Risk-Based Inspection Technical Committee

Motivation & Proposal for RBI Technical Committee


In October 2009, the Pressure Equipment Regulations (PER) replaced  the “Vessels under Pressure (VuP) Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act of 1993 and this offered an alternative to pressure testing, whereby a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) programme may be utilised voluntarily, subject to Certification.

The implementation of an RBI programme in Eskom, Sasol and numerous other organisations, have shown to have material benefits in the management of it’s PER compliance.  These benefits are relevant to the general industry and could be extended to beyond the PER requirement.

Risk-Based Inspection is regarded as a sub-set of Condition Based Maintenance, in which maintenance activities are executed based on the risk profile of that particular component. This risk profile is determined by evaluating the likelihood and consequence of failure.  RBI is becoming popular in South Africa, mainly due to changes in the OHS Act, governing pressure equipment. It must be however noted that within the South African context, RBI is still in its infancy.


Eskom is an owner and operator of a large asset base and has a significant interest in the space of maintenance and asset management.

Eskom and Sasol for example, has recognised the relevance and significance of RBI to itself and appreciates that this is of interest to the broader regional industry, and it is with this intent that it aims to expand the awareness and understanding of implementing a RBI methodology that it therefore seeks to support the development and coordination of an Risk-Based Inspection Technical Committee.

It is the wish of SAAMA that Eskom, Sasol and other similar organisations that have implemented this RBI methodology openly engage with other stakeholders that have an interest in RBI and its implementation with the purpose of:

• Improving awareness that an RBI programme can offer
• Sharing and guiding strategies to implement an RBI programme
• Accessibility to standards to support the RBI programme and the effective use thereof
• Identification of key roles to support RBI and assist with informing the competency requirements
• Identifying scope for RBI and the implementation process
• Guidance on the Certification process
• Advising on effective IT tools and systems to support the RBI program

To guide and shape the RBI methodology in South Africa, it is proposed that a “RBI Technical Committee” be developed under the Asset Management umbrella hosted by SAAMA and its international affiliates.

One of the key aims of this RBI Technical Committee would be to assist with development of maintenance of technical standards and guidelines in the areas of RBI, as well as to evaluate the suitability within the South African context and introduce these practices into the SA environment. Simplification of the existing standards would allow for easier implementation and increase accessibility for interested stakeholders.

Furthermore a key objective would be to define the required skills and expertise in the area of risk engineering as a function to support RBI, which should encompass the following intentional aspects:

• Development
• Implementation
• Assessment
• Certification
• Auditing
• Risk Engineers
• Risk Technologists
• Risk Technician
• RBI Auditors (specifically for pressure equipment)

This development should include application of non-destructive testing (NDT) as well as an understanding of physical metallurgy and analysis thereof, which forms the background and contributes to a successful RBI Programme in organisations.
Eskom through its postgraduate research initiative has an objective to develop a national capability which performs research and development in the field of Risk Based Inspection and offers a lever to expand the capability to make it more applicable and self-sustaining for tertiary institutions.

Stakeholders are to be identified in various spheres of influence, such as:

• All industries that have a need for Risk-based Inspection and at least those that have pressurised equipment.
• Technical Research facilities.
• Academic Research, such as Universities, Eskom EPPEI Programme and CSIR
• Approved Inspection Authorities.
• Approved Certification Bodies.
• Standards and Certification Bodies, such as SANAS and SABS
• Regulatory Bodies, such as DoL
• Industry role players (eg. risk insurers)
• Service Providers, such as NDT organisations

The RBI Technical Committee Programme should ideally pursue the following:

• Within the first three-to-six months develop a Steering Committee with a Mandate and Terms of Reference, influenced by the Role Players.
• Identify Sub-Topics and develop Study Committees – one month after.
• Identify relevant SABS Technical Committees dealing with risk and pressure equipment and establish working relationship.
• Establish working relationship with the DoL.
• Establish links to International Bodies relevant to RBI (eg. Possibly become an Observer Member of CEN (European Norm Committee))
• Engaging stakeholders across all the major industrial centres in South and Southern Africa.

The objectives spelt out should be achieved by creating awareness of the RBI Programmes through a network that will be engaged through this RBI Technical Committee.


To enhance the general awareness and application of RBI among key stakeholders, through conferences, breakfasts, workshops and the like should be organised to enable this subject discussion and further development of RBI subjects that need addressing.

SAAMA Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) Technical Committee

The second meeting of the SAAMA RBI Technical Committee took place at Eskom’s Megawatt Park on 29 November 2018 with key industry layers in attendance to drive the direction of RBI forward. Four prioiritsed focus areas that will receive attention under this committee guided by the outcomes of the first meeting were actioned. Workgroups under the associated workgroup leads are,

  • Education, Training and Development – Prof. Johann Wannenberg (Univ. of Pretoria)
  • RBI Definition – Lize Brink (Astron Energy)
  • RBI Rulebook – Francois Brenkman (Natref)
  • The Value of adopting RBI (Business case) – Ria Furriel (King Price Insurance)
  • Best Practice and Experience in RBI implementation – Sipho Mkhabela (Eskom RBI)

Each workgroup has set deliverables and milestones that will reported on at the next planned meeting at the end of March 2019. Meeting invitations will be issued closer to March 2019.

Organisations and individuals interested in RBI are encouraged to stay close to the developments and participate through the work group activities as a mature risk-based inspection capability enables safe and effective maintenance practices on key infrastructure in the local industry.

Successful meeting of the first SAAMA Risk-Based Inspection Technical Committee

The 10th of October 2018 saw the first sitting of the SAAMA Risk-Based Inspection Technical Committee at the Eskom Megawatt Park facility. The SAAMA technical committee was attended by representatives from a broad and diverse group that spanned from energy and petro-chemical industries, asset management and maintenance service providers, one of the leading universities, regulatory and certification bodies and even the insurance industry.
Eskom, as the host of the technical committee, shared the role of RBI and the significant integration into its Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI) programme. The programme focuses on building skills and competence across multiple layers from operational practitioners through to post-graduate research and development. RBI has been embraced by Eskom and other large industries with critical assets and all attendees at the committee recognized the importance to expanding this capability to a broader audience in the South African industry.
RBI was agreed by all present to not just be the methodology to ensure pressure equipment compliance but potentially an evolution to a more disciplined and informed maintenance strategy that bridges the move to advancing asset care and overall plant safety and integrity. The outcomes of the first meeting proposed a focus on RBI priorities that extend from education and training in RBI, professionalization of key roles, process and implementation standards and leveraging experience and lessons-learned to advance RBI into a broader environment.
The enthusiasm from the well-attended meeting is a most encouraging indicator of things to come for the RBI Technical Committee. The next meeting is planned to be held by end November 2018 and SAAMA members may request information or an invitation to attend through SAAMA at logan.reddy@saama.org.za.

An update on the SAAMA Technical Committee: Risk-Based Inspection

Maintenance and asset management (M&AM) continues to be a relevant topic in the local industrial environment.  SAAMA remains committed to be a positive contributor by advancing M&AM through professionalisation, qualifications, networking and building the knowledge base.

The SAAMA (RBI) Technical Committee is a relatively new effort by SAAMA being established in October 2018. RBI has its foundation in the pressure equipment regulations but is a capability that talks to leading practices to advance maintenance evolution. Furthermore, it creates opportunity to leverage maintenance data and “internet of technologies” (IoT) capabilities through more effective maintenance data creation and management.

So what is RBI? Under the pressure equipment regulations, risk-based inspection means an inspection scope based on the results of a formal risk assessment, including inspection and test intervals. At its heart it is a condition monitoring management system that encompasses ISO 55000 (asset management) principles.

So why is RBI important? A successfully implemented RBI programme lends itself for organisations to provide the confidence to organisations that equipment is safe, compliant and reliable within the productive operation of assets.

How can the SAAMA RBI committee benefit me or my organisation? As a SAAMA member you are invited to participate in shaping the direction and development of RBI to be accessible to a wider audience. There is no cost to attend the committee except your time and travel. Young and upcoming asset management professionals will especially benefit from the networking opportunity and sharing of learnings from experienced professionals around the table.

If you have an interest in risk-based inspection and want to participate or want to contribute to the development of RBI please contact Logan Reddy on logan.reddy@saama.org.za to register your interest. The next committee meeting is planned for the 27th March 2020 at Eskom Megawatt Park.

An update on the SAAMA Technical Committee: Risk-Based Inspection

SAAMA RBI Technical Committee Meeting 6
Date: 5 March 2020

The 5
th March saw the SAAMA RBI Technical Committee convene for the 6th meeting since its start although with not as many attendees as the RBI community has. However the commitment of the fewer persons in attendance remain extremely in what the committee can offer and continue to make time and effort available to move RBI into mainstream maintenance and asset management speak.

The discussion was a good opportunity to reconfirm the direction on the key themes:
– Development of an RBI Handbook that provides a usable entry point to RBI novices or where there are pilot implementation of an RBI programme
– Development of key roles and competency that are critical to the successful implementation and maintenance of an RBI programme
– Seek a practical implementation of RBI that could form a good demonstration of the value of RBI.

A further positive at this last meeting has been the continued support and attendance from the Department of Employment and Labour’s Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

Having had the Director Jacob Malatse attend in the past we are encouraged to have Ms Matlala Sathekge (Specialist: Mechanical Engineering) in the Directorate Electrical & Mechanical Engineering and who has a responsibility for RBI under the Directorate.

Ms Matlala was encouraged by this SAAMA technical committee and has seen the opportunity to better align the directorates RBI initiatives with this committee and broader industry.


Shanil Singh (SAAMA RBI TC Chair) with Matlala Sathekge Specialist: Mechanical Engineering
in the Department of Employment and Labour

SANS ISO 55001 accreditation scheme

The ISO 55000 family is the first set of International Standards for Asset Management and is emerging from the success of the BSI/IAM Publicly Available Specification PAS 55.

These three international standards (55000/1/2) are important not only for their content but because they represent a global consensus on what asset management is and what it can do to increase value generated by all organisations – at a time when everyone needs to make the most of any resources they have.

The South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) is the only national body responsible for carrying out accreditations in respect of conformity assessment and relies on sufficient stakeholder interest to proceed with the establishing the accreditation process. SANAS process indicate that participation in the accreditation process does not preclude an organisation from offering other service offerings (eg. verification or training) in the Asset Management domain as long as independence and impartiality can be assured through the accreditation process.

If you are interested in receiving SANAS accreditation to become a certification body, please contact SAAMA on info@saama.org.za so we can take the process further with SANAS. Interested and potential certification bodies will enjoy the benefit of the competitive advantage that will come with an increasing interest in certification that is expected in the growing adoption of Asset Management in the region.

Pre-Working Group Meeting 18 October 2018

On 18th October 2018, SANAS hosted the Pre-Working Group Meeting for the SANS ISO 55001 accreditation scheme at their offices in Equestria, Pretoria. Project Manager for Research and Development , Tumelo Ledimo, set a focused agenda with presentations on the difference between accreditation and certification within the context of conformity assessment. Mr Sbu Khumalo, from Department of Trade and Industry made a presentation on the South African Technical Infrastructure and an overview and the role of SANAS by Mr Mpho Phaloane.
The focus shifted to the SANS ISO 55000 subject matter with an overview of the ISO 55000 requirements and work done by SAAMA to promote SANS ISO 55000 by SAAMA Council Members Mr Ernst Swanepoel and Ms Nomaphelo Ndzundzu. A typical SANS ISO 55001 implementation case study and lessons learned was presented by Mr Bennie Oosthuizen of Pragma and the Certification Body requirements under ISO/IEC 17021-1 by Mr John Ndlamo.
While a number of interested stakeholders were in attendance the Pre-working Group meeting the objective is to have as broad and diverse participation at the meeting to ensure fair representation and input from all stakeholders.
The next meeting will be the formal Working Group meeting and SANS ISO 55001 Asset Management industry representatives are encouraged to be part of the working group to be established. The objective of the Working Group sessions would be to set the accreditation criteria for the certification bodies that will ultimately audit asset management system implementation by organization in accordance to SANS ISO 55001.
Accreditation is internationally and nationally recognised as a reliable and transparent method of recognising the technical competence and impartiality of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) like certification bodies. SANAS as sole accreditation body of the Republic of South Africa provides formal recognition of Certification bodies’ technical competence and impartiality to perform certification functions as per their scope of accreditations in asset management system. SANAS is recognised internationally by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) as equivalent to other international accreditation bodies which are signatory to the ILAC and IAF Mutual Recognition Agreements.