The Influence Of Human Factors On The Reliability Of Asset Condition Ratings And Strategies For Minimising Bias And Improving Consistency

Human Factors Influencing the Reliability of Asset Condition Ratings

Human Factors Influencing the Reliability of Asset Condition Ratings


Human Subjectivity

Using condition rating scales for managing assets provides quantitative data for objective comparisons between individuals, groups, or over time. However, the implementation of the rating scales can introduce unintended data skews, so it’s important to know how your data might be influenced, and also what you can do to limit subjectivity.

In this blog, we dive into the many aspects of human influence, such as inspector subjectivity and training, exploring strategies to mitigate bias and enhance the consistency of asset condition assessments. The aim is to unlock insights that empower organisations to make more informed decisions in the dynamic realm of infrastructure management. 

The challenge we face is that people who inspect things might see them in different ways, making their ratings not very fair and consistent. During asset inspections, human inspectors may interpret asset conditions differently, leading to subjective ratings that can introduce bias and inconsistency. 

A potential solution is to have training programs that are the same for everyone, so inspectors understand the rules for rating. By showing clear visual examples and updating the training regularly with the newest and best ways of doing things, we can make sure everyone is on the same page and gives fair ratings

Water Engineers

Differing levels of Training and Experience

Ensuring accurate assessments of assets can be challenging when inspectors have different levels of training and experience. To tackle this, it’s crucial to create a thorough training program covering both theory and hands-on practice. Pairing less-experienced inspectors with seasoned professionals for mentorship and on-the-job learning can enhance their skills. Additionally, promoting ongoing professional development through workshops, conferences, and industry training sessions helps maintain a high standard of expertise across the board. This approach minimises inconsistencies and ensures more reliable asset condition ratings. 

Standardisation of Inspection Procedures

Inspectors might interpret asset conditions differently when there are no standardised inspection procedures and guidance documentation. Without standardised inspection procedures, inspectors may use different methods, leading to diverse interpretations of asset conditions and reduced overall reliability. A proposed solution is to create and enforce standardised procedures, making sure all inspectors use the same guidelines. Using digital tools like mobile apps with checklists can make inspections smoother and less likely to be subjective. Regularly checking and reviewing inspection results helps identify and fix any differences from the set standards, making the process more reliable. 

Water Engineer Condition Assessment


By understanding these human factors and how they might influence the quality fo data that your organisation collects about its assets, you can set up systems that counteract these factors, such as:

  • Implementing standardised training, 
  • Ensuring consistency in inspection procedures,
  • Promoting regular professional development and peer mentorship.

Organisations can minimise bias, improve the reliability of asset condition ratings, and enhance the overall effectiveness of their infrastructure management practices. 

About the Author


As VAPAR’s CEO, Amanda co-founded the company with a vision to bring emerging technology into the Asset Management space and revolutionise the way infrastructure is tracked, repaired, and maintained.

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