ISO55001 – First in the industry

We sat down with Elizabeth Michalkiewicz, Head of Risk Management and Rebecca McAllan, Risk Management Assistant to discuss HCP’s industry first accreditation to the ISO55001 and what that means for us both now and in the future.

What exactly is ISO55001?

Elizabeth: ISO55001 comes from a set of three documents with ISO55000 as the main document. This is the international Asset Management Standard. And ISO55001 actually puts together all the different elements you need to reflect an asset management system. The third part of that trilogy of documents is ISO55002, which is your guidance notes or code of practice on what you need to put into your management system to reflect the requirements of ISO55001.

Could you explain a bit about how you achieved the accreditation?

We put together a development and implementation plan from October 2014 and worked through 2015 with BSI. We asked them to come in and do a gap analysis for us in June 2015.

The accreditation audit is a two stage process. October 2015 was stage one. We  picked a project, Meridian, which was going to be our example to show how we were implementing ISO 55001. We geared all the documentation to match the requirement of the standard.

We sailed through the gap analysis with just a few pointers and in October we went through stage one again with no major or minor non-conformities. Then we prepared for stage two, which took place at Meridian and was six days in total. On the second day we came upon a couple of minor problems but about a week after the audit we had confirmation that the result was going to UKAS, recommending we achieve certification.

It sounds straightforward but it was a lot of work for a lot of people. We also set up the ISO55001 working group with representatives from each region who are absolutely brilliant, and I think if it wasn’t for them, and everybody at Meridian, then we wouldn’t have got to where we are. It was very much a team effort.

What do you think it means to have this certification for HCP?

Elizabeth: Well it helps us to live our strapline, Intelligent Management of Assets. We can prove that we are good asset managers in our day to day operations within the projects. It gives us structure and a way forward with how we manage ourselves to an internationally recognised standard. Also it enables our stakeholders to see that we don’t just say we do it well, we’ve actually got accreditation and that rubber stamp.

What did you learn during the process?

Elizabeth: In terms of implementation, we learnt to communicate and explain why we’re doing certain things, not just once but time and time again from day one.

The department has grown with Rebecca’s appointment as Risk Management Assistant, what are the next steps for the team?

Elizabeth: We’ve been doing risk management internal audits, and tried to mirror the standard requirements but we’re looking at having a much more integrated risk management audit bringing elements of ISO9000.

Rebecca: I think as well one of the things you brought up earlier Liz was communicating, not taking for granted that people will read information if its there. We need to make sure our communications keep them updated with what’s new with risk management. Going back to when ISO55001 was brought into HCP, not a lot of people knew what it was or why it was being brought in. We can change this going forward, by making sure we do presentations and updates internally. Saying, this is what we’re doing in the background, so that we continue to be the best in the business that we’re in. That for me is what I’d like to concentrate on, as well as what Liz has already mentioned.

Elizabeth: There are Risk Management Coordinators in each region with certain functions, such as Health and Safety and Rebecca’s role will be to coordinate them and also set up other Risk Management Coordinators within new projects so that we can have Health and Safety developments in Risk Management as well.

You’ve talked about Meridian as an example, are there any plans to roll it out to other projects?

Elizabeth: We’ve already selected seven other projects for external verification audits, or as the BSI call them, ‘continual assessment visits’. We’ve used Meridian as an example of how we are living our asset management system but it’s important we’re able to demonstrate it on other projects as well. We’ve selected 7 projects, hospitals and schools for next year and we’ll be working with them for the first three months of 2017 so when the external audit programme starts, they’ll be able to respond to the auditor as effectively as Meridian have. That will be the focus for us for the early part of next year.

Thanks very much both, and best of luck with the ongoing project.


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