NSFM Relaunches Online Asset Management Course with a New Climate Change Chapter 

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NSFM is very pleased to relaunch its online course, The Basics of Asset Management for Elected Officials, which provides municipal leaders with a simple and clear understanding of asset management and how to use it to inform infrastructure decision-making and improve service delivery. The revised course now includes a new module to enhance local asset management practices by providing a methodology to help ensure municipal infrastructure is more resilient to our changing climate. 

Escalating damage to municipal assets from weather-related impacts has raised the question of their durability in the face of our changing climate. These impacts are typically costly and result in service disruptions. Furthermore, infrastructure systems are interconnected and the failure of one asset can have cascading effects. So as climate becomes more variable and extreme, communities and the infrastructure upon which they rely are increasingly vulnerable. 

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Infrastructure plans provide a systematic process for managing assets – both engineered and natural – and integrating climate considerations into this process can be a cost-effective climate change response. Because asset management is an exercise in long-term planning, it provides real opportunities to weave climate considerations into the process, particularly when building new or refurbishing existing assets. In doing so, municipalities are essentially protecting the investments they have made in their community infrastructure and enabling future generations to use assets well into their expected lifespan. 

We are excited to relaunch this online course, as it provides a flexible option for municipal leaders to learn about asset management - at their own pace and from the comfort of their offices, homes, or wherever there is Wi-Fi. NSFM’s online course makes it easy to fit learning into a busy schedule, and there is no dress code, it requires no driving, and there is no final exam - just a few questions throughout the course to enhance learning. 

For a limited time, NSFM is offering the course at a discounted price of $75 – which represents a saving of $100 - to the first 10 people who register, the discounted price is that online learners complete a very brief (1-3 minute) evaluation upon finishing the course.  

To start your online learning today, please contact Debbie Nielsen

NSFM’s Online Asset Management Course on the Province of Nova Scotia’s Data Collection Standard Operating Procedure Guide for Linear Assets 

NSFM developed a second online course to support municipalities with linear data collection, based on the Department of Municipal Affairs’ Data Collection Standard Operating Procedure Guide for Linear Assets.  This course provides an overview to the first set of tools developed by the Province through the Nova Scotia Asset Management Program.  This course is offer free of charge by clicking here.

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Integrating Asset Management & Climate Change – A Path Forward

In the Fall of 2018, with funding support from the Municipal Asset Management Program (which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada) NSFM partnered with ClimAction Services Inc. to offer two workshops aimed at enhancing local asset management practices by providing municipalities with the information and tools they need to include climate considerations into their long-term infrastructure planning.

To facilitate the understanding of how to integrate climate considerations into asset management planning, ClimAction Services worked with WSP to develop a paper that lays out a framework for implementing adaptive measures to ensure assets are designed, build, operated and maintained to reduce risks and be more resilient to our changing climate. pdf Integrating Asset Management and Climate Change – A Path Forward (399 KB)  provides a 6-step approach for integrating climate change considerations into asset management planning, which will help position municipalities to take the necessary steps to proactively adapt their assets to climate risks.

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NSFM Launches Online Asset Management Courses for Municipalities          

NSFM has developed two online resources to support municipalities in understanding and implementing sound asset management practices, which will help them make informed, proactive infrastructure and budget decisions based on the priorities and needs of their communities.

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The sole reason municipalities exist is to provide services to residents, such as clean drinking water, safe roads, opportunities for sports and recreation, and countless other benefits that support our quality of life. However, much of our infrastructure needs renewal or replacement, which will increase future costs to municipal budgets. That’s why it’s important for municipalities to implement asset management practices so they can make effective and informed decisions, manage risks and plan financially for the maintenance, renewal and replacement of their infrastructure.

Municipalities are already practicing components of asset management in their daily operations but having an asset management process in place helps them plan long-term, so residents can have the services they need and have come to enjoy. Smart planning ensures that infrastructure investments are beneficial now and in the future.

To support municipalities with their asset management planning efforts, NSFM has developed the following online courses:

The Basics of Asset Management for Elected Officials to provide elected officials with a simple and clear understanding of asset management and how to use it to inform infrastructure decision making and improve service delivery (cost: $175.00)

The Data Collection Standard Operating Procedure Guide for Linear Assets to provide an overview to the first set of tools developed through the Nova Scotia Asset Management Program by the Province of Nova Scotia for linear data collection (cost: Free)

Learning online about asset management has many benefits and NSFM’s courses provide a flexible option for elected officials and municipal staff to learn at their own pace. They can proceed through the material at their leisure, pause at any time, pick up where they left off and review parts of the course already covered. This makes it easy to fit learning into busy schedules from the comfort of home or anywhere Wi-Fi can be accessed. Learning about asset management is as simple as opening your computer or tablet: there is no dress code, it requires no driving, and there is no final exam!

To learn more about these courses, click here.

These initiatives are offered through the Municipal Asset Management Program, which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

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Video Recording of the Association of Municipal Administrators’ (in partnership with NSFM) Asset Management Workshop on the Role of Staff in Asset Management

Presented by Christina Benty (www.christinabenty.com) on November 7, 2017

Session Description
The long-time practice of short-term decisions about investment, maintenance, and renewal of asset is not sustainable. The time has come to quantify the true cost to provide, maintain and renew community-owned capital assets and balance it against the community’s willingness to pay for these services and assets.

In this session, Christina Benty outlines the role of municipal staff in asset management planning to support informed decision-making. She also provides sound advice and best practices on how to communicate the reality of the current state of a municipality’s infrastructure to its elected officials.

This initiative was offered through the Municipal Asset Management Program, which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

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Video Recording of NSFM’s Asset Management Workshop on the Role of Council in Asset Management Planning

Presented by Christina Benty (www.christinabenty.com) on November 8, 2017 as part of NSFM’s Fall Conference

Session Description
Local infrastructure provides the foundation for the health, well-being, and economic prosperity of communities across the country. Dependable core services, such as water, sewer, transportation networks, fire halls, recreation amenities, and more, make up the built environment and exist to provide services that residents rely on every day.

In this session, Christina Benty, a former mayor and councillor, explains why adopting sound asset management practices is essential to sustainable and fiscally-responsible service delivery. She also outlines the role council can play in supporting the adoption of robust infrastructure practices and provides useful tips for facilitating the public’s understanding of the importance of proactively managing municipal assets.

This initiative was offered through the Municipal Asset Management Program, which is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

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FCM’s Provides Municipalities with Support for Asset Management Planning

Regardless of size or location, municipalities across Canada are seeking options to support their infrastructure planning efforts, recognizing that sound asset management practices will allow them to provide sustainable service delivery, manage infrastructure risks and meet fiduciary responsibilities. Whether they have yet to begin asset management planning or are very seasoned in systematically managing their public infrastructure, many resources exist to assist them in making strategic infrastructure decisions. One important program to support municipalities with infrastructure planning is the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), launched in April of 2016. The program is delivered by FCM and funded by the Government of Canada.

MAMP is a five-year, $50-million dollar program designed to provide municipal decision-makers with the tools, training and knowledge necessary to make effective and informed infrastructure decisions, and plan financially for the renewal and replacement of their assets. As Canadian municipalities are diverse and have varying levels of capacity to undertake asset management practices, MAMP provides a variety of training opportunities and resources, many of which focus on small and rural municipalities.

If you are interested in learning more about infrastructure planning, MAMP’s Technical Working Group has curated a selection of resources from across the county. Visit FCM’s website to access these resources and for more information on asset management planning (https://www.fcm.ca/home/programs/municipal-asset-management-program/municipal-asset-management-program.htm).

A Business Case for Sustainable Asset Management Planning in Nova Scotia

Fall 2016
In the fall of 2016, NSFM worked a team of graduate students at Dalhousie University to examine the role sustainability plays in asset management planning for public infrastructure. The students developed a pdf pdf report (687 KB)  demonstrating that by applying sound environmental and sustainable management practices to retrofitting, building and maintaining assets, municipalities can reduce costs and energy use, and make their infrastructure more resilient to projected changes in climate. Ultimately, this will help them balance their infrastructure investments with environmental performance goals, while mitigating climate risks and improving service delivery.

The Role of Council in Asset Management Planning

Summer 2016
Of the many services and programs offered by municipalities - including land-use planning, and water and wastewater treatment - all involve some form of infrastructure planning. Good infrastructure planning and decision-making helps municipalities deliver quality and cost-effective services to their residents. Municipal councils have an integral role to play in the development and implementation of asset management policies and plans through their strategic leadership and oversight. This pdf article (109 KB)  explores the key roles councils can play to support responsible stewardship of municipal assets.

The Basics of Municipal Asset Management Planning

Spring 2016
Municipal assets are essential for delivering services to residents, but asset management is not just about infrastructure; it helps municipalities plan for the future, use taxpayer money efficiently, promote economic growth, and meet the long-term service needs of the community. This article explores the basics of asset management planning: what it is, why it’s important and the key steps involved in getting started.

In the fall of 2016, NSFM worked a team of graduate students at Dalhousie University to examine the role sustainability plays in asset management planning for public infrastructure. The students developed a pdf report (687 KB)  demonstrating that by applying sound environmental and sustainable management practices to retrofitting, building and maintaining assets, municipalities can reduce costs and energy use, and make their infrastructure more resilient to projected changes in climate. Ultimately, this will help them balance their infrastructure investments with environmental performance goals, while mitigating climate risks and improving service delivery.

Asset Management Resources

Resources developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities:

Resources Developed by Municipal Associations & Municipalities:

Other Asset Management Associations & Resources:

Asset Management Presentations

The following are a sampling of asset management presentations given at NSFM events over the last few years.