IEC 61508 Certification Training

LEARN FUNCTIONAL SAFETY ACCORDING TO IEC 61508, The standard that revolutionised the functional safety industry. 

With this training you can get your knowledge certified as a Functional Safety Specialist, TUV SUD FS Engineer or TUV SUD FS Professional. A world class course since 2004 with internationally recognised certification options.


Live Online STARTS ON Sep 23, 2024 at 9:00 CETS ENDS ON Sep 26, 2024 at ±15:00


Safety systems play a majorly important role in many industries worldwide. Yet over 90% of the safety functions worldwide are not SIL compliant.

This training course teaches you how IEC 61508 applies functional safety to safety-related systems. You can participate in the associated exam and earn an internationally recognised knowledge certificate with this newly acquired knowledge.

If you want to learn how to make safety functions functionally safe, and help industries around the world implement safety functions correctly, then take action today and signup for our upcoming course. Become part of the elite group of professionals that know how to achieve SIL-compliant safety-related systems.

Key Course Outcomes:

  • What functional safety means according to IEC 61508.
  • How functional safety applies to your job.
  • How functional safety applies to your safety devices and services.
  • Why functional safety exists in the first place.
  • That FSM is at the basis of all safety functions and systems.
  • The role of measures to avoid and control failures.
  • How systematica capability works for hardware and software.
  • How end users decide what safety functions they need and how much SIL they must have.
  • The four documents you need to plan and start building safety functions.
  • The content of a E/E/PE safety requirements specification (SRS).
  • Important hardware concepts that apply to devices Type, Voting, HFT, SFF, diagnostics, etc.
  • The IEC 61508 rules for selecting equipment and building architectures.
  • The difference between diagnostic tests and proof tests and why it is important.
  • What PFD means and how to calculate PFD for a safety function.
  • The different PFD modelling techniques.
  • How to deal with software and create application logic.
  • Three types of software.
  • What end users need to do to operate, maintain and repair safety functions.

Hours estimated effort
Students enrolled
Q&A Sessions
The Curriculum

Explore the IEC 61508 Certification Training curriculum

The main objective of this course is to allow specialists involved in safety-related systems to learn the fundamentals of functional safety and the requirements of the functional safety standard IEC 61508. A second objective is to give anybody attending the course the opportunity to certify their knowledge through an exam.

Functional safety is a knowledge-based profession. Do you want to be a functional safety specialist? Do you want to be certified? Want to know if you learn something from this course? Answer these questions for yourself:

  • Do you know why a proof test cannot improve the SFF?
  • Do you know that there are 2 SILs and 2 Risk Reduction Factors for each safety function?
  • Do you know why most companies fail at functional safety?
  • Do you know how many requirements a safety function needs to fulfil to claim SIL?
  • Do you know why a PFD is the least essential SIL requirement?
  • Do you know the five core concepts of functional safety management?
  • Do you know who is responsible for the safety requirements specification?
If you know the answers to the above questions, congratulations, you are a Functional Safety Expert. If not, this course is for you.

IEC 61508 Certification Training

Module 1 - Introduction to Functional Safety

Your functional safety journey starts with understanding what functional safety actually is and what not. You will find out why it is important, who it is for and how it affects your job, your products/services, your company and even your society.

Key topics:

  • The business case for functional safety
  • Important laws
  • The IEC 61508 standard
  • Random, common cause and systematic failures
  • Measure to avoid and control failures

Module 2 - Functional Safety Management Requirements

The concept of functional safety is the same across all industries. A safety system is a safety system no matter where you apply it. In the details it can be very different though. In this module we discuss a number of different standards as they apply to different industry. YOu cannot avoid functional safety any more and it is important to understand its the legal status.

Key topics:

  • Life cycle concept
  • Competency
  • Verification
  • Validation
  • Assessment
  • Audit
  • Documentation
  • Modifications
  • Important FSM procedures

Module 3 - Hazard and Risk Analysis

Before you can apply functional safety to your safety function you first need to understand if you need a safety function in the first place. That is why industry applies hazard and risk analysis. Even if the risk is high, it does not mean you will install a safety solution that needs SIL. But if you do, you better correctly specify what this function is suppose to do.

Key topics:

  • Hazard identification
  • Hazard analysis, risk analysis
  • Risk reduction
  • HAZID, FMEA, FTA, ETA, risk graph, risk matrix
  • Safety function definition SLATS
  • Safety requirements specification

Module 4 - Planning requirements

Once we have decide that we need a safety function, engineers get excited. They love designing and building stuff. But in the functional safety world you need to get your foundation right. You need to understand and apply functional safety management.

Key topics:

  • Planning for end users, system integrators
  • Implementation of SIS
  • Functional safety plan
  • Verification plan
  • Validation plan
  • Assessment plan
  • Audit plan
  • Safety requirements specification for endusers, system integrators

Module 5 - Hardware requirements

We know which safety functions we want, we know how much SIL they need and we have the right people and organisation in place to build them. What are the rules? You cannot just build anything you want, you need to follow and understand these rules that may apply. That is what we discuss in this module.

Key topics:

  • IEC 61508 Hardware life cycle
  • De-energize versus energize
  • Low demand, high demand, continuous mode
  • Target failure measure (PFDavg, PFH)
  • Redundancy
  • Diversity
  • Voting
  • Hardware fault tolerance
  • Type A, Type B
  • Subsystem failure modes
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Proof tests
  • Failure distribution
  • Safe failure fraction
  • Diagnostic coverage
  • Architectural constraints
  • Route 1h and route 2h
  • Proven in use
  • Measure to control failures

Module 6 - Hardware Reliability - PFD Requirements

The most famous functional safety requirement in the SIL world is the probability calculation. In this module we explore its importance, what can be calculated and how to do it.

Key topics:

  • Reliability modelling
  • Block diagrams
  • Simplified equations
  • FTA
  • Markov
  • Failure data
  • Why a PFD calculation?
  • PFD Myths

Module 7 - Software requirements

The functional safety standards do not require certification. But in our world, we cannot do without functional safety certification. In this module we explore why functional safety exists, what can be certified and what not.

Key topics:
  • IEC 61508 Software life cycle
  • A typical software problem
  • Software safety requirements specification
  • Firmware
  • Application software
  • Utility software
  • Software systematic capability - IEC 61508
  • Full variability languages (FVL)
  • Limited variability languages (LVL)
  • Fixed programming languages (FPL)
  • Software development
  • Software design
  • Code
  • Sofware testing
  • V-model

Module 8 - Certification, prior use, proven in use, and data

Two more topics, just to make it complete. A safety function that does not work in the environment where it is suppose to operate is not a good safety function. We need to address basic safety. And that includes nowadays also cyber security. In this module we address both.

Key points:

  • Dilemma for end users, EPCs and system integrators
  • How to select the appropriate device
  • What is certification
  • What to look for in a certificate
  • What is proven in use
  • How to prove  proven in use"
  • Reliability data sources

Module 9 - Requirements for using the safety functions and systems

Two more topics, just to make it complete. A safety function that does not work in the environment where it is suppose to operate is not a good safety function. We need to address basic safety. And that includes nowadays also cyber security. In this module we address both.

Key points:

  • Installation and commissioning
  • Safety validation
  • Operation, maintenance and repair
  • Documentation
  • Modification and retrofit
  • Bypass procedures


Art the end there as an online exam for those that apply for the FS Specialist, TUV FS (Engineer or Professional) certificate.
KNowledge Certification

YOur certification options

You can follow this training with or without certification. When you choose to do the exam you can obtain a Risknowlogy FS Specialist certificate and additionally a TUV FS Engineer or TUV FS Professional certificate.

Dr Michel Houtermans

Founder of Risknowlogy, Functional Safety Master with 25+ years expierence

Founder of Risknowlogy, Functional Safety Master
with 25+ years experIence

Dr. Michel Houtermans, Founder and Managing Partner of Risknowlogy GmbH, is an eminent expert in risk, reliability, and functional safety. With an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Risk and Safety Management, he has significantly contributed to the industry. Under his leadership, Risknowlogy has become a global leader in functional safety certification, offering advanced training and tools for risk management. One of the first TUV Functional Safety Expert is renowned for his expertise, shared at various international forums. He has trained over 5000 engineers, developed numerous certification programs, and authored two books and many publications. His fluency in Dutch, English, and German further enhances his international reach and impact.

What students say about the program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Self-Study, Live Online and In-Person

  • Self-Study: Self-study refers to the process of learning independently without direct supervision or guidance from a teacher or instructor. In many instances we do have periodic live Q&A sessions.
  • Live Online: During live online training participants attend live sessions conducted by an instructor or trainer through MS Teams or Zoom
  • In-Person: During in-person training participants and trainers gather together physically in the same location for example your company office or a hotel.

Can I cancel and get a refund if I'm and not satisfied?

We want you to be nothing but satisfied with your Risknowlogy training course. We do offer refunds, but some conditions apply depending on the course mode:
Self-Study courses:
  • The course comes with a 7 day money back guarantee.
  • Exception: Once you have earned your Course Certificate, you are no longer eligible for a refund, even if you earn your Certificate within the 7 days refund period.
Live Online courses:
  • You can request a refund up until 1 day before the training course starts.
In-Person courses:
  • You can request a refund up until 7 days before the training course starts.
Please note: Charged credit card cost or bank wire transfer cost may not be refundable.

When can I do the exam?

This depends on the course mode you are attending:
  • Self-study: The exam is available at any time. You can do it as soon as you feel confident.
  • Live Online: As soon as the course is finished
  • In Person: As soon as the course is finished

Can I take a retake exam?

Should you fail the exam you can contact us for a free retake exam. If you want to achieve a higher score, then you can take a retake exam, but it will not be for free. Contact us for details.

Does this training come with a certificate?

This training comes with two certificates. A knowledge FS Specialist certificate from Risknowlogy if you pass the exam and optionally (you need to order it separately) a TUV SUD knowledge certificate (Engineer or Professional)

Will I get a personal Safety Passport®?

Yes, everybody who follows a Risknowlogy training gets a personal, online Safety Passport®.

Will I be listed on the TUV website?

Yes, if you opt for the TUV certificate and pass the exam.Here is the link.
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