Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery

A BC Framework

The Framework establishes a high-level, systematic approach that supports local governments in moving toward service, asset and financial sustainability through an asset management process.

The Framework addresses:

  • Why asset management is necessary
  • What asset management is
  • How it can be implemented

The Framework recognizes there are many components within the asset management process and provides a circular, continuous pathway to link all components of the process together.

The Framework has been developed to recognize the diversity of BC’s communities. The Framework recognizes that asset management, and the best practices that support asset management, must be scalable to community size and capacity.

The Framework focuses on desired outcomes rather than prescribing specific methodologies that allows local governments to develop and implement an approach that can be both incremental and measured, tailored to the individual needs and capacity of each local government.

Further, the Framework reflects current best practices and aligns with and is supported by internationally accepted best practices such as the International Infrastructure Management Manual and the ISO 55000 Standard for Asset Management. The Framework also has a section dedicated to additional resources/tools which identifies additional best practices and showcases BC case studies that are supported with topic specific primers.

Finally, The Framework is a living document, and recognizing that best practices change and are updated, the Framework will also be periodically updated.

Sustainable Service Delivery ensures that current community service needs, and how those services are delivered (in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner), do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Communities build and maintain infrastructure to provide services. These services support our quality of life, protect our health and safety, and promote social, economic and environmental well-being. Failure to care for our infrastructure, manage our natural resources and protect the benefits provided by nature risks degrading, or even losing, the services communities enjoy, and that future generations may rely on.

Sound asset management practices support Sustainable Service Delivery by considering community priorities, informed by an understanding of the trade-offs between the available resources and the desired services.

Asset Management

Asset Management is an integrated process, bringing together skills, expertise, and activities of People; with Information about a community’s physical Assets; and Finances; so that informed decisions can be made, supporting Sustainable Service Delivery.

The Core Elements

People, Information, Assets, and Finances are considered the core elements of asset management. Each of these elements is necessary for sustainable service delivery. Success requires the integration of these four elements throughout the Process of asset management.


Asset management is a corporate function. Local governments that successfully implement asset management have staff and elected officials who; understand the need for asset management and support its implementation, are effective leaders, have a culture of inter-disciplinary teamwork, value informed decision making, and continuously develop their skills, experience and capacity.


Information is needed to support decisions that are cost effective, manage risks, and support long-term service delivery. The quality of information, information collection and dissemination can evolve over time to support informed decision-making.


The physical infrastructure owned by local governments to enable service delivery including, but not limited to; water and wastewater systems, drainage and flood protection systems, transportation systems, civic facilities, parks and fleet.  It may also include natural resources and the essential ecological functions nature provides.


A holistic understanding of the long-term costs of providing services and the infrastructure required is a critical element of asset management.  Proactive asset management will yield fewer service disruptions, more predictable results and lower total lifecycle costs than a reactive approach to repair and replacement.

Asset Management: The Process

Asset management is a continuous quality improvement process. This ongoing Process is incremental and scalable, involving; Assessing capacity, demand and results, Planning what needs to be done, and Implementing the plans. This continually informs how to enhance and expand the Process.

Review, Communicate and Engage

Integral to, and throughout the asset management Process, it is important to include regular reviews and provide effective communication internally and externally with all affected stakeholders. Internally, it is critical to develop organizational alignment and build knowledge/understanding prior to external communication and engagement. Educating and building awareness will improve the ability to implement asset management.


Assess Asset Management Practices

Determine organizational capacity to undertake asset management as an ongoing corporate function. This includes a high level assessment of all the core elements: people, information, assets, and finances. The assessment results serve as a foundation for developing and implementing the Process.

Assess the Current State of Assets

Assessing the current state of assets includes; knowing the inventory, asset conditions, both defined customer and technical levels of service and risks within each asset group. This assessment is the foundation for the development of Asset Management Plans.


Asset Management Policy

A document that broadly outlines the principles and mandated requirements for undertaking asset management across the organization in a systematic and coordinated way, consistent with the organization’s plans.

Asset Management Plan

Long-term plans that outline the assets, asset conditions, levels of service, asset and service risks, activities and programs for each service area and resources required to provide a defined level of service in the most cost effective way. Each Asset Management Plan is a readable and user-friendly living document that is continuously improved to incorporate new information or changing requirements.

Asset Management Strategy

The high-level, long-term approach to asset management, including Asset Management Plans and objectives for managing assets.

Integrate to Long-term Financial Plan

Asset Management Plans are integral to a robust Long-Term Financial Plan and support Sustainable Service Delivery. This integration identifies gaps between long-term costs and available funding. The financial planning process identifies opportunities to close the gap through adjusting service levels (reducing costs) and/or increasing funding (raising revenue).


Implement Asset Management Practices

Asset management practices establish and implement ways that integrate people, organizational culture and capacity. The implementation of these practices is guided by an Asset Management Strategy and the actions in Asset Management Plans.

Measure and Report

Annual and financial reports include asset management objectives and outcomes identified in an Asset Management Strategy and Asset Management Plans. Reporting demonstrates measurable progress in implementing the Process and achieving outcomes that contribute to Sustainable Service Delivery.