Introduction to Functional Safety (IEC 61508)

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Functional Safety Training


The course will focus on the fundamentals of Functional Safety, incorporating the generic standard IEC 61508, which is a key cornerstone of subject and other related standards. The course continues and sets out the relationships to other sector and product standards.

This is a standalone course for people interested in finding out more on Functional Safety and is a benefit for those attending the TÜV Rheinland FS Engineer’s course, providing a grounding/reminder of the foundations of Functional Safety in advance of the four-day course.

Course Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants should have an appreciation of

  • Management of functional safety
  • Safety Lifecycle Concepts
  • Compliance framework for IEC 61508
  • Functional safety and the role of IEC 61508 and other related standards in achieving functional safety
  • The concept of risk reduction, risk reduction parameters and the concept of a tolerable risk
  • The concept of a safety function with respect to its functionality and its performance
  • The role of a safety-related, other engineered measures and risk parameters in achieving a tolerable risk
  • Concept of Safety Integrity and Safety Integrity Level (SIL)
  • SIL determination concepts and methods
  • Functional Safety Assessment and Certification
  • Full Course Outline is available here


108:30 – 09:30Fundamentals of functional safety: #1
  • What is functional safety?
  • IEC 61508 family of standards
  • Technology/devices applications
  • The challenges of assuring functional safety
209:30 – 10:30Fundamentals of functional safety: # 2
  • Strategy to achieve functional safety
  • Failure categories & safety integrity
  • Safety Integrity Levels
  • Overall design strategy
310:45 -12:00Fundamentals of functional safety: # 3
  • Modes of operation
  • Example of overall approach
  • Allocation of safety functions
  • Compliance model
413:00 – 14:45Design essentials to achieve a specified SIL
  • Framework for the Design requirements
  • Hardware & Systematic Safety Integrity
  • Systematic Capability
  • Routes to compliance
  • Procurement/supply chain issues
  • Safety Manual
515:00 – 16:00Tolerable risk concepts & SIL determination
  • Legal Requirements (ALARP)
  • Quantitative & qualitative approaches
  • Risk Reduction concepts/Risk Parameters: (protection layers/conditional modifiers)
  • Sector approaches: (process, machinery, power systems)
  • Contribution of the EUC control system
  • (Low Demand Mode)
616:00 – 16:30Management of functional safety
  • Key requirements & Responsibilities
  • Procurement/supply chain issues
716:30 – 17:00Open ForumGeneral discussion & feedback

Qualifications, Skills, Competence gained

  • Certificate setting out the key topics covered in the course
  • Enhanced knowledge of functional safety that will facilitate improved decision-making

Who will benefit

  • All persons who need to have an appreciation of functional safety in general and international standard IEC 61508 and associated standards covering sectors and products
  • Persons who already have some appreciation of functional safety but wish to gain a better appreciation of the management of functional safety and its core concepts
  • Candidates attending one of ESC’s TÜV Rheinland FS Engineer courses.


Duration: 1 Day

Cost: £350 + Vat



Functional Safety Training Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, UK.

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

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