IEC 61508 Software Safety Training Course

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IEC 61508 Training


This software safety training course enables participants to understand and apply the principles of functional safety to the development and assessment of safety-related software systems, to the IEC 61508 standard. It teaches the primary elements of the software safety lifecycle and how these are applied to safety-related software systems development. It covers the assessment of safety-related software systems to confirm that the allocated safety requirements have been achieved. Participants will develop expertise in applying techniques and methods necessary to specify, design, implement and assess safety-related software systems to meet the requirements of IEC 61508.

Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this software safety training course, participants should have an appreciation of:

  • Management of functional safety for software
  • Distinction between software and hardware safety
  • Deriving software safety requirements from the system safety requirements
  • Defining software safety requirements using appropriate hazard identification and risk assessment methods
  • Selection of appropriate software architecture, methods and techniques to meet the allocated SIL requirements
  • Software safety in the context of other related standards such as IEC 61511, EN 50128, Def Stan 00-055, DO-178, ARP4754, CAP 670 and so on
  • Future developments of IEC 61508

Outline Content

  • Introduction to IEC 61508
  • Management of functional safety and functional safety assessment
  • IEC 61508 compliance framework and compliance requirements for software
  • Differences between software and hardware safety requirements
  • Software safety lifecycle in the context of the overall safety lifecycle
  • Software systematic capability and systematic safety integrity
  • Software safety requirements (including differences between system and application software)
  • Software configuration management and traceability
  • Software modification
  • Software verification and validation (V&V)
  • Tool qualification
  • Software safety in the context of other related standards such as IEC 61511, EN 50128, Def Stan 00-055, DO-178, ARP4754, CAP 670 and so on
  • New developments in IEC 61508 on software safety

Course Leader

Dr Fan Ye, GICSP, CFSE, FS Eng (TÜV Rheinland), CEng, MSaRS, MIET

Dr Fan Ye has worked in safety consultancy in industries including oil and gas, chemical, nuclear power and defence since completing his PhD in 2005. Fan is a Charted Engineer (CEng) by the Engineering Council via IET. He is a GIAC certified Global Industrial Control Security Professional (GICSP). He is a Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE) and TÜV Rhineland and Technis certified Functional Safety Engineer. His expertise lies in the areas of hazard identification and risk assessment, safety case development, safety management, system reliability, and ICS Cyber Security.

Fan is a committee member of both the BSI GEL/65/1 and the IEC 61508 Part 3. Fan has extensive knowledge on international safety standards such as IEC 61508, IEC 61511 and UK Defence Standards and Military of Defence (MoD) policy. Fan is familiar with UK’s Health and Safety legislation and the As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) principle for safety risk management underpinned by cost benefit analysis.

Fan has chaired and facilitated numerous HAZOP and SIL determination (LOPA) studies in the UK and Middle East. He has also led a number of SIL verification studies and Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRAs) for major projects.

Recommended Prior Study

  • Basic understanding of IEC 61508 requirements, e.g. by reading the standard, or attending the Introduction to Functional Safety Course.

Who Should Attend

  • Software engineers, system integrators, software safety engineers who are involved in delivering IEC 61508 compliant software systems

Delivery Method

  • Face to face

Qualifications, Skills, Competence Gained

  • Certificate setting out the key topics covered in the course
  • Enhanced knowledge of software safety
  • Enhanced knowledge of the software compliance requirements of IEC 61508


Options of 1 day or 2 day IEC 61508 Software Safety Training Course

  • 2 day course – a full and extensive coverage of the topic on software safety in the context of IEC 61508
  • 1 day course – a shorter, more intense version of the 2 day training course

Software Safety Training Course Module Details

  • IEC 61508 overview
    • IEC 61508 compliance framework
    • Management of functional safety, functional safety assessment
    • Safety lifecycle
    • Safety Integrity Level (SIL)
    • Random failures versus systematic failures
  • IEC 61508 Part 3 overview
    • How does Part 3 fit in the overall IEC 61508 and E/E/PE system lifecycle
    • Overview of the IEC 61508 Part 3 scope, structure and content
    • Differences between software and hardware
    • Compliance framework for software
  • IEC 61508 Part 3 software requirements
    • Software development lifecycle and safety lifecycle
    • Software safety requirements and methods of deriving the requirements
    • Requirements applicable throughout software development lifecycle
      • Software configuration management
      • Software forward and backward traceability
      • Software verification and validation (V&V)
      • Software modification
      • Software tool qualification
    • Requirements applicable to specific software development lifecycle stages
    • Differences between system and application software
  • Software safety in the context of other related standards
    • Similarities and differences between IEC 61508 and other standards, including
      • IEC 61511
      • EN 50128
      • Def Stan 00-55
      • DO-178, ARP4754, CAP 670
  • IEC 61508 Part 3 potential new developments, including
    • IEC 61508 maintenance committee activities
    • Key software safety topics being discussed and debated
    • Software lifecycle
    • Proven in use
    • Tool qualification
    • Data safety



IEC 61508 Training Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, UK.

IEC 61508 Training Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and onsite courses available throughout-out the UK.

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