Open-access content 19th April 2011
Demonstrating to clients that systems and processes are in place in the whole life cycle of management of physical assets is the aim of the PAS 55 standard.
by Peter Gagg
21 April 2011
PAS 55 is the British Standards Institution’s publicly available specification for the optimised management of physical assets. First published in 2004 and revised in 2008, it is scheduled to become an international standard (ISO) by late 2012.
PAS 55 defines asset management as “the optimum way of managing assets to achieve a desired and sustainable outcome at minimum total cost of ownership through their whole life cycle.” It therefore encourages longer term thinking promoting, among other things, sustainability and energy efficiency by providing clear best practice guidelines and a detailed requirements specification to assist in achieving optimised whole-life management.
PAS 55 is applicable to any size of organisation, public or private, with significant physical assets. For example, financial centres, offices, hospitals, schools, infrastructure, laboratories, airports, data centres as well as transport and utilities sectors. PAS 55 will help these organisations:
- Establish an asset management system
- Demonstrate its compliance with its defined asset management strategy.
In the UK, several facilities sector businesses have started on the journey to PAS 55 accreditation and in doing so have seen the benefits, in terms of:
- Improved understanding, by both the asset owner and the contractor, of the need for clear goals
- The ability to demonstrate continual and effective asset management plans that minimise risk to the core business
- Recognition of the organisations competence and compliance with a worldwide specification for asset management
FM service providers must Plan-Do-Check-Act
PAS 55 is now recognised as an appropriate framework for achieving sustainability for the FM sector during and after the contract term. The framework is based on the well-recognised and understood Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) continuous improvement methodology. Within the framework, which comprises 28 clauses, the key elements of asset management are covered, eg asset management policy, strategy, risk management, management controls and continuous review.
By embracing PAS 55 FM service providers have the opportunity to demonstrate to their clients that they have in place systems and processes that will deliver high performance service and reliability at the optimum cost which balances risk operating costs and capital expenditure.
It should be noted that to achieve full recognition it is generally necessary for both the asset owner and service provider to work in partnership to define the business goals and appropriate asset management system. There are two approaches that third party FM service providers can use to achieve certification. Either the provider company can develop a standard set of processes, procedures and information systems which are then applied to each contract. Or, the provider company works with each client to develop processes and procedures which are tailored to the site/organisation’s needs. In either instance the active involvement in the development process by the asset owner is non-negotiable. It must be a formal approach by both the asset owner and service provider (even if the provider is an in-house organisation).
A five-step approach
Achieving certification to PAS 55 standard will take between 12-24 months to achieve. A typical approach will involve the following steps:
Step 1 – Awareness workshop for asset owners and service providers
Step 2 – Initial gap analysis against the standard
Step 3 – Gap closure plan
Step 4 – Intermediate assessment against the standard
Step 5 – Certification against PAS 55 Part 1 standard.
To maintain certification, the organisation will be required to demonstrate continuity and sustainability of its developed systems. A re-certification is required after three years.
1. A world-leading financial institution with several locations in London has started on the PAS 55 journey. Initial benefits identified include increased levels of reliability, reduced maintenance costs and revised asset life plans resulting in annual savings of £170k.
2. An FM service provider working with a PAS 55 consultancy used the framework to achieve certification of its management physical assets and infrastructure at one of the UK’s largest airports which identified:
a. 30 per cent cost reduction
b. Improved operating efficiency in-line with the business risk
c. Sustainable environmental, regulatory, legal and carbon reduction compliance.
Peter Gagg is a director of MCP Consulting and Training