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PM Compliance: what is it and why it’s essential in maintenance

PM Compliance is a parameter that indicates the effectiveness of preventive maintenance programs. Learn how to calculate it and get the most out of your resources

Preventive maintenance is a fundamental aspect for the success of a company. It reduces the chances of failure and ensures the maximum efficiency and functionality of production plants and machinery over time. However, building up a preventive maintenance program may not guarantee the desired results if the parties involved are not able to comply with it and perform the different activities properly and within the expected time frame.

To understand whether or not a maintenance plan meets expectations, it is possible to monitor its effectiveness by calculating Preventive Maintenance Compliance (PMC). The PMC is the companies and facility managers most used metric to assess the capability of the maintenance teams to complete scheduled operations within the time frame.

If you have no confidence with this parameter yet, in this article you will find the information you need to calculate it correctly. Before delving into the topic, I recommend trying a Facility Management software. This is a centralized cloud-based system that allows you to automatically schedule, manage and track the preventive maintenance activities. It also allows the storing of data that will help you make your maintenance programs increasingly reliable and effective.

What is Preventive Maintenance Compliance

Preventive Maintenance Compliance, known simply as PM Compliance, is a tool that helps companies assess their compliance with the objectives provided by the preventive maintenance programs.

As you probably already know, preventive maintenance consists of planning and developing a series of activities with the purpose of slowing down the normal degradation of an asset and reducing the chances of unexpected malfunctions.

Despite the careful planning of interventions, maintenance teams are not always able to keep up with the strategy set. And this is where the PM Compliance calculation comes into play. This parameter allows you to measure how many scheduled maintenance activities have been successfully completed in a specified period of time. It also helps those involved to optimize processes by improving workflows from time to time and ensuring a more effective use of resources.

Chart showing the PM compliance formula - control and verification

PM Compliance: checking and verifying maintenance interventions

How to Calculate PM Compliance

Calculating PM Compliance is very simple, just divide the number of completed preventive maintenance work orders in a given period by the total number of planned PM work orders for the same period, then multiply the result by 100 to express the degree of compliance as a percentage:

PM Compliance =

Number of PM Work Orders Completed

Number of PM Work Orders Scheduled


It is important to include only regularly scheduled preventive maintenance activities in the PM Compliance calculation. The parameter does not take into account corrective maintenance since, in most cases, it is one-off work.

The time-frame parameter for calculating the PM Compliance percentage value is highly dependent on the operator’s personal experience Most organizations build their maintenance schedule on a weekly basis, therefore the PM compliance can be assessed every 7 days, or a longer period of time can be considered, such as 90 days for example to get a more complete and reliable overview.

The 10% rule

In order not to diminish the reliability of the final result, it is important to exclude from the PM Compliance all those preventive maintenance activities that, although completed within the reference period, are developed later than their actual deadline (set by the maintenance program).

The 10% formula provides that: all tasks completed after the 10% of the planned maintenance period, can not be considered eligible.

Let’s suppose that the need is to measure PM Compliance over a three-month period, and that there is a particular maintenance activity that needs to be performed every 60 days. By applying the 10% rule, the activity in question can only be considered compliant if completed within six days of the due date (i.e. within the 66th day). In case the maintenance team takes longer to perform the task, including completing it within the three reference months, it will still not be possible to include it in the PM Compliance calculation.

The 10% rule is an effective method to avoid marking as suitable activities that are developed late and that mistakenly contribute to improving the compliance score. By applying this rule, you can achieve more reliable results and more accurately evaluate the success of your maintenance team.

PM Compliance Calculation Example

let’s suppose a company plans to works 250 maintenance tasks across a 90-day period.

We also assume that the team in charge manages to complete only 210 of the planned work orders, in the intended time interval (always considering the 10% rule).

Applying the PM Compliance formula illustrated above, we obtain the following result:

PM Compliance =




The value obtained can be compared with the PM compliance standard accepted by the industry worldwide, considered equal to or greater than 90%.

How to Use PM Compliance

PM Compliance is one of the most effective tools used by companies and facility managers to improve the reliability of preventive maintenance programs. By carefully evaluating this parameter, we can:

  • identify areas that need improvement, including the 10% rule that helps understand which tasks are always out of schedule and why some tasks are never completed.
  • identify and eliminate activities that are no longer relevant and therefore do not need to be performed, saving time and increasing the efficiency of maintenance operations;
  • diagnose and resolve any recurring problems that prevent the timely and consistent completion of the different activities;
  • prepare for maintenance audits, which are carried out to assess the correct functioning of the various production departments.
Chart showing Compliance PM Uses

Compliance PM Uses

How to Improve PM Compliance

Since Preventive Maintenance Compliance is used to measure how well preventive maintenance works within a company, it is advisable to adopt appropriate strategies designed to improve its value. The following actions, for example, can be applied o improve this parameter:

  • periodically evaluate the updating level and accuracy of preventive maintenance activities, eliminating all those operations that are obsolete or redundant;
  • simplify maintenance practices and reduce the time required to complete them, investing in staff training and adopting IT systems that facilitate access to information;
  • set aside time for preventive maintenance activities, so that maintenance teams always have the possibility to dedicate to these activities, even in the event of unexpected failures and malfunctions;
  • periodically check if maintenance plans are performed at the optimal frequency, also considering possible variation of the production needs.

To improve the effectiveness of the preventive maintenance programs, and make the calculation of PM Compliance even easier, take advantage of a Facility Management software. It really is the only tool that allows you to reliably manage any maintenance process; and it also offers powerful reporting features that help you monitor the completion status of work orders and stay up-to-date on current activities.