Communiqué on the 6th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

Communiqué on the 6th meeting of ISO/TC 251 Asset Management

ByCharles Corrie


ISO/TC 251 has held its 6th meeting in October 2018 in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. A ballot on a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) for the revision of ISO 55002 Asset management -- Management systems -- Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001, had been conducted and received 100% approval, with 3 abstentions. In addition,  Committee Drafts of ISO/CD TS 55010.2 Guidance on alignment of asset management, finance and accounting and ISO/CD 55011 Asset management – Guidance for developing and adopting public policy for asset management were circulated for review (but not for ballot) and received a number of comments suggesting improvements.

ISO/TC 251 had held its 5th meeting in February 2018. Following the meeting a ballot on a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) for the revision of ISO 55002 Asset management -- Management systems -- Guidelines for the application of ISO 55001, had been conducted and received 100% approval, with 3 abstentions. In addition,  Committee Drafts of ISO/CD TS 55010.2 Guidance on alignment of asset management, finance and accounting and ISO/CD 55011 Asset managementGuidance for developing and adopting public policy for asset management were circulated for review (but not for ballot) and received a number of comments suggesting improvements.

The 6th meeting noted that the membership of the TC now stands at 29 P-members (decrease of 1), 16 O-members (increase of 2) and 29 Liaisons (no change).

TC251 Amersfoort

The meeting was held during unusually warm and sunny weather conditions in Amersfoort, which was in contrast to the severe weather events faced at the two previous meetings (where snow and a cyclone, respectively, were experienced).The Chairman’s Advisory Group (CAG) had held a meeting the day before the TC’s opening plenary, where it gave consideration to:

a) The ISO/TMB's agreement to give "protection" to the ISO 55000 family of standards against the development of asset management standards by other committees in ISO, via a revision of Annex SP to the ISO/IEC Directives Part1. This came into force via the ISO Supplement to the Directives issued in May 2018.

b) The ISO/TMB's resolution 70/2018 clarifying the way in which references to legal, statutory or contractual requirements may be made in standards, via the ISO/IEC Directives Annex SR, which supported the concerns that TC251 had raised via the JTCG. An ISO/TMB taskforce will now review and propose modifications to the Annex SR text, to reflect the resolution.

c) The work of the ISO/TMB/TAG13 Joint Technical Coordination Group on Management System Standards (the JTCG):

  • During its meeting in February (following the TC251 meeting), the JTCG had agreed to support submitting TC251's concerns on references to legal matters to the ISO/TMB.
  • Also in February, the JTCG had agreed to conduct a "systematic review" of the Annex SL Appendix 2 "High Level Structure" (HLS). This review was progressed in two parts following the meeting, using surveys; one focussing on National Standards Bodies, the other on Technical Committees (TCs) that produce management system standards (MSS).
  • The survey results had been analysed at a meeting of the JTCG in September, which together with an analysis of meta-data by the JTCG's Taskforce13, had led to a decision to initiate a revision of the HLS, as well as the rules (Annex SL, clauses SL.9.3 and SL.9.4) and guidance (Annex SL, Appendix 3) on the application of the HLS.
  • The JTCG had agreed to constitute a new Task force 14 to undertake the revision and to permit each MSS TC to appoint two experts and two alternate experts to participate. It was predicted that the TF might need to meet 3 times a year for the next 2 years, which is a heavy burden for any individual expert to bear. TC251 would need to appoint experts to fulfil these roles and the Chair agreed to discuss these with potential candidates during the week. TC251 would also need to establish a mirror group for this activity, to ensure that the future HLS would meet its needs.
  • A draft project plan and outline specification for the revision had been developed, and were currently being reviewed by the JTCG's members, prior to being made available. The target date for the completion of the revision would be during 2021.
  • The JTCG had also considered a request from ISO's editing department to include the 21 terms and definitions from the HLS in every "Type A" management system standard that specifies requirements (e.g. ISO 55001). For committees with an independent vocabulary standard, such as TC251 with ISO 55000, this could cause a strategic change in the way that they structure their series of standards. TC251 will need to give further consideration to this issue.

d) An overview of the work programme of the TC, and:

  • how the TC's current projects are expected to complete within the next 2 years, prior to its expected start to any revisions of its key standards
  • how to plan for the development of new ideas for papers or formal projects in the interim period
  • how the target date for the completion of the revision of the Annex SL "High Level Structure" coincides well with the next systematic reviews of ISO 55000 and ISO 55001, and any need to revise them.

e) The advent of ISO/TC322 Sustainable finance, which could overlap with TC251's scope of asset management. It was agreed that TC251 should establish a liaison with TC322 and seek to send representatives to its meetings. This also emphasized the need to improve TC 251's interaction with its liaison members.

f) Reports on the activities of the five TC251 WGs in preparation for the Amersfoort meeting

g) Planning for future meetings of the TC and WGs.

An additional CAG meeting was held mid-week to:

  1. Plan a revision of the TC251 Strategic Business Plan
  2. Consider the product improvement process being proposed by WG4
  3. Consider the re-purposing of WG6 as "Preparation for the next revision of ISO 55001", including the task of mirroring the work of the JTCG in the revision of the Annex SL HLS.

Mid-week during the meeting, the members of TC251 were invited to attend a launch event by the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) for the new edition of ISO 55002. Presentations were received from a number of organizations that use and promote the ISO 55000 standards, including the Chair of the Netherlands mirror committee to TC251 (Bram Alkema), the Chair of TC251(Rhys Davies), the Convenor of TC251/WG6 (Ton van Wingerden), The City of Rotterdam (Johan Verlinde), Royal Haskoning DHV (Rinus Vader). A symbolic presentation of a copy of the final standard was made to Anton van der Sanden, Royal Haskoning DHV's Director for the Netherlands.

ISO55002 Launch

The delegates were invited to participate in a final "interactive session" led by Geert Fuchs from Royal Haskoning DHV, which although it was meant to be based on asset management, produced a range of very amusing responses. The members of TC251 were grateful to have been invited to participate in the event.

At the closing plenary meeting:

a) The Chair reported that:

  • 4 volunteers had been selected and had agreed to take on the roles for participating in the JTCG's TF14 for the revision of the Annex SL HLS. He also explained the criteria by which they were selected.
  • While WG6 had been proposed to be re-purposed to prepare for the next revision of ISO 55001, the next revision of ISO 55000 required further consideration, so had not yet been assigned. This was due to the request by ISO's editing department that all the HLS terms should be included in Type A MSS, which was awaiting a decision from the ISO/TMB on this issue.
  • The CAG had agreed to revise the TC's Strategic Business Plan (SBP), which should be ready for the next meeting. This would involve a survey of the members by the secretariat, in order to update the information in the SBP. Once the revision had been agreed by the CAG, the SBP would be confirmed by a Committee Internal Ballot. 

b) WG3 Communications reported that it had worked on:

  • Materials to support the launch of the new revised edition of ISO 55002, including video interviews with key experts, a slide deck and a leaflet, as well as press releases and information for use by a variety of journals
  • Producing additional general materials for promoting the TC's standards
  • Improvements to the TC's web site (
  • Continuing to explore the need for specific materials for specific audiences
  • The need for translations into other languages of its guidance materials
  • The development of a biannual newsletter, for members and WG experts
  • A welcome kit for new experts to TC251
  • A catalogue of all supporting materials
  • A list of "talking points" to assist experts convey the purpose of asset management quickly
  • The need for members to provide contacts or drafts for case studies in the use of ISO 55001, as well as information about ISO 55001 certified or compliant organizations

c) WG4 Product Improvement reported that:

  • It had coordinated with WG3 in developing guidance for the production of articles or other ad hoc guidance materials
  • It had updated its terminology guidance handbook.
  • It had updated its knowledgebase on technical information related to asset management
  • It had completed an article on "Understanding the benefits of an ISO 550001 asset management system" 
  • It had coordinated with WG6 in developing a product improvement process
  • It had developed a product improvement roadmap
  • It had developed plans to survey those involved in the teaching of asset management, to understand if they have conceptual differences or any practical difficulties.

d) WG5 Finance and asset management alignment reported that:

  • It had reviewed the results of the Committee Draft (CD) enquiry on ISO/TS 55010.2 and had considered and resolved the comments received in preparing a revised draft.
  • It had liaised with WG4 on the terms and definitions included in the draft.
  • After some final editing, the draft would be ready to go forward for ballot as a formal Draft Technical Specification (DTS), around the end of the year.
  • It would meet again at the next TC251 meeting to review the comments on the DTS and to prepare the draft for publication.
  • It planned to progress an article on "How to Align".

e) WG6 Revision of ISO 55002 reported that:

  • It was pleased to note the results of the ballot on ISO/FDIS 55002.
  • It planned to complete a project review report for the revision of ISO 55002 following the meeting. It had reviewed examples of such reports and agreed a structure for its own one.
  • It had reviewed the proposals for new articles (which it had developed at the previous meeting) in association with WG4. It had reduced the number of proposals down from 22 to 13 and had tested 2 of them using a template for the WG4 product improvement process. This had led to a prioritized list of activities between now and the next meeting.
  • It had accepted the re-purposing of the WG and would examine what was needed to prepare for the next revision of ISO 55001. It would also ensure that experts were adequately prepared for the JTCG's TF14 meetings.

f)   WG7 Development of ISO 55011 reported that:

  • A number of new experts had participated in its meeting, greatly improving the diversity of its membership
  • It had completed the review of comments submitted against ISO/CD 55011
  • It had decided on a new title for the standard of "Asset management – Guidelines for public policy makers", which had helped it clarify the purpose of the standard.
  • It had refined the objectives of the standard to:
    • Connect with the role of Public Policy
    • Integrating asset management fundamentals into Public Policy
    • Highlight the benefits of applying asset management across all levels of government services and assets
    • Encouraging all levels of government to understand asset management and ISO 55000.
      This had enabled it to refine and reduce the text of the draft.
  • It had considered re-defining the project as an article, but noted that the intended audience would require a full International Standard, so had decided to maintain it as one.
  • It had considered the timeline for the development of the standard, in relation to the circulation of a Committee Draft (CD) for ballot and a Draft International Standard, to see if any stages could be accelerated.
  • It expected to be able to submit the text of a CD to the secretariat for editing and ballot soon after the close of the meeting.
  • It needed all members to be proactive in seeking the views of their NSBs (especially governmental representatives) and providing feedback on the CD when it is circulated (it asked members to take an oath to do so at the closing plenary).

The TC received offers to host future meetings in Nanjing, China (during 6 to 10 May 2019) and in Quito, Ecuador (4 to 8 November 2019). Further details for the Nanjing meeting will be made available to the TC's members shortly.

In closing the meeting the Chair stated that he considered that the committee had made very good progress in all its activities, before thanking all the members for their contributions. He reiterated the need to bring-in more experts to increase the diversity of the membership of the committee and to support its growing work programme.

RHDHV Amersfoort

The Chair formally thanked the hosts, Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) and Royal Haskoning DHV, as well as the sponsors, Compris, Vanderlande, Wetterskip Fryslân, Provincie Zuid-Holland, Kiwa, Daiwa Securities, Gemeente Rotterdam, CMS Asset Management, IES Asset Management, Enexis Netbeheer, DNV GL, for having provided such excellent facilities and hospitality during the meeting.

Specific thanks are owed to Cisca Goossens, Bram Alkema, Dimitri Koenen, Arian Boesveld and Dick Hortensius for their exceptional efforts in planning, organizing, and supporting the meeting.