CFSE Overview


The CFSE (Certified Functional Safety Expert) concept was originally developed by engineers from exida with the support of other international safety experts to ensure that personnel performing SIS lifecycle activities are competent as required by the IEC 61508, 61511, and 62061 standards. The program is the now administered by exida. Certificates are issued by exida Certification.

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The companies that you work for are being driven to run leaner operations and optimize performance. This raises the potential for catastrophic safety-related accidents such as the explosion at Texas City, which killed 15 people while injuring 180 more, and the fire at the Buncefield Oil Depot, which resulted in a £1 billion (1.6 billion USD) loss. Consequently, it is more important than ever to have personnel that are competent in safety system design be part of the process for engineering and deploying safety equipment. Having trained and competent people is a requirement for compliance with international safety standards IEC 61508, IEC 61511, and IEC 62061.

It can also save money by simplifying regulatory compliance, reducing engineering costs, and preventing unplanned downtime. Completing a personnel functional safety certification program, such as the CFSE, can help address these challenges.Standards require proof of qualification, to insure safety knowledge and skills are up to date, and some companies now require CFSE holders to oversee safety projects and CFSP holders to execute them. The CFSE program is the most stringent in the world and represents the best demonstration of competency in the world.

" CFSE program is the only program where competency is gauged on experience and in depth knowledge on standards rather than just attending few days training course or a recommendation of being having close touch with CB. The program always remains ethical, unbiased and measure of true competency."

Sandesh Kini, CFSE 201015 001

Program Description

The CFSE certification program entails both a review of the applicant’s experience and the satisfactory completion of a proficiency exam. Passing the CFSE exam requires a solid in-depth knowledge of functional safety. Many applicants choose to augment their existing skill set prior to the exam by attending one of the optional preparatory training classes offered by our partners.

Certification is provided in two levels; CFSE and CFSP. The CFSE is aimed at professionals where functional safety is a major part of their role in the organization. They are typically responsible for leading, coordinating, and reviewing the activities of the safety lifecycle, including the more complex activities such as SIL Selection and SIL verification. The CFSP is targeted at professionals where functional safety is a secondary role or they are expected to support safety lifecycle projects on an execution level.

CFSE Requirements CFSP Requirements
10 years of equivalent experience (adjusted for education level) with a significant safety component 2 years of equivalent experience (adjusted for education level ) with a significant safety component
Submit a case study that demonstrates the applicant’s knowledge and safety experience. No case study required
Score > 80% on a two part exam containing multiple choice, short answer, and case study problems Score > 80% on a single part exam containing multiple choice and short answer questions


The CFSE is the higher level certification and is aimed at professionals who actively lead, coordinate and review the more complex and demanding activities in the Safety Lifecycle in leadership positions including SIL selection and SIL verification.

The CFSP is targeted at professionals who need a thorough understanding of the Safety Lifecycle activities at the execution level without necessarily leading, coordinating or reviewing the more complex and demanding activities.

The CFSE Advisory Board cannot take any liability for the work of any individual CFSE. The program is not a governmental program as is most state PE programs.

A company cannot assume any liability protection by using our Certification program or any other functional safety personnel competency program. Any company must evaluate the competency of anyone working on functional safety and the company must evaluate the correctness of all work.