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Safety Instrumented Systems - TÜV Rheinland

Safety Instrumented Systems

I & E -Systems

This course puts a strong emphasis on systematic integrity: Avoiding avoidable failures.

Failures in safety systems are primarily due to human errors in the specification, design, installation, operation and maintenance of the systems.

The course emphasises the need for safety-centred and user-centred architectural design in safety instrumented systems and the need for effective management of the systems.

The course explains the mathematical theory to derive simple and basic principles that are essential for the design and operation of any automated safety systems. It shows that the effectiveness of risk reduction depends heavily on the architectural design and on the effectiveness of maintenance practices.

The course is presented over 4 days and includes classroom exercises. The exam is held on the 5th day, after a tutorial and review session in the morning. The 5th day is optional for candidates not intending to complete the exam.

Target Group

This FS Engineer (TÜV Rheinland) course is aimed specifically at engineers who work for:

  • Engineering companies in the design, installation and commissioning of safety systems
  • End-user companies who own and/or operate process plant.

It is not intended for engineers involved in the design of internal hardware for logic solver systems or for the design of field device components by OEMs. It is designed to provide candidates with a holistic view of the entire safety lifecycle, particularly from the user’s perspective.


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Day 1 Outline

  • Introduction: What is ‘Functional Safety’?
    • Regulatory framework
    • SIFs for risk reduction
    • Random and systematic failures
  • Risk management principles, tolerable risk, ALARP
  • Standards – history and structure
  • Machinery safety - a comparison between IEC 62061, ISO 13849, IEC 61511 and IEC 61508
  • SIS fundamentals:
    • Conceptual design,
    • SIFs and SIF allocation,
    • Continuous mode and demand mode
    • Introduction to hardware fault tolerance
    • Factors that influence failure rates
  • Failure modes
    • Unrevealed and dangerous failures
    • How to distinguish random failures from systematic failures
    • Failure rate data
    • Safe failure fraction and diagnostic coverage
    • Basic principles in estimating probability of failure
  • SIL determination

Day 2 Outline

  • Systematic integrity
    • Probability of human error
    • Systematic capability,
    • Techniques and measures
  • Functional safety management
  • Quality management
  • Verification and validation

Day 3 Outline

  • Quantification of failure rates and the main drivers influencing probability of failure
  • System architectural design
    • Operability
    • Maintainability
    • Testability
    • Separation between protection layers
    • Separation between safety and non-safety
  • Fault tolerance – achieving a balance between safety and the cost of downtime
  • Design patterns – developing conceptual designs to enable performance in risk reduction

Day 4 Outline

  • Safety Requirements Specification
  • System detailed design – documentation and traceability
  • Operations and maintenance
    • Operations planning and management
    • Proof testing
    • Maintenance, inspection and testing
    • Issues and performance management
    • Modification management
    • Documentation
  • Performance management – maintaining risk reduction performance targets
  • Audit and assessment – closing the loop, demonstrating due diligence


Candidates wishing to apply for the FS Engineer (TÜV Rheinland) certificate need to complete an eligibility requirements form before attending the course. The following requirements need to be met to qualify for this certificate:

  • A minimum of 3 to 5 years’ experience in the field of functional safety
  • University degree (Master's or Bachelor's degree in Engineering)
  • or equivalent engineer level responsibilities status certified by employer
  • A score of at least 75% in the exam.

Candidates who have not yet gained at least 3 years of experience in functional safety may still participate in the training as well as the exam.

If an inexperienced candidate successfully completes the exam TÜV Rheinland will hold the application form and assessment results on file. Once the candidate can demonstrate the necessary 3 years of business experience in the area of functional safety TÜV Rheinland will issue the FS Engineer certificate. There is no need for the candidate to retake the exam.


Underpinning knowledge will be assessed in a 3 part exam:

  • Part 1: Multiple choice questions, 50 questions assessing knowledge (worth 50%) and 20 calculation questions (worth 20%)
  • Part 2: Written answer questions, 10 questions on functional safety principles (30%)

To complete the exam typically takes around 3 to 4 hours.

Further Information

The course has been designed to provide the underpinning knowledge for competence as required by IEC 61511 and IEC 61508.

Though the course is primarily concerned with the application of safety instrumented systems in the process sector, it includes a brief introduction into the machinery safety standards IEC 62061 and ISO 13849.

The course highlights the principles that are common to process safety and machinery safety standards and explains how and why the standards are different in the details. Throughout the course comparisons are made between process sector standard IEC 61511 and the machinery sector standards IEC 62061 and ISO 13849.

The course explains the wide variability in failure rates and the factors that influence system performance.

The course stresses the importance of early conceptual design of safety systems in ensuring that the performance targets can be achieved throughout the life of the system. It includes discussion of how system performance can be measured and managed in operations and maintenance.

Candidates will be provided with a set of homework exercises to do in their own time. The exercises will be reviewed in tutorial sessions at the beginning of each day of the course.


The course fee is AUD 4,100 excluding tax.

GST applies for students within Australia but not for international students.