It’s time to clear-up a serious misunderstanding about Service Provider Certification to ISO 55001 asset management standard

ISO 55001 Certification Bodies are accrediting Service Providers to the ISO 55001 asset management standard in the misconstrued belief that a Service Provider’s ‘asset’ is the Contract with a Client. This misunderstanding is dire for service business success.

Having lots of paying clients is the cause of a Service Provider’s success. For a Service Provider, THE ASSET IS THE CLIENT. The Contract with a Client is not the asset!

There is a wonderful ISO 55001 certification benefit you get when YOUR CLIENT IS THE ASSET: The Contract between you and your Client can become your ISO 55001 Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP). After all, the Contract explains how you will provide your services to help the Client achieve their organizational goals. That’s exactly what a Strategic Asset Management Plan is mean to do.


The Service Provider wanting ISO 55001 certification and accreditation must realize that 'Your Client is the Asset' to manage in their ISO 55001 asset management system


The Scope of the ISO 55001-2014 asset management system requirements notes, “This International Standard can be applied to all types of assets and by all types and sizes of organizations.” For an organization to be certified to ISO 55001 it must have assets.

Since a Contract with an Asset Owner generates value for the Service Provider, a Contract meets the definition for an ‘asset’ written in ISO 55000-2014 asset management – overview, principles and terminology, being, “item, thing or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization.”

In ISO 55002-2014 asset management systems guidelines for application of ISO 55001, Clause 8.3.3 includes the sentence: “The extent of outsourcing could require a service provider to establish its own asset management system that is aligned with the organization’s asset management objectives.”

ISO 55001 Scope and ISO 55002 Clause 8.3.3 let Certifying Bodies accredit Service Providers to ISO 55001 in the misconception a Contract with an Asset Owner is the asset to be managed by a Provider’s asset management system. That is the wrong focus for service business success.

Service Providers are used by an Asset Owner because the outsourced service brings value to the Owner. Many of us car owners go to a qualified mechanic to get our vehicle serviced. We consider the ‘value’ to be the car’s reliability secured with the competence, knowledge, skills, parts and special tools used by the Service Provider.

Business Owners understand that the smart use of Service Providers saves time and money. They will even contract to a Service Provider if contracting the outsourced service brings the Owner more business success.

Now, let’s be very clear: An Asset Owner contracts an outsourced service because the Service Provider brings value to the Owner’s organization. Asset Owners choose to give their business to a Service Provider before any Contract exists between them. Unless an Asset Owner is deeply sure a Service Provider is well worth the cost, the Owner will find another Provider, no matter the Contract. The Contract is not what’s important to an Asset Owner—the success of their assets and their business is what they value.
use of the success of the Owner’s business, not because of a Contract.

If you’re a Service Provider seeking ISO 55001 certification of your asset management system, don’t misunderstand your duty and think the Contract is ‘the asset.’ YOUR CLIENT IS THE ASSET, if you aim to build a business full of satisfied clients.

All the very best to you,

Mike Sondalini | Lifetime Reliability Solutions |