The Ultimate Guide to the Process Safety Life-cycle


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Overall planning

An important part of management is planning ahead. This is not just important for meeting deadlines, but also ensuring the correct resources are in place and that the required activities will actually happen in practice.


Many companies take a copy of the safety life-cycle directly from IEC 61511 and offer that as their chosen life-cycle for a project. This is a flawed approach as it really does not have the required level of detail for real-life projects.


Just copying the IEC 61511 life-cycle from the standard is a flawed approach to planning

A central element of the SIS safety life-cycle is functional safety management (FSM). A good FSM system will ensure that personnel are competent in the part of the lifecycle they are responsible for. It will provide effective policies, planning and procedures to control lifecycle activities.

Internal resources

IEC 61511 edition 2 now requires competence of individuals to be actively managed in a competence management system (CMS).  The CMS should set the competence standard for each safety lifecycle role. It should include the role context, tasks, and attributes that the ideal candidate must fulfill. In addition, the levels of required attainment for each task and attribute should be clearly specified. Once complete, a competent Assessor should be assigned to verify the individual against the required standard.


People are critical to the achievement of functional safety. It is highly recommended to develop or hire a functional safety technical leader with the requisite experience, knowledge and qualifications. Once this is in place, the FS leader and relevant discipline experts can assess the competence of others for different lifecycle steps.

External resources

Functional Safety Assessment and Audit

Note that FSA planning should be included at the start of any project where an SIS is expected to be needed

Document and configuration control

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