Professional Certificate of Competency in Safety Instrumentation Systems for Process Industries

Course Overview


This professional development course is designed for engineers and technicians who wish to develop their knowledge of the design and implementation of safety instrumented systems as applied to industrial processes.

At a glance

  • 3 Months
Study Mode
  • Online
  • Online
Course Type
  • Professional Certificate
  • Industrial Automation, Instrumentation and Process Control

Course Details

Safety control systems are widely used in hazardous processes to protect people, the environment, and equipment against serious harm. Many countries look for compliance with international standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 as a benchmark of acceptable quality in the design and management of safety controls.

This course will explain the key requirements of the IEC 61511 standard for all stages of the safety project from hazard and risk assessment studies through to hardware and software engineering and on to the maintenance and proof testing regimes. We will also go over methods for avoiding spurious trips.

You will learn about the meaning and implications of Safety Integrity Levels (SILs), how SIL targets are determined, the role of alarms in safety-critical applications, and the key features of safety-certified PLCs.

Other topics covered include calculating failure probabilities for single and redundant Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) designs, selecting instruments and controllers suitable for safety systems, managing the application software project for your safety system, and optimizing proof testing intervals.

Practical examples and discussions will assist you in developing your skills in this crucial aspect of instrument engineering.

The course is composed of 12 modules, covering topics such as the fundamentals of risk assessment and the role of safety regulations, the principles of risk reduction by Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS), the differences between a basic control system and an SIS, the roles of standards IEC 61508 and IEC 61511, and the principles and application of the safety life cycle for project management. You will also learn to process hazard study methods, including HAZOP, use fault tree analysis to predict accident rates and failure rates, design the SIS to meet IEC requirements for SIL targets, and understand failure modes and the concepts of fault tolerance.

Module 1: Overview of Safety Instrumented Systems

  • Safety system basics with an example SIS
  • Hazards, risks and risk reduction
  • Principles of safety management
  • Functional safety standards IEC 61508/61511
  • Setting SIL targets
  • Designing to meet SIL targets
  • Cost of ownership

Module 2: Safety Life Cycle Models

  • Purpose of life cycle models
  • IEC 61511 requirements
  • Step by step activities

Module 3: Hazard Study Methods

  • Hazard studies and project stages
  • Hazard identification methods
  • HAZOP method
  • Developing SIS requirements
  • Fault tree analysis

Module 4: Risk Reduction by SIS

  • Deciding risk targets
  • Principle of ALARP and tolerable risk
  • Layers of protection and role of alarms
  • Risk reduction models
  • Preparing a safety requirements specification

Module 5: SIL Determination Methods

  • Quantitative and risk matrix methods
  • Risk graphs
  • Layers of protection analysis
  • Practical examples

Module 6: Designing SIS Structures

  • Design procedure steps
  • IEC 61511 guidelines
  • Architectures and fault tolerance
  • Choosing the right structures for the job

Module 7: Selecting Instruments for Safety Duties

  • Switches versus transmitters
  • Failure modes of sensors and actuators
  • Minimising dangerous failures
  • Qualification by design and certification
  • Qualification by prior use
  • Smart instruments and diagnostic
  • Coverage

Module 8: Reliability Analysis

  • Purposes of reliability calculations
  • SIS failure modes, safe and dangerous
  • Formulae and how to use them
  • Worked examples
  • Obtaining reliability data and the problems
  • Review of software tools

Module 9: Safety-certified PLCs

  • Logic solvers, old and new
  • Development of safety PLCs
  • Hardware and software features
  • Review of industry types
  • Communications and networking
  • Integrated basic and safety control

Module 10: Application Software for Safety Duties

  • The problem with software
  • IEC software life cycle models
  • Application software steps
  • Factory acceptance testing
  • Quality assurance and certification

Module 11: Documentation and Management

  • Documents needed for the SIS project
  • Verification and validation
  • Operations
  • Management of change

Module 12: Diagnostics and Proof Testing

  • Proof testing and why it is needed
  • Testing of sensors
  • Partial closure testing of valves
  • Optimising the proof test interval

To obtain a certificate of completion for EIT’s Professional Certificate of Competency, students must achieve a 65% attendance rate at the live, online fortnightly webinars.  Detailed summaries/notes can be submitted in lieu of attendance.  In addition, students must obtain a mark of 60% in the set assignments which could take the form of written assignments and practical assignments. Students must also obtain a mark of 100% in quizzes.  If a student does not achieve the required score, they will be given an opportunity to resubmit the assignment to obtain the required score.

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Payment Methods

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John Lawrence is extensively associated with the Diamond and Gold mining industries in Southern Africa, and has over 20 years of experience as a project and departmental manager for a multinational oil company, focusing on designing and managing the infrastructure of the telecommunications, data communications and IT systems.

Learn about our instructors.

You are expected to spend approximately 5-8 hours per week learning the course content. This includes attending fortnightly webinars that run for about 90 minutes to facilitate class discussion and allow you to ask questions. This professional development program is delivered online and has been designed to fit around full-time work. It will take three months to complete.

Registrations are open for our upcoming intakes. Please ensure you book your place at least one week before the start date of the program.

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Hear from our students

  Fast response regarding queries. Instructor was very good and course content was very clear and understandable.  

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