ISO 55011 - Guidance for development and application of public policy to enable asset management

Why ISO 55011?

For governments and public policy authorities, good asset management is a key enabler for those seeking to balance investment in immediate needs with long-term goals to achieve desired societal outcomes, including achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Developing public policy in a way that promotes good asset management is important for governments and their public policy authorities to make the best use of public resources while maximizing social and financial return on investments.

Who is leading the development of ISO 55011?

ISO TC 251’s WG7 is working on ISO 55011 to provide guidance for establishing and sustaining an enabling environment for asset management through public policy  - applicable to national, provincial or local governments or their agencies.

What progress has been made to date?

To date, WG7 has:

  • Identified key aims and benefits of such Government policies
  • Obtained feedback from various countries and individuals who develop, administer, and/or influence the formation of public policy
  • Identified at least 20 public policy instruments that support good asset management practice based on research, interviews, and presentations. Examples include:
  1. Government Strategic Plans – Australia’s New South Wales move to achieve a consistent and improved approach to asset planning and delivery
  2. Regulation – Canada’s Province of Ontario introduction of a regulation that mandates Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure, O.Reg. 855/17
  3. Quality of Service Goals and Delivery – Scottish Water’s journey for ISO 55001 Certification
  4. Financial Instruments – Canada’s Municipal Asset Management Program designed to support municipal asset management capacity building, Infrastructure Canada, Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Canada’s Federal Infrastructure Bank to co-invest public funds with private sector and institutional investors
  • Initiated the development of international case studies where certain public policy elements supporting good asset management practice have successfully been applied to realize improved societal outcomes.
  • Considered how to differentiate the term "policy" in relation to Government policy, as opposed to its use in the ISO 5500X standards as an asset management policy
  • Considered differences in target audience and scope between ISO 55011 and ISO 55001 with careful consideration of asset management versus the management of assets.
  • Conducted a global survey to solicit input from persons believed to be experts in the development, administration, or influence of general public policies at different governmental levels within their countries. This input informed what type of content and guidance should be included in the development of ISO 55011.

Recent Developments and Next Steps

In November 2020, WG7 launched a survey, “ISO 55011 Asset Management and Public Policy,” to solicit input from persons believed to be experts in the development, administration, or influence of general public policies at different government levels within their countries. The survey gathered input from 110 participants representing over 20 countries to determine what type of guidance would help promote or enable asset management, especially related to specific public policy instruments or applicable public policy documents.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of survey respondents indicated that the type of guidance that would be most helpful within the standard would be examples and case studies, including elements of good practice, lessons learned, and how public policy instruments have been applied in relevant public policy documents to enable good asset management practice. Survey respondents acknowledged that the functions of governments and methods of formulating public policies vary from country to country, and for this reason, good practice case studies and common guidance – even if the system and organization are different – can be useful, especially if the reasons behind the methods and benefits are clearly stated. 

In response to input received, WG7 is conducting ongoing interviews to identify best practices and develop case studies demonstrating how public policy instruments have been developed and/or applied to enable asset management.

If your country or local government has a good case study they would like to share as part of the development of ISO 55011, please contact our WG7 Convener.


Visit the ISO 55011 page on ISO's main site.

Introducing ISO 55011
by Tiffany Batac

Tiffany Government LR.mp4