Functional Safety

CSA Group Seattle Functional Safety Testing

Functional Safety is identifying and mitigating risk with products or systems that could harm people or the environment if it fails.

IEC 61508 is the accepted international standard for the functional safety of electrical or electronic (including software-based) safety-related systems. The reliability of such systems is determined by the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) of the safety function they perform.

IEC 61508

Certification to IEC 61508, 61511 and other related standards is encouraged by regulatory authorities and sought by end-users as a way of minimizing risk and demonstrating best practices.

Among market leaders, contracts involving safety-related systems are likely to include adherence to  IEC 61508.

CSA Group (under Sira Certification Service) is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to certify organizations using the CASS protocol, and is committed to helping customers promote products and services in the international market that comply with the best practices of functional safety.

We are constantly assessing a wide range of companies and products. Functional Safety applies to the process, machinery, railway and nuclear industries.

The current accepted standards are:

IEC 61508– the base standard. It defines the specification, design and operation of electrical or electronic (including software controlled) safety systems thereby allowing the potential of this technology to be fully realized. It is the basis for related industry-sector standards, including:

IEC 61511 – Functional Safety of safety instrumented systems for the process industry.

IEC 61513 – Nuclear power plants: Instrumentation and control for systems important for functional safety.

IEC 62061 – Safety of Machinery: Functional safety of safety-related E/E/PE control systems.

EN 50402 – Detection and measurement of combustible or toxic gases, vapors or oxygen.

IEC 61508 Training

CSA Group IEC 61508 Training

CSA Group has developed IEC 61508 Training and technical advice sessions to explain the involvement and benefits of Functional Safety. This can vary from basic management overviews, designed to explain to upper management the economic value of Functional Safety, to in-depth consultancy-style sessions with engineers, going over specific issues you have with a product/process.

The sessions can be designed as face-to-face meetings, workshops or training sessions tailored to meet your exact needs, and can be conducted at our facilities, or at your own site.

Functional Safety Training Courses

If you require more structured training concerning Functional Safety, CSA Group has developed IEC 61508 Functional Safety training courses that explain the subject, with the facility to tailor the courses in relation to the needs, products and processes of your company.

IEC 61508/61511 Functional Safety Health Check

IEC 61508-61511 Functional Safety Health Check

The Functional Safety Health Check provides a responsive and cost-effective overview of the adequacy of the systems currently in place against the latest safety standards. It will identify issues that are being dealt with correctly and, more importantly, highlight anything you still need to do to demonstrate compliance.

Control systems are a risky business for plant operators and the consequences of a system failure can have substantial implications to your organization, including:

• Injuries to staff
• Loss of production
• Environmental damage
• Damage if plant
• Loss of reputation

Your Duties for Safety – IEC 61508/61511 Functional Safety

If your organization is responsible for operating control systems that have a safety implication, it’s important to ensure that a hazard and risk analysis of the process is carried out or reviewed, and Safety Integrity Level (SIL) requirements for the control systems are identified.

Also, new or replacement systems are reviewed and have correctly specified safety functions and SILs.

IEC 61508 Functional Safety Health Check

Our team can help to ensure that your safety and control systems are up-to-date with current safety legislation and give you the confidence that the safety processes you have put in place are adequate.

The service is primarily intended for managers responsible for control system safety in their organization and can provide an input to planning any future upgrade programs or developing a functional safety strategy.

How it Works

A member of our Functional Safety team will spend a day on-site, meeting with your in-house safety team, reviewing your control systems and conducting a ‘site-walk’, assessing your systems against latest HSE guidance and industry practice.

During this time our expert will be able to grasp whether an adequate level of safety has been achieved, and what more needs to be done.

We will write our findings and recommendations in a brief formal report, enabling you to plan a strategy for any future IEC 61508/61511 work.
We also offer the facility for post-audit advice and modifications, and can be your technical partner for any future functional safety requirements you may have.

IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification

IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification

Obtaining IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification demonstrates that your company has the capability to supply safety-related products and services that conform to the requirements of IEC 61508.

The scope of the IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification covers your management system for functional safety and the lifecycle activities that are appropriate to what you supply (for example, SIL determination, hardware/software development, product manufacture, systems integration, installation, maintenance, etc). These aspects are often referred to as ‘Functional Safety Capability.’

Approved Company Certification is highly respected in the market and marks the company out as a serious supplier with the capability to ensure functional safety is achieved for every deliverable.

CSA Group’s IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification bears the UKAS mark, which is recognized internationally.

Once IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification is achieved, obtaining Approved Product certifications (if these are subsequently required) is much more straightforward as the lifecycle and management aspects are already approved.

The assessment does not duplicate work already covered under an appropriate quality management scheme, such as ISO 9001, but concentrates on the additional requirements for functional safety.

Please contact us for more information about IEC 61508 Approved Company Certification.

IEC 61508 Approved Product Certification

IEC 61508 Approved Product Certification

IEC 61508 Approved Product Certification are more likely to extend market penetration and offer the potential of increased sales growth. The benefits of increased hardware and systematic integrity can also be seen in improved product quality – lower returns, field recalls, and improved levels of customer satisfaction.

Both hardware and software functionality is assessed (as relevant to the product) to evaluate the product’s suitability for SIL-rated applications and to certify the product or system’s safety-related parameters.

CSA Group’s IEC 61508 Approved Product Certification is suitable for all products that are intended for use in safety-related applications. Products include sensors, instrumentation, logic solvers, and final elements, used in a variety of industries such as the process, nuclear, rail, machinery and even domestic equipment sectors.

Our Approved Product certificates bear the UKAS accreditation mark, which is recognized internationally.


CASS - Conformity Assessment of Safety-related Systems

CSA Group (Sira Certification Service) has gained accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to carry out its certification activities in accordance with CASS (Conformity Assessment of Safety-related Systems).

CASS ensures transparency in the certification process and minimizes costs for clients, offering assistance in preparing the necessary technical files. Accreditation by UKAS provides both our customers and their clients with the internationally recognised assurance of the competence of CSA Group personnel and certification processes.cass-logo-CASS - Conformity Assessment of Safety-related SystemsCASS is a certification methodology set up and managed by all those sectors of industry with an interest in accredited certification to IEC 61508. CASS provides a rigorous and internationally acceptable structure under which certification of safety related systems can take place. It ensures consistency in the assessment of both products and functional safety management systems and clarifies issues of interpretation with the generic standard.The scheme is operated through independent third-party certification bodies that are accredited to the European and International accreditation standards for the certification of products and processes.

The Benefits of CASS

The CASS methodology has been specifically designed to give the following benefits:
• Reduce costs
• Enhance reputation
• Increase competitiveness
• Demonstrate regulatory compliance
• Procure with confidence
• Reduce time to market
• Enhance market opportunities

Speak to our experts to find out how the CASS methodology could benefit you.

The 61508 Association

61508 Association

The 61508 Association is a cross-industry group of organizations with an interest in achieving a dependable and cost-effective method for demonstrating compliance with IEC 61508 and related standards.

The purpose of The 61508 Association is to promote the CASS method for providing the integrity, transparency and consistency of the conformity assessment process for all phases of the lifecycle of safety-related systems.

The association is closely linked with CASS for providing a dependable conformity assessment process for safety-related systems, which is recognized internationally.

CSA Group is a member of the association and is actively involved in discussions and technical committees related to the subject.

For more information about the 61508 Association please visit