Candidate Information

Candidate Information

Applicability

The Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE) and the Certified Functional Safety Professional (CFSP) are global programs that apply to the field of functional safety. The knowledge required for the CFSE / CFSP programs that are based on current industry accepted practices and standards.


Application Checklist

Application forms

The CFSE is striving to be more environmentally friendly. Please email all application documentation to admin@exidacfse.com. Photocopies of your passport and diplomas must be provided.

The case study application form must be submitted by candidates to provide a description of project where they demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and responsibility for a significant element of the safety lifecycle in accord with the relevant areas of 61508/61511/62061. This must also include a supporting statement from one of the referees. (Applies to CFSE candidates only)

Professional References

Requires the applicant to list referees. The following applies:

A minimum of four (4) references must be provided by the CFSE applicant and two (2) references by the CFSP applicant. An applicant is encouraged to use an immediate supervisor as a referee.

     
  1. A supporting statement from one of the referees for the Case Study. (CFSP not applicable)
  2.  
  3. Referees should have personal knowledge of applicants experience and collectively be able to attest to the entire amount of experience claimed. 
  4.  
  5. Referees must NOT be related to the applicant.
  6.  
  7. Each referee must complete a Referee Statement form, and forward it directly to the CFSE Governance Board.
  8.  
  9. CFSE reserves the right to contact any referee for verification purposes.
  10.  
  11. Original referees should be e-mailed to CFSE.

*There will be a $100USD late fee charged for any candidate applying for the exam 5 business days before the exam date.


Application Fees

The applicable fees for the CFSE / CFSP examination are listed on the Examination Fee information sheet. Fees should shortly follow with the application. Application fees can be paid by bank check, money order, credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Amex or purchase order). Applications will not be reviewed until the FULL application process has been received by the CFSE Advisory Board and the payment has been made.

CFSE only charges candidates an exam fee or retake; we are not responsible for additional fees associated with the organization holding the training or exam. Some global locations have their own fees associated with their training and/or exam.


Cancellation Policy

CFSE reserves the right, to cancel without specified reason any examination three (3) weeks before the examination date. CFSE will reschedule any canceled examination at their convenience. The applicant has the right to reschedule prior to payment due date.


Certificate Renewals

The initial CFSE/CFSP certificate is only valid for a period of three (3) years. After that date it must be renewed by submitting the renewal application form and accompanying fee. It is not necessary to take the exam again. The renewal consists of a confirmation that the renewal applicant is still active in their corresponding certificate specialty along with opportunities for additional supporting qualifications and experience. Once the renewal has been accepted, the certificate is valid for an additional three (3) year period.

In the event that the certificate expires through either lack of renewal from the initial issue of the certificate, it can be renewed by re-taking the examination. It is the responsibility of the candidate to renew their CFSE/CFSP certificate on time.


CFSE Examination Format

The CFSE examination will take six (6) hours and is divided into two (2) sessions. The examination consists of two (2) categories of questions - multiple choice and short answer/case study. The multiple choice section is two (2) hours and the short answer/case study section is four (4) hours. There will be a one (1) hour break in between; lunch.

Category No. of Questions Points Minimum Score Time
Multiple Choice 50 1 30 2 hours
Short Answer/Case Study Candidate chooses 50 points worth of
2-20 point questions from ~20 possible questions
50 35 4 hours

In order to pass the exam the candidate will have to score at least 60% in the multiple choice, 70% in the short answer/case study category, and 80% for the total examination. All CFSE exams are open book with all readily available published references allowed to be used during the exam. Please also note that the candidates are specifically encouraged to at least bring a copy of part 1 of 61508 and similar relevant parts of the sector-specific IEC standards relevant to their area. For example, Process Applications candidates should also bring at least part 1 of 61511, Machine Applications candidates should also bring at least 62061, Software candidates should also bring at least part 3 of 61508, and Hardware candidates should also bring at least part 2 of 61508. Other textbooks, publicly available published course materials, and workbooks are also allowed and may be useful to the candidates. Although occasional general hand notes in these reference materials may be allowed at the discretion of the Advisory Board appointed exam proctor, it is expressly forbidden to bring in any personal exam-specific notes.


CFSE Material To Be Submitted

CFSE applicants must arrange to have the following materials submitted before the application deadline (see attached schedule):

  1. Examination Application Form – submitted by applicant. Please submit a photocopy of your passport along with your application.
  2. Case Study Form - Submitted by Applicant - a description of project where they demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and responsibility for a significant element of the safety lifecycle in accord with the relevant areas of 61508/61511/62061.  This should also include a supporting statement from one of the referees as noted on the Case Study Form.
  3. Referee Statement - (four are required) - submitted by referee (one for each referee listed in Examination Application Form). This will also include a supporting statement from one of the referees for the Case Study.
  4. Copies of Licenses, Registrations & Certification -submitted by applicant (one for each listed in Examination Application Form) . A photocopy of your diploma will suffice the requirement.
  5. Payment for Application Fee

 

*** New requirement for CFSE Applicants

A case study must be submitted candidates to provide a description of project where they demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and responsibility for a significant element of the safety lifecycle in accord with the relevant areas of 61508/61511/62061. This will also include a supporting statement from one of the referees.

Please see application form and example.

A candidate that is applying for CFSE must have a minimum of 10 years work related experience. Please use the chart below for education credit:

Highest Educational Level Engineering Degree Other Technical degree Non-Technical Degree
No higher level education Subtract 0 years Subtract 0 years Subtract 0 years
Bachelor Degree Subtract 3 years Subtract 2 year Subtract 1 year
Master Degree Subtract 4 years Subtract 3 years Subtract 1 ½ years
PhD Subtract 6 years Subtract 4 years Subtract 2 years
Professional Engineering Certification/License (PE) Subtract 1 additional year Subtract 1 additional year Subtract 1 ½  additional years

                   
Using this table as guidance, a person with no higher level education would need at least 10 years of related experience to be considered for the CFSE program. A B.S./B.Sc./B. Eng. degree in an engineering discipline immediately reduces the minimum experience requirement to 7 years while additional certification as a licensed professional engineer by a recognized state or national body reduces the minimum requirement to 6 years. Similarly, someone with a B.S. degree in a scientific discipline such as physics or chemistry would need at least 8 years of relevant safety and engineering experience to meet the requirements.


CFSP Examination Format

The examination will take four (4) hours and is one (1) session. The examination consists of two (2) categories of questions - multiple choice and short answer.

Category No.  of Questions Points Minimum Score
Multiple Choice 40 1 each None except 80% overall requirement
Short Answer Candidate chooses 10 out of 12 possible questions 2 - 4 each None except 80% overall requirement

In order to pass the exam the candidate will have to score at least 80% for the total examination. All CFSP exams are open book with all readily available published references allowed to be used during the exam. Please also note that the candidates are specifically encouraged to at least bring a copy of part 1 of 61508 and similar relevant parts of the sector-specific IEC standards relevant to their area. For example, Process Applications candidates should also bring at least part 1 of 61511, Machine Applications candidates should also bring at least 62061, Software candidates should also bring at least part 3 of 61508, and Hardware candidates should also bring at least part 2 of 61508. Other textbooks, publicly available published course materials, and workbooks are also allowed and may be useful to the candidates. Although occasional general hand notes in these reference materials may be allowed at the discretion of the Governance Board appointed exam proctor, it is expressly forbidden to bring in any personal exam-specific notes.


CFSP Material To Be Submitted

CFSP applicants must arrange to have the following materials submitted before the application deadline (see attached schedule):

  1. Examination Application Form –  submitted by applicant. Please submit a photocopy of your passport along with your application.
  2. Referee Statement - (two are required) submitted by referee (one for each referee listed in Examination Application Form)
  3. Copies of Licenses, Registrations & Certification - submitted by applicant (one for each listed in Examination Application Form). A photocopy of your diploma will suffice the requirement.
  4. Payment for Application Fee

    A candidate must have a minimum of 2 years related experience with credit given for education as follows:

    Highest Educational Level Engineering Degree Other Technical degree Non-Technical Degree
    No higher level education Subtract 0 years Subtract 0 years Subtract 0 years
    Bachelor Degree Subtract 3 years Subtract 2 year Subtract 1 year

Deadline for Filing Applications

Completed application materials and payment must be received by the CFSE Governance board at least 2 weeks prior to the exam date. The specific date is usually noted on the exam schedule information page. Please note that because of the tight deadline, incomplete applications will not be guaranteed a place at the exam. It is strongly recommended that all applicants send in their information well in advance of this deadline to insure a place at the exam. If the Governance Board does not receive your application prior to the exam, you may take the CFSE / CFSP exam at your own risk prior to acceptance to the exam. There are no refunds.


Examination Dates And Locations

The CFSE Governance Board will publish a general list of dates and locations. For all dates and locations the cancellation policy applies. Organizations can also request examination dates and locations. Contact the CFSE Governance Board for more information.


Examination Results

Results will be mailed approximately 8 weeks after the examination. No results will be given over the phone. Please do not call the CFSE Governance Board for test results. If the applicant did not report for the examination, or did not pass the examination, the results letter will explain how to schedule for a retake examination, and state the applicable fees.

Exams will not be released with out a complete application.  Please check the CFSE / CFSP Tracker for updated information.


Examination Rules And Conduct

Candidates are expected to exhibit proper examination decorum throughout the examination. Government issued identification is required. Candidates will be required to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time of examination. Candidates will not be admitted to the examination after the announcements have been given. Detailed instructions concerning arrival will be included with the admission notice. Published reference materials are permitted. Only non-programmable calculators will be allowed.

Documents & Devices NOT permitted for the CFSE/CFSP exam

  • Computer or laptop
  • Mobile phones
  • Programmable calculators
  • Exam - specific notes
  • Smart Watches


Documents & Devices permitted for the CFSE/CFSP exam*

  • Non-programmable calculator
  • Standards, e.g. IEC 61508 (part 1), IEC 61511 (Please click Here for exam specialty curriculum)

Other textbooks, publicly available published course materials, and workbooks are also allowed and may be useful to the candidates. Although occasional general hand notes in these reference materials may be allowed at the discretion of the Advisory Board appointed exam proctor, it is expressly forbidden to bring in any personal exam-specific notes.

* You must supply your own documentation, manuals, standards, and/or calculator for your exam. You may NOT share documents or devices.


Language of Examination

Currently examinations are only available in the English, Spanish, and the German language.


Notification Of Examination

Admission Applicants must allow two (2) weeks for full processing of their complete applications. At least one week prior to the examination date, an admission notice will be sent to eligible candidates and will confirm dates, times, and location of the examination. For the due date of the examination fee see paragraph 3. If the admission notice has not been received at least one (1) weeks prior to the examination date, the candidate must contact the CFSE Governance Board.


Refund Policy

There will be no refunds.


Training Courses

Training classes are not required to be eligible for the test. However, many candidates may prefer to receive training oriented toward the curriculum required for the examination.


Two Levels of Recognition are Available

CFSE - Certified Functional Safety Expert

CFSP - Certified Functional Safety Professional

Eligibility Requirements for Examination - CFSE

A candidate must have 4 referee statements from other professionals (preferably CFSEs) recommending candidates.