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Manage organizational assets with an ISO 55001 audit checklist

Asset management is critical for businesses to ensure that they can get the most out of their resources. Use an ISO 55001 audit checklist to optimize asset management and implement better processes


The ISO 55001 standard certifies that businesses have a robust asset management system and are able to utilize assets to their fullest potential. These assets include tangible things like material resources and equipment as well as less tangible things like wealth and information.


ISO 5501 improves asset management and overall performance by helping your business develop protocols for managing daily procedures and addressing hazards that might endanger said assets. ISO 55001 certification, like any ISO certification, isn’t mandatory; but it does boost your reputation in the eyes of consumers and fellow businesses.




What to include in your ISO 55001 audit checklist

In order to make sure you’re meeting ISO 55001 requirements, it’s highly recommended that you perform regular internal audits. That way, you measure how effectively your asset management system is preserving your assets and whether or not it’s compliant with ISO 55001 certification criteria.

You ISO 55001 internal audit checklist should be split into the sections defined by ISO themselves. These are:

  • Context of the organization: This section deals broadly with the needs and expectations of stakeholders, the scope of your asset management system, and factors that may impact the system.
  • Leadership: Here is where you explore management’s commitment to establishing and maintaining an asset management system that is ISO 55001-compliant, and the roles given to various team members.
  • Planning: The Planning section of an ISO 55001 audit checklist covers how you will address risks, corrective actions, and how you’ll measure asset management objectives.
  • Support: Support refers to the resources, whether material, capital, or labor-related, that are needed and available in order to successfully run your asset management system.
  • Operation: This is where you talk about the specific processes you’ve designed to get the intended effect from your asset management system, and also mention any functions or processes you’ve outsourced.
  • Performance evaluation: How will you decide which factors indicate successful asset management, how you’ll measure those factors, and who will be in charge of measuring those factors?
  • Improvements: The last section of your ISO 55001 audit checklist is where you identify areas where your asset management system could be improved, particularly related to areas of nonconformance identified during internal audits.


In each of these sections, it’s important to be as thorough as possible to evaluate their subject matter from every possible angle. It’s also important that you have detailed answers to each question – for example, by being able to describe your audit process in detail. Here are some examples of questions to ask in each section.


Context of the organization


To get an idea of the parties involved with and the range of your asset management system, it’s important that you ask questions like:


  • Do you know the needs and expectation of your stakeholders?
  • Have you determined the scope of your asset management system?
  • Do you know which internal and external factors could impact the success of your asset management system?
  • Do you have a Strategic Asset Management Plan available to share with stakeholders?


Leadership


Make sure that your leadership understands their responsibilities and part in ensuring an ISO-compliant asset management system by asking:


  • Has management taken responsibility for and communicated the importance of a comprehensive ISO 55001 asset management system?
  • Are the roles and responsibilities of employees in relation to asset management clearly defined?
  • Are the asset management policy and objectives clearly communicated across the organization?
  • Is management’s approach to risk management when it comes to asset management consistent with the approach elsewhere?


Planning


The planning stage of an ISO 55001 audit checklist ensures that you’re prepared to handle any risks and have your objectives mapped out. Here, you want to ask:


  • Do you know which risks you need to address in order for your asset management system to succeed?
  • Have you planned out ways of addressing those risks?
  • Do you have clear and measurable asset management objectives, as well as steps to take towards achieving them?
  • Do you have a way of prioritizing asset management activities?


Support


Determine which resources you have available, whether your resources are adequate, and get a handle on required documentation. In the Support section, ask:


  • Has the business provided all the resources necessary to successfully implement an asset management system?
  • Is everyone involved in the success of your asset management system qualified to perform their roles?
  • Do you know which information relevant to the success of your asset management system needs to be documented?
  • Do you have a system for storing, managing, and securing documentation?


Operation


The Operation part of your checklist deals with the gritty details of your asset management system. This section is intended to help communicate what exactly you’re doing to ensure that your asset management system succeeds, with questions like:


  • Have you implemented a program for achieving the desired outcome of your asset management system?
  • Are you outsourcing any asset management processes? If so, is there a dedicated person in charge of managing and coordinating them?
  • Are you monitoring any outsourced asset functions?
  • Are any planned changes carried out in a controlled way with consideration of potential consequences?


Performance evaluation


Performance evaluations in an ISO 55001 audit checklist refer to how you measure the success of your asset management system. Here you should ask:


  • Which factors need monitoring, who is responsible for this, and how are results measured?
  • Are you reporting on the effectiveness of your risk management processes?
  • Are you conducting regular internal audits to make sure you’re meeting ISO 55001 criteria?
  • Do asset management reviews identify areas for improvement?


Improvements


This section looks towards the future to help you optimize your ISO 55001 asset management system even further. It includes questions like:


  • Have you identified corrective actions that would address the root cause of nonconformities?
  • Have any of those actions been implemented and measured?
  • Do you document the nature of nonconformities for future reference?
  • Have you implemented processes to identify failures in asset performance?


Benefits of an ISO 55001 audit checklist

Man using a tablet to record observations at work


Even if you aren’t seeking ISO 55001 certification, following a detailed internal audit checklist has several benefits to your business.


Reduce costs


Well-managed assets reduce business costs because they are more efficient producers of whatever they produce. For example, a piece of equipment kept in good condition will perform tasks faster than one where components have been left to rust or break.


Additionally, asset management is all about extending the life cycle of assets. In the case of physical materials and tools, that means maintaining their condition for as long as possible and avoiding costly repairs.


Better decision making


Regularly auditing and collecting data on your assets helps you make more informed decisions in your business. ISO 55001 helps you learn more about individual assets’ roles in your business, how much revenue they generate, how much they cost to maintain, and how often they are at risk.


Better services


Chances are, if an asset is performing well, the product or service it’s responsible for outputting will also be higher quality. Better products mean more satisfied customers.


Enhanced business reputation


Though the best thing for your reputation would be to obtain an ISO 55001 certification, meeting the criteria also shows stakeholders that you’re serious about good asset management. Showing a commitment to continuous improvement inspires confidence that your business can continue to grow.


Building an ISO 55001 audit checklist with workflow automation software

Two workers performing a task together using handheld devices


Considering all the sections and detail involved in ISO 55001 audit checklists, paper-based inspections can quickly become tedious and hard to keep track of, not to mention you’ll need to write out the same list of questions who knows how many times. Instead, conduct your internal audits using workflow automation software.


Lumiform’s workflow automation platform gives you an easy way to perform inspections using digital, custom-made checklists that guide inspectors through, question by question, to ensure nothing is ever overlooked. And unlike paper-based checklists, you can use one digitally generated checklist as often as you want.


Further benefits of Lumiform include:


  • Easy employee management: Assign tasks at the click of a button, create and edit inspection schedules, and track employee progress all from your desktop
  • A simple mobile app that you can use to perform inspections and audits from anywhere, even offline, as long as you have a tablet or smartphone
  • A seamless interface that makes internal audits up to 4x faster
  • Automatic and secure data recording after completing a checklist, including weekly and monthly analytics reports that you can use to easily identify patterns and weaknesses in your asset management system


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