MRO Magazine

Are You Ready? Understanding the PAS 55 approach to asset management


February 6, 2012
By PEM Magazine

PAS 55, the Publicly Available Specification: 55-1:2008 for Asset Management, is rapidly gaining worldwide acceptance as good-practice guidance for optimizing asset management systems and processes, and reducing risks to people, the environment and business. Developed by the Institute of Asset Management in collaboration with the British Standards Institution, PAS 55 is well on its way to becoming an ISO standard.

For asset-intensive organizations in particular, PAS 55 is already proving to be an essential, objective definition of what’s required to demonstrate competence, establish improvement priorities and make clearer connections between strategic organizational plans and the day-to-day realities of asset and work management. The PAS 55 approach to whole-life asset management is based on the widely used Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle for continuous improvement:

• Plan. Establish the asset-management (AM) strategy, objective, plans and performance measures needed to deliver results in alignment with the organization’s AM policy and strategic plan.

• Do. Establish enablers for implementing AM, such as enterprise asset management (EAM) software and other essential requirements (e.g., regulatory), and implement the AM plan(s).


• Check. Monitor and measure results against AM policy, strategic objectives, regulatory and other requirements; then record and report the results.

• Act. Take actions to ensure AM objectives are achieved, and continuously improve the AM system and performance.

To drive the asset-management PDCA cycle, organizations should create an asset-management policy that provides direction on how to effectively manage physical assets in line with strategic direction. Without such a policy, they will have difficulty realizing the benefits of PAS 55. Organizations should also establish an asset-management strategy to define how the policy will be implemented, outlining specific direction and high-level initiatives.

Additionally, asset-management enablers — that is, the organizational structure of roles, responsibilities, authorities and tools to carry out the top-level strategic plan — should be identified. This is essential because it’s accountable people, not just policies, who ensure sound asset management.

Another important step is developing objective-specific asset-management plans that will enable the business to implement change, carry out asset-management functions and detect potential defects before they escalate into incidents that might impact safety, the environment or operational performance, and/or increase the cost of initiating maintenance.

Because PAS 55 requires that organizations engage in both reactive and proactive monitoring of risk, measurements for asset management must be instituted as well. Additionally, a system should be deployed for tracking the success of the initiative throughout the lifecycle of an asset, understanding how that asset works with other elements in an organization and how multiple interdependencies can by managed and optimized for greater performance and output.

Leveraging EAM Software
For asset-intensive businesses to effectively adopt PAS 55, they need a standardized method for identifying, tracking and managing the condition of every known asset, managing risk before it becomes a problem, standardizing the asset-registry process and generating reports that show compliance to plans and strategic direction. Implementing a modern EAM solution aligned with PAS 55 can help ensure success by allowing organizations to:

• Manage Risk Proactively: PAS 55 mandates proactive risk resolution. Therefore, a company’s EAM solution should feature built-in risk assessment and management into inspections and defects, standard jobs, work requests and work orders. By collecting and analyzing all current defects and the risks they pose to the business across the enterprise asset base, a system of this capacity can help organizations ensure safety by understanding the potential risks as well as knowing what actions to take to mitigate them before they become serious issues.

• Know the Condition of Every Asset: PAS 55 requires that asset managers know the current condition of each asset. Therefore, organizations should employ an EAM solution that incorporates “inspection” and “defects” functionality, and can automatically calculate the current condition of each asset based on responses to inspection questions, and then automatically send out a triggered response if required.

• Standardize the Asset-Registry Business Process: An EAM solution should provide a simple and effective approach for registering assets in line with PAS 55 guidelines. It should enable the collection of asset data as mandated by PAS 55, while ensuring asset registers do not become overly cumbersome or complex. It also should allow for the collection of data relating to currently unregistered assets, ensuring that data quality is maintained and available in the field.

Embracing PAS 55 guidelines can allow organizations to effectively assess the gap between their current procedures and those considered to be optimal asset management activities. PAS 55 can also help:

  • Align their asset management approach with overall business strategy;
  • Foster a culture centered on quality, safety, risk management and continuous improvement; and
  • Maximize return on their assets by increasing uptime of mission-critical equipment and facilities.

Mincom believes the PAS 55 standard will rapidly achieve global acceptance and will be adopted as an ISO standard for the management of physical assets. Since the PAS 55 was first published in 2004, Mincom has been in the forefront of supporting its customers to align with PAS 55 guidelines — and has applied PAS 55 at the foundation of its EAM software design and development methodology.

John Benders is the vice-president of asset intensive industry solutions with Mincom. For more information, visit