

  • It had added new inputs into the TC251 knowledge base
  • It had identified comments relating to Annex SL from the responses to the CD and DIS ballots on the ISO 5500X standards, to be used as an input to the JTCG
  • It had reviewed the responses to the surveys and had discussed with WG3 means of improving the feedback process
  • It had developed a paper to clarify the difference between "asset management" and the "management of assets" in response to the CAG discussion on providing guidance to other TC’s and Sectors
  • It had coordinated with WG3 in improving the liaison process
  • It had started developing terminology concept diagrams for the ISO 55000 terms and definitions, and new terms arising from the other WGs
  • It had addressed enquiries from WG5 on the development of a framework and the use of a taxonomy

c) WG5 Finance reported that:

  • It had progressed the development of a second Working Draft of ISO/TS 55010.
  • It had prepared a Project Plan for the ongoing development of the TS post Brisbane.
  • It had considered and resolved comments from the TS NWIP Ballot.
  • It had circulated for WG feedback edited versions of next two sub articles:
    • Why Alignment
    • How to Align
  • It had resolved the comments on finance issues from the ballot of ISO/CD 55002
  • It had revised Annex E for ISO 55002 concerning finance

d) WG6 Revision of ISO 55002 reported that:

  • It had processed the 840 comments received on ISO/CD 55002, and resolved many conflicting viewpoints.
  • It had considered the scalability of the guidance and whether it could be used for small businesses, as well as examining issues on Scope, Leadership, SAMP, and Value.
  • Following further editing, a Draft International Standard (DIS) would be issued for review and ballot around July.

e) WG7 Development of ISO 55011 reported that:

  • It had reviewed the comments received from the new work item proposal ballot.
  • It had considered how to differentiate the term "policy" in relation to Government policy, as opposed to its use in the ISO 5500X standards as asset management policy.
  • It had produced an outline project plan for the development of ISO 55011 within a 3 year timeframe.
  • It had produced an initial "design specification" to define key features of and to guide the development of the standard.
  • It had identified key aims and benefits of such Government policies.

The TC received an offer to host its next meeting in Paris, France, during 5 – 9 February 2018.

In closing the meeting the Chairman stated that he considered that the committee had made good progress in its activities, before thanking all the members for their contributions. He reiterated the need to bring more experts to support the growing diversity of work with near term needs for more experts in the field of Accounting/Finance to support the growing work of WG5, as well as experts in the field of public policy setting to support the work in WG7.

The Chairman formally thanked the hosts, Standards Australia (SA), Energy Queensland and The Asset Management Council, as well as the sponsors Energex, The Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ), The Asset Management College, The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), The Institue of Quality Asset Management, Cardno, AECOM, AUSTAL, for having provided such excellent facilities and hospitality during the meeting.

Specific thanks are owed to Rob Fedrick and Margaret Leyden (from Energex), David Daines (from the Asset Management Council) and Agnes Simai (from Standards Australia), for their exceptional efforts in planning, organizing, and supporting the meeting.