What is Reliability Centered Maintenance?

Watch the video above or read the message below.

RCM is one of the most powerful maintenance and reliability improvement processes out there.  The name Reliability Centered Maintenance lends itself to a process that’s used to develop proactive maintenance for an asset – and it is.  But RCM can be used to formulate scores of solutions that reach far beyond maintenance.

RCM consists of seven steps:

Step 1:  Functions:  Record what the asset does (as opposed to what it is) including required standards of performance

Step 2:  Functional Failures:  Document the ways in which the asset can fail to fulfill its Functions

Step 3:  Failure Modes:  Identify what causes each Functional Failure

Step 4:  Failure Effects:  Detail what happens if nothing were done to predict or prevent each Failure Mode

Step 5:  Failure Consequences:  Determine how each Failure Mode matters.  That is, identify one of four Consequences:  Safety, Environmental, Operational, or Non-Operational

Step 6:  Proactive Maintenance and Intervals:  Analyze the Failure Mode to determine if a Scheduled Replacement, Scheduled Restoration, or a Condition Based Maintenance task is technically appropriate and worth doing

Step 7:  Default Strategies:  Here’s where we go far beyond maintenance.  When organizations take full advantage of RCM’s powerful principles, non-maintenance solutions can be identified including (but certainly not limited to) things like:  Equipment redesigns, new or modifications to operating procedures, updates or additions to technical publications, new or modifications to training programs, supply changes, and even troubleshooting procedures.  Solutions like these have provided tremendous benefits to organizations all over the world.

Nancy Regan

I started RCMTrainingOnline.com to help organizations gain an understanding of maintenance and reliability basics. After all, the basics pervade just about every asset management solution out there ~ and they’re embedded in Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).


  1. Hossam on February 11, 2020 at 4:16 am

    Concentrated, simple and easy to learn

  2. David Rudkevitch on February 12, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    I’m interested in learning about RCM, detailed training pros and cons of this strategy.

    • Nancy Regan on March 4, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your comment. The best way to determine the pros and cons of RCM is to start off small.

      First start by learning the basics. My online course (https://RCMTrainingOnline.com/training) is an excellent place to start.

      If you still want to go further with RCM, start by doing 1-3 pilot projects. That will allow you to see for yourself what resources are required to implement RCM and the kind of results you get.

      From there, you can decide if you want to implement RCM more widely in your organization. If you do, that doesn’t mean you have to implement it on all of your equipment (https://rcmtrainingonline.com/do-you-have-to-do-rcm-on-all-equipment/).
      ). Start with your most critical equipment or the equipment that is “causing you the most pain” and then go from there.

      Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      I am yours sincerely,

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