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5th meeting of ISO/PC 251 Asset management,29 April to 3 May 2013, Calgary, Canada

ISO/DIS 55000 Asset management - Overview, principles and terminology received approximately 515 individual comments; ISO/DIS 55001 Asset management - Management systems - Requirements received approximately 300 individual comments; and ISO/DIS 55002 Asset management - Management systems - Guidelines on the application of ISO 55001 received approximately 320 comments. Overall this reflected a similar number of comments to those raised on the DIS documents, however, the proportions of comments had moved from ISO 55001 to the other two standards, reflecting the increasing maturity of the Requirements document, and allowing greater focus on developing the guidance material. This shift of comments is aligned with expectations at this stage of the development.

The primary purpose of the 5th meeting was to revise the drafts and to improve the texts to a point where they would be ready for ballot as Final Draft International Standards (FDISs).

The Chairman, Rhys Davies, opened the meeting on the Monday (at the Delta Bow Hotel) by noting that attendance at the PC’s meetings had grown from approximately 70 delegates at the last meeting to about 80 at this one. 17 new delegates were attending for the first time, including representatives from several member bodies which had recently become P-members to the PC. He was pleased to note the growing level of participation, and welcomed the new members. He advised that a brief meeting had been held the day before, to introduce the new delegates to the PC’s work, and to avoid re-opening discussions on matters that had been previously agreed. He stressed that the PC’s role is to promote the field of asset management, as well as the development of the standards; consequently it was essential for the new delegates to be integrated into the Working Groups and to participate fully in their activities, so that they would be able to communicate the PC’s achievements following the meeting.

The Chairman praised the work that the Conveners, Task Group Leaders and Working Group (WG) Experts had done in preparation for the meeting, including pre-analysis of all the received comments as well as proposing drafting solutions. This had been carried out by the holding of numerous webinars and conference calls as well as the exchange of emails. The WGs would start their activities by reviewing the work that had been done, to ensure that there was consensus among their members.

While he was very pleased to note the high level of approval for each of the DISs, there were still a number of critical items that the comments had highlighted, which concerned all three standards. Consequently an Open Forum session would be held immediately after the Opening Plenary to address these items, to enable all delegates to contribute to the discussions.

During the Opening Plenary an additional report was received from Mr Scott Morris (USA), Convener of ISO/CASCO/WG 39, concerning the development of ISO/IEC TS 17021-5 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 5 Competence requirements for auditing and certification of asset management systems. Mr Morris stated that WG 39 had been established following the recommendation of PC 251 for the need for such competency requirements. Mr Alan Tait (South Africa) had led an Ad Hoc Group from PC 251 to develop an outline draft. The draft had been circulated as a new work item proposal in ISO/CASCO (ISO’s Policy Committee for Conformity Assessment) and had been approved in December. Regrettably Mr Tait had withdrawn from PC 251 activities earlier in the year, so could not continue as Convener. Mr Morris had been volunteered as Convener (for life) by the PC’s Secretariat, at short notice, to replace Mr Tait, and this had been agreed by ISO/CASCO. WG39 had met in ISO’s office in Geneva in February and had made very good progress in the development of the Draft Technical Specification (DTS). The Secretary of ISO/CASCO, Mr MacCurtain, had attended the meeting along with several members of PC 251. Mr MacCurtain reviewed the final output from the meeting and considered that the DTS was mature enough not to need for it to be issued for a round of commenting prior to it being circulated for ballot; however he had agreed to delay the ballot so that the DTS could be circulated to the national standards bodies in parallel with the expected ballots for the FDISs of the ISO 5500x standards. The DTS was considerably reduced in size and content compared to the initial draft a) due to the realization that many of the included items were already covered by ISO/IEC 17021 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems and b) due to the realization that many of the initial requirements concerned information gathering issues that would be dealt with during a “Stage 1” audit. Finally Mr Morris advised that the DTS would be balloted among the members of ISO/CASCO, and not by ISO/PC 251, and recommended that members should contact their national mirror committees to ISO/CASCO to influence their votes.

During the Open Forum, presentations were received on the following topics:
• The relationship between the various “Planning/Strategy/Policy” elements (particularly in ISO 55001)
• The use of diagrams in the three standards
• The differences between Asset Management and an Asset Management System
• The approach to “Risk” in the standards

It was agreed to establish a number of ad hoc task groups to examine these issues before the Open Forum closed to allow the WGs to get started on their activities.

Good progress was made in the work over the next few days. Drafts of the standards were circulated to all delegates to review each night, as well as on the Friday morning, so that there would be full transparency about the texts that would be proposed as the FDISs.

On the Friday afternoon the PC moved its meetings to the City of Calgary Water Centre, and an Open Forum session was called to receive the closing reports from the Working Groups.

WG1 reported that its activities had been based around the key issues of:
• A consistent treatment of ‘risk’
• Asset Management versus Asset Management System - resulting in definitions being slightly revised
• The use of diagrams - three diagrams had been developed, two for ISO 55000 and one for ISO 55002
• The terms “Asset Life” versus “Life Cycle” - with their definitions being revised
• The Asset management principles - which had been updated to address the received comments

The members of WG 1 had agreed to promote the revised draft of ISO 55000 to the FDIS stage.

The Open Forum was happy to accept most of these items without detailed discussion. On the topic of diagrams however, there was a great deal of concern expressed, as these had only just been proposed in the Friday morning drafts and had not been included in the earlier drafts or the DISs.

The Chairman noted that there was good acceptance of the text of the draft FDISs, and that only the issue of the diagrams had to be resolved. He considered that the first diagram for ISO 55000 was generally accepted, but that the second diagram (and two alternate proposals for it) required a decision to be made as to which version should be used.

The Chairman asked delegates to indicate their preference for a) having no diagrams, or b) their choice of the secondary diagram, by moving to one of the corners of the room. There was no support for having no diagrams, and the delegates split between choosing the second diagram that was already included in the Friday morning draft, versus one of the alternatives; there was no support for the second alternative. A head count showed a 36 to 29 majority for the Friday morning draft version. The Secretary was concerned about the level of consensus that this indicated, but given the urgency of the need to make a decision, agreed to accept the majority position.

WG2 reported that its activities had been based around the key issues of:
• The treatment of ‘risk’, particularly in ISO 55001
• The clarification of financial versus technical issues for asset management
• The re-focussing of ISO 55002 to give better guidance (not just a restatement of the ISO 55001 requirement in expanded language), and for it to be simplified.
• The inclusion of the diagram from the WG1 Task Group

While WG 2’s members were willing to support both ISO 55001 and ISO 55002 being formally moved to the FDIS stage, ISO 55002 still required final editing to refine the language. The WG therefore proposed that a process similar to that which had been used following the Prague meeting should be invoked, to allow the WG’s members to vote on the final edited version prior to it being sent to ISO for the FDIS ballot.

There was some confusion following this suggestion, as comments about the diagram were made in parallel with requests for information about the post-meeting editing and voting process.

The Chairman asked for several “show of hands” to decide each of the following issues:
a) if the diagram should be included
b) to move the diagram from the main body of text to an informative annex
c) to follow the post-meeting editing and voting process
For each issue there was a majority for acceptance.

It was stressed that the diagram in ISO 55002 would need to be absolutely consistent with the second diagram in ISO 55000.

The Closing Plenary session followed on from the Open Forum, and agreed the circulation of all 3 drafts as FDISs for ballot.

In addition, a resolution was adopted to ask ISO to initiate the process for the conversion of the Project Committee (PC) into a full ISO Technical Committee, if suitable new work item proposals (NWIPs) are received prior to the publication of the ISO 5500x standards. If no NWIPs are received, then the PC will be disbanded on publication of the standards.

On the Saturday 4th May following the close of the PC’s meeting, a workshop was held to share asset management experiences from different country perspectives. This was well attended by members of the PC and other Canadian participants, and some excellent presentations were given. Several members commented that it was one of the best asset management conferences they had attended, and thanked the speakers for their invaluable contributions, and especially thanked Mr Duncan Ellison (Canada) for organizing it.

Overall, the PC’s meeting achieved its aim of producing the Final Draft International Standards, following the resolution of some very difficult issues, through some exceptional hard work by the delegates.

This would not have been possible without the magnificent support we received from our hosts, the Standards Council of Canada and the City of Calgary, and their sponsors: CH2M-Hill; Trans Canada; Riva Modelling; OPUS; Infrastructure Strategies & Research (I.S.R.); CNAM; GHD; Stantec; Associated Engineering; KPMG; Alberta Infrastructure; Asset Performance Group (APG); and for the wonderful social events they provided.

Specific thanks are owed to Duncan Ellison, Steve Wyton, Cindy McNeil and Luis Moura, for their exceptional efforts in planning, organizing, and supporting the meeting.

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