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Can you demonstrate Functional Safety Competence?

07 August 2012

The latest 2010 version of the Functional Safety standard, IEC 61508, has placed a greater emphasis on competence within all organisations engaged in the lifecycle of a Safety Related system in order to select the appropriate competence in relation to particular tasks. Read more

This requirement is now a 'shall' under the management of functional safety, clause 6.2.14, so any organisation considering functional safety for the first time or engaged in a safety related system to the older version of the standard may now need to consider the competence of their staff in order to ensure they comply with the relevant requirements of IEC 61508:2010.

Competence according to IEC 61508:2010 is taking account of:

  • Responsibilities
  • Level of Supervision
  • Potential consequence in the event of failure
  • Previous experience
  • Type of competence according to the circumstances
  • Engineering knowledge
  • Safety Engineering Knowledge
  • Knowledge of legal and safety regulatory framework
  • Relevance of qualifications
A company operating within an effective quality management system will be able to demonstrate conformity to at the least the first 6 possibly 7 bullet points. To understand the legal and safety regulatory framework and to demonstrate qualifications specific to anyone engaged in functional safety related activities needs a little more consideration. This is where Sira can help. 

Sira can offer a tailor made 1 day IEC 61508 Functional Safety awareness training course which will help all those engaged in functional safety related activities within an organisation to better understand the requirements relevant to them. Whether you are a plant operator engaged in HAZOP and SIL Determination activities or a product manufacturer providing elements to a safety related system, the 1 day IEC 61508 Functional Safety awareness training course can be tailor made to your specific needs.

The 1 day IEC 61508 Functional safety awareness training course is not going to produce a Functional Safety practitioner overnight but what it does provide is the first step to a greater understanding of the subject and to the regulators it will also demonstrate your commitment to complying to the full requirements of the IEC 61508 standard.

Sira recently completed a bespoke on-site Functional Safety Awareness training for Topworx Inc, a global leader in discrete valve control and position sensing for the process industries. Leandru Schiau, Product Manager for Topworx commented;

“The training course on functional safety proved to be very informative and the topic was clearly and simply presented. The Sira presenter took a very complicated topic and greatly simplified it by providing real life examples to illustrate how functional safety, risk reduction and safety related systems work. I would highly recommend this training course to anybody that needs training or a better understanding on IEC 61508.”

For further information regarding Functional Safety Training or Functional Safety Services from Sira, please contact Sira on tel: +44 (0) 1244 670 900 or email

We are also looking to arrange a Functional Safety training course in the autumn of 2012 at our Chester training facility, in addition to our site-based training for clients. For more information, and to register your interest, please contact

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