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ISO 55001:2014 Accreditation

Connect Plus (CP) and Connect Plus Services (CPS) have successfully achieved certification to the new international standard for asset management (ISO 55001:2014)

Asset management is a core part of the 30 year M25 Design Build Finance and Operate Highways Contract. Connect Plus (the DBFO company), through Connect Plus Services (operations and maintenance specialist), is directly responsible for end-to-end asset management. This includes making decisions on how best to invest £1.7 billion (2017 prices) in more than 140,000 assets that comprise the M25 road network over the 30-year contract (to 2039).

The asset management system is designed to cope with the scale and complexity of the M25 environment. It underpins asset inspection and, through bespoke Decision Support Tools, generates forward plans to manage the delivery of around £50 million of work every year, through a BS 11001 certified framework.

The international framework for asset management is still relatively new, mainly adopted by airports and water companies in the UK. Its application to the M25 asset management system provided greater understanding of the current system status, and highlighted improvements that could be made. The certification process provides an external quality assessment of the system for shareholders and client, Highways England.

The journey to align with the standard was a fully collaborative exercise between CP and CPS, ensuring integration of all users across all elements of the end-to-end system, and eradicating duplication in the certification process.

The external audits to secure certification focused on core elements of the asset management system (policy, strategy, objectives and planning), as well as wider elements such as communication, leadership, supply chain management and risk management that all support an effective asset management system. More than 30 people from the M25 community participated in the audits, demonstrating the depth and scale of the certification process.

Lloyds Register (the external auditor) has confirmed CP and CPS’ integrated asset management system meets the requirements of ISO 55001, marking them as industry leaders in the UK.

Benefits to achieving certification:

  • Test and improve the effectiveness of the existing system
  • Demonstrate asset management capability
  • Improve asset management awareness

Key lessons learned:

  • Joined-up certification approach improved integration of teams and processes across both businesses
  • Scope of standard wider than pure technical aspects. M25 approach benefited from focus on leadership, communication and awareness
  • Demonstrable improvements made to the asset management system against each 55001 clause
  • Improved asset management awareness in both businesses