Functional Safety Foundation (FSF)

An introduction into Functional Safety

Functional Safety (FSF)

Principally based on IEC 61511, the CompEx Functional Safety Foundation qualification introduces the concept of Functional Safety (FS) and its relationship to the safe operation of equipment and control systems.

Download the qualification leaflet here.


This course is ideal for personnel wishing to gain a basic understanding of Functional Safety.  Personnel who may benefit from this course include operators, maintenance technicians, supervisors, process engineers, engineering focused asset engineers and plant managers.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course.


1.5 or 2 days, dependent on the training provider and the delivery method.


Virtual or face-to-face training available (dependent on training provider).

  • Theory only, no practical elements
  • 8 – 10 hours of guided learning

Functional Safety is an integral part of achieving safe operation in the use of control systems. This theory-only course is suitable for both technical and non-technical personnel who require a basic understanding of Functional Safety.

This course provides grounding knowledge of Functional Safety terminology, concepts, and standards to facilitate understanding.  Practical examples of how to meet specific requirements to minimise risk are provided to demonstrate how they may relate to your organisation.

The Functional Safety Foundation course will help personnel and organisations to achieve safe operations, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver results. It is relevant to any industry that has a process ranging from high hazard facilities e.g., oil and gas, chemical or power generation plants through to manufacturing facilities that have low hazard processes e.g., effluent handling facilities.

This qualification has been developed in partnership with ESC Limited, a global engineering consultancy.

Key Learning Objectives

Candidates that successfully complete the Functional Safety Foundation qualification will possess an understanding of the following key topics:

  • Introduction to Functional Safety and the International Standards
  • Lifecycle considerations within the design process
  • Management in the operation and maintenance phase
  •  Functional Safety assessments and audits
  • Identification of standards variations in different sectors
  • Requirements during installation, commissioning, and validation of the SIFs
  • Requirements during operation and maintenance of the SIFs
  •  Start-up and shutdown requirements
  •  Use of overrides and inhibits
  • Proof testing fundamentals
  •  Test types (including demonstration with basic equipment / video)
  •  Why needed
  •  Perfect vs imperfect testing
  • Test coverage
  •  Procedures (including evaluating examples and identifying issues)
  • Review of proof testing results and operational demands
  • Decommissioning activities

Qualification details

Candidates who are successful in the Functional Safety Foundation assessment will receive a CompEx Functional Safety Foundation Certificate.


Online exam

Candidates must undertake a multiple-choice online examination that consists of 30 questions answered over 45 minutes.

Find a centre

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Retain certification

Achieving CompEx core competency is essential for practitioners who work in potentially explosive environments, but competency must be maintained following certification.

Resource centre

The CompEx resource centre provides all the essential forms, documentation and downloads that you may need for CompEx training and registration

Applicable industries:

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