Sydney Trains – ISO9001 & ISO55001 Alignment and Business Systems Integration


1.  Summary of project, product, framework

ISO9001 & ISO55001 Alignment and Business System Integration

Sydney Trains manages $40 billion worth of assets under an operator-maintain model within the Transport for NSW cluster of agencies. The Sydney Trains Asset Management System, underpinned by ISO9001 and ISO55001 functions as the mechanism to deliver value with a holistic approach ensuring effective business outcomes.

In delivering an effective Asset Management System and providing efficiencies for the organisation, alignment of the ISO9001 and ISO55001 standards and integration of associated business management systems has been undertaken. This award application details the approach, creative solutions and organisational benefits in undertaking this initiative.

2.  Description of project or framework addressing the assessment criteria:  

ISO Alignment

Sydney Trains (ST) has maintained Quality Management ISO9001 certification for the Engineering & Maintenance Directorate (EMD) for the past 26 years, having achieved this in October 1992. ST achieved Asset Management certification to ISO55001:2014 standards in June 2017, having started this journey to develop the Asset Management System in 2014 with the stand up of Sydney Trains from RailCorp. In April 2018, ST upgraded from ISO9001:2008 to the current standards of ISO9001:2015, which paved the way for future alignment of both ISO9001 and ISO55001 standards and the integration of relevant business systems. As soon as the organisation achieved the ISO9001:2015 upgrade, the business initiated the planning, design and development, which included building the mechanisms to integrate the systems, processes and methodologies in preparation for ISO alignment. Re-certification of both ISO standards is planned for June 2019, which will complete the 16-month project.

Business System Integration

Having two established business management systems, the Quality Management System (QMS) and the Asset Management System (AMS), the business needed to integrate the two systems to benefit from synergies, merging the QMS into the AMS, ensuring the integrity of intent and flavour of the quality requirements of the business. The latest version ISO standards allow for alignment and synergies, which are apparent, however the intent of the two standards is different, which impacts methods and practices in application.

At a high level the standards align, and a large amount of the wording appears to be the same, however the related clauses can be interpreted quite differently and in some areas can be more detailed in one standard than the other. Significant debate was undertaken to agree on interpretation of standards and applicability to the business. To be able to align the AMS across different business scopes meant that the organisation needed to adopt the higher standard to integrate the relevant clauses into business requirement documentation for standardisation across the two different scope of the business (ISO9001 for EMD and ISO55001 for ST).

This required the integrating and combining of relevant business system requirements, frameworks, procedures, process, guidelines, templates etc. Careful consideration was made in how system requirement documentation reflected and demonstrated compliance and scope for both the ISO standards. A Quality & Asset Management Alignment Guideline has been developed to demonstrate the business system integration. Another solution which was utilised to improve understanding in the business of alignment and provide a platform to navigate the business through an integrated lens was the introduction of the Asset Management System Framework (AMSF) model, deployed through the Sydney Train Knowledge Portal. This portal provides an integrated view and access to business processes and controlled business system documentation in addition to demonstrating business compliance and alignment to regulations/ISO standards.


This initiative included the development of a compliant, whilst workable solution for business assurance, which would allow both scopes to be adequately covered with the same resources, which was originally used to cover only the ISO9001 scope for EMD and now needed to include ISO55001 scope for ST.

From an integrated approach we needed firstly to incorporate different audit methodologies to address compliance for both IOS9001 and ISO55001 and provide a more robust approach to adding value to the business. Incorporating both the business system audit approach, which focused more on the ISO clause compliance and the ISO55001 asset management flavour to undertaking end-to-end process audits, which cut across multiple divisions. This integrated approach provided an improvement in audit findings and supported improved business maturity. The business also needed to demonstrate how the organisation covered the combined EMD/ST assurance scope. This was undertaken by implementing a three-year forward planning rolling assurance plan, demonstrating the rotating of asset classes and asset categories based on a risk-based decision-making approach. The assurance plan also incorporated non-asset and support-related business areas. This approach had been a first for the organisation and has proven effective in application, strategic planning and demonstration of robust assurance regime.


Undertaking alignment of both ISO standards and integrating the associated business systems has produced a number of benefits for Sydney Trains, the main benefits include:

  • Creating a holistic view and approach to business practices through leveraging off both ISO9001 and ISO55001 synergies. This improves a focus on asset management whilst including customer satisfaction importance.
  • Business efficiencies through alignment of standards, leading to combining and reducing duplication of documents and processes.
  • Improved effectiveness to control, navigate and deploy business system processes and documentation through a centralised online portal.
  • Improved internal audit practices through integrating process and business system audit approaches.
  • Reduced compliance cost for internal auditing activities by streamlining the process through utilisation of integrated audit checklist and reducing the audit impact on the business.
  • Cost efficiencies through effective medium-term audit planning, same number of audits and resources over larger scope.
  • Improved audit outcomes leading to AM maturity and continuous improvement, due to improved audit methodology, combining business system and process audit approaches.
  • Reduced external audit costs and the time spent by the business in preparation and the audits conducted by the independent certification organisation.
  • Simplified Asset Management Business System to enable ISO compliance.
  • Improved platform to drive further continuous improvement and business maturity.
  • Improved stakeholder engagement leading to effective business readiness activities.
  • Improved business system team performance and effectiveness.


Sydney Trains, as an industry leader has engaged and embraced this initiative and through this commitment has resulted in numerous benefits throughout the organisation. The initiative to achieve ISO alignment and integration of associated business systems has been both challenging and rewarding for Sydney Trains and the benefits are continuing to unfold. For a large and complex organisation like Sydney Trains, a key benefit is having an effective framework to align and build upon for all asset-related business activity.

This initiative has built momentum within the organisation and has led to benefits, continuous improvements and business maturity flowing through the business to everyone involved in managing assets at Sydney Trains. June 2019 is the planned date for the ISO recertification, for a combined quality and asset management system, which when gained will be the acknowledgement of achievement for this initiative. This recertification will be a first within the industry where we draw from the highest requirements of each standard to gauge our organisation. However, the benefits will continue across the business, as a platform to drive further improvement via process efficiencies and business maturity.

3.  Opinion as to specific contribution made by the nominated individual/team/organisation

Business System Team

A number of challenges were presented in regards to integrating the Business System Team (BST) into Asset Management. One of the main challenges was taking the Business System Team of eight staff, who had predominantly focused on the ISO9001 QMS for EMD, and transition them to include the ISO55001 Asset Management scope for ST. There was a need to build business knowledge, competence and tap into the potential capability of this team, which included building further expertise, practices and broadening their scope of work. A strong focus on collaboration, team work, enhancing competence, which included extending and supporting staff with both broadening and undertaking new work activities. This included involving staff in all aspects of business planning, project and change management, becoming outcome focused and having clear accountability for business deliverables. Another BST challenge was to transition the business to a holistic view of how quality and asset management work together so that the business can benefit from the synergies created when both perspectives are applied at a practical level.

A critical component to drive business alignment and integration is to achieve effective stakeholder engagement. To undertake this, the BST were aligned to specific businesses included in the combined ISO scope. Business engagement meetings were undertaken to initiate business alignment activities, in the first instance undertaking an ISO business maturity review to identify the level of applicable maturity and potential gaps and opportunities for improvement. This review was then presented to the relevant business unit manager, which formed the foundation of the working relationship to support alignment of existing business systems, compliance to ISO standards and the Asset Management Business System, allowing improvement to business processes and practices and preparing for future internal and external audits. Individual BST members being aligned to specific divisions and business units has been a key strategy to be able to drive and influence compliance and system alignment, as well as to understand the business, provide communication and achieve local management buy-in.

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