ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program

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Certified Automation Professionals (CAPs) are responsible for the direction, design, and deployment of systems and equipment for manufacturing and control systems.

CAP question

The definition of ALARM includes which of the following elements?

A. Alarms are a higher priority than alerts.
B. Management authorization is required.
C. Operator action is required.
D. Rationalization is required.

CAP Answer

The correct answer is C, “Operator action is required.” According to ISA-18.2, an alarm is “an audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a response,” i.e., an operator action.

By definition, an alarm requires an operator action; otherwise, the occurrence of that condition should be considered an “event.”

Rationalization, alarm management, and alarm classification are all very important aspects of the alarm management life-cycle process. However, these considerations apply to the process of identifying and managing alarms.

Reference: Trevathan, Vernon L., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge, Second Edition, ISA, 2006.