Introduction to Safety Instrumented Systems for Technicians (IEC 61508/IEC 61511)

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IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 Training


In the context of the operation and maintenance phase, Safety Regulators pay particular attention to the ongoing technical management of Safety Instrumented Systems. In this context, the technician plays a key role in the maintenance and modification of the Safety Instrumented Systems. Of particular importance is the concept of Proof Testing of the Safety Instrumented Functions. If Proof Testing is not undertaken strictly in accordance with the defined Proof Testing procedures then the tolerable risk will not be maintained.

Course Learning Objectives

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

  • Fundamentals of functional safety as applied in the process sector
  • Safety Instrumented Systems & Safety Instrumented Functions
  • Functional safety and the role of IEC 61511 in the achievement of functional safety
  • The concept of risk reduction, risk reduction parameters and the concept of a tolerable risk
  • The role of a Safety Instrumented Systems, other engineered measures and risk parameters in achieving a tolerable risk
  • The concept of Safety Integrity and Safety Integrity Level (SIL)
  • Maintenance & modification requirements for Safety Instrumented Systems
  • Override procedures for Safety Instrumented Functions
  • The concept of Functional testing
  • The concept of Proof Testing
  • The concept of Perfect and Imperfect Proof Testing
  • The concept of Proof Test Coverage
  • Proof Test Procedures
  • Practical aspects of Proof Testing

Course Leader

Ron Bell, OBE, BSc (Hons), CEng, FIET

From 1992 until May 2006, Ron Bell was head of the Electrical and Control Systems Group in the Health and Safety Executive (the UK Safety Regulator). In 1998 he was appointed as one of the five UK members of the binational Channel Tunnel Safety Authority which is a post he held for 13 years.

He chaired one of the two IEC working groups responsible for developing IEC 61508 and also chaired one of the two teams responsible for the recent revision of IEC 61508. He is currently the chair of one of the two IEC Maintenance Teams responsible for the ongoing maintenance of IEC 61508.

In 2005 he received the IEC 1906 Award for his work on functional safety and in particular IEC 61508. He received the OBE in the Queen’s 2006 New Year Honours.

Qualifications, Skills, Competence gained

  • Certificate setting out the key topics covered in the course
  • Enhanced knowledge of the requirements of Proof Testing and Proof Testing Procedures that will facilitate improved decision-making and better intelligence gathering to support an effective operation and maintenance regime

Who will benefit

The course is aimed at those who have responsibilities within the scope of IEC 61511. In particular:

  • Technicians who have responsibilities for Safety Instrument Systems and, in particular, undertake Proof Testing in accordance with defined Proof Testing Procedures.
  • Plant managers of process plants who have responsibility for the management of functional safety involving Safety Instrumented Systems.
  • Control and instrumentation engineers, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers who undertake or have responsibilities for Proof Testing of Safety Instrumented Systems

Duration: 1 Day




IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 Training Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, UK.

IEC 61508 / IEC 61511 Training Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and onsite courses available throughout-out the UK.


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