Program Definition

Why did ISA develop the ISA/IEC 61511 Safety Instrumented Systems Certificate Program? 
ISA and the Automation Standards Compliance Institute (ASCI) have developed three certificate exams that are designed to increase knowledge and awareness of the ISA/IEC 61511 standard. They are called the ISA/IEC 61511 SIS Fundamentals Specialist, the ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Selection Specialist, and the ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Verification Specialist, and will be referred to as Certificates 1, 2, and 3.

The program measures the understanding of process safety standards and they are all based on the ISA/IEC 61511 standards.  ISA developed the ISA/IEC 61511 standards in the mid-1990s and after they were approved by ANSI they were placed in the IEC process and became the basis for the IEC 61511.  All three of the programs are based on ISA/IEC 61511 and what is now IEC 61511. The programs all vary in terms of experience and education requirements and you can visit the requirements page to get a better understanding of each program.  ISA is the expert in this area but it is up to the applicant to determine what program best fits their needs, interests and qualifications. 

How does the ISA/IEC 61511 Safety Instrumented Systems Certificate Program compare to other safety programs?
Review the comparison chart here

Who can say they hold a certificate? 
The ISA/IEC 61511 Safety Instrumented Systems certificates are awarded to those who successfully complete a designated training course, meet work experience prerequisites (for Certificates 2 and 3), and pass a multiple choice exam. A list of certificate holders with expiration dates can be found on the ISA/IEC 61511 program page at

If a person holds all three certificates, what designation is used? 
Certificate holders who are current with all of the ISA/IEC 61511 certificates may use the designation of ISA/IEC 61511 SIS Expert. Certificate holders can be searched by individual certificate program or by name at

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Training Course Requirements

Why are courses required for the ISA/IEC 61511 certificate program exam candidates? 
Certificate programs are typically associated with mastery of specific course content and may or may not require work experience. The ISA/IEC 61511 certificate program was developed by ISA working with industry experts who are active on the ISA/IEC 61511 standard committee. The program(s) increase knowledge and awareness of the ISA/IEC 61511 Standard through the course material and examination.

Will course participants receive CEUs for the courses taken? 
Yes. The number of CEUs is determined by the number of instructional hours, and awarded upon successful completion of the course. Completing course post-tests and receiving CEUs for course completion are not connected to passing scores on one of the three certificate exams.

What if a course is rescheduled by a candidate or ISA? 
Other course offerings can be found by going to A candidate is not made eligible for the exam until they successfully complete the prerequisite course.

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What work experience documentation is necessary to meet the program requirements?
There is no documentation for certificate exam 1. You must meet the work experience requirements for certificate exam 2 and 3. Employment Summary/Supervisor Verification document is required for certificate exam 2 and 3. Certification Administrator will notify you on how to receive and submit the document after completing EC52 and/or EC54 courses. ISA reserves the right to contact current and previous employers to verify the information submitted.

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What are the fees for the certificate program? 
Course fees are determined by the length of the course and can be found at the Requirements link at Each registration includes the course and exam fee. Registration allows you to take one electronic exam and application processing fees.

Can an exam be rescheduled without incurring fees? 
Applicants may reschedule an exam appointment during the six (6) month eligibility period by contacting Prometric at least 2 days (48 hours) prior to the scheduled exam time for Prometric locations in the United States/Canada and at least 5 days (120 hours) prior to the scheduled exam time for all other Prometric locations. No reschedule fee will apply.

Prometric Location

Advance Notice Required to Reschedule with no fee

United States/Canada

At least 2 days (48 Hours) Prior to Scheduled Exam Date

All other locations

At least 5 Days (120 hours) Prior to Scheduled Exam Date

What are the reschedule fees? 
Candidates who do not appear for their scheduled exam appointment and do not give proper advance notice of intent to reschedule their exam will incur a fee of $150.

Can a candidate retest and what is the retest fee?
You may retest as many times as needed within the six (6) month eligibility period for a fee of $150. If you are outside the six (6) month eligibility period, you must register again for the required course and exam and re-take both.

What if a candidate cannot make the scheduled appointment or is late for the appointment?
For candidates who fail to appear for a scheduled exam, or arrive more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, fees will apply. See Reschedule fees without proper advance notification. The exam must be rescheduled within the six (6) month eligibility period.

What forms of payment does ISA accept for the certificate program fees?
ISA will accept check, certified check, money order, or wire transfer (in U.S. Dollars), credit card and purchase orders. Make checks payable to ISA. For wire transfer account information, please contact ISA Customer Service at or +1 919-549-8411. ISA accepts AMEX, Discover card, Master Card, and VISA credit cards.

Payment should be received with the course registration.

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The ISA/IEC 61511 Safety Instrumented Systems Certificate Program exams are offered electronically through the Prometric global network of testing centers. For testing center locations, visit the Take the Exam link to the left or visit The exams are not offered the day after completing the required course.

How does one become eligible to take an ISA/IEC 61511 certificate exam? 
Certificate program applicants must register and successfully complete the required course. For certificate exams 2 and 3, applicants must have passed exam 1. Applicants are notified after completion of required courses that they are eligible to take the exams.

How long is an applicant eligible to take an ISA/IEC 61511 exam? 
The certificate exam and any retests must be taken within six (6) months of the last day of the certificate program course.

What if the required course is not completed? 
If the applicant is still interested in pursuing the certificate, they must register for and retake the course.

What is a passing score for an ISA/IEC 61511  certificate exam? 
ISA does not provide a passing score. You will receive notification that you passed or failed. If you do fail a percentage of the domains is provided for you. It is not used to calculate your final results or score.

What if a candidate does not pass the certificate exam? 
If a candidate does not pass the exam within the six (6) month window after the course and would like to receive the certificate, the applicant must register for the course and exam again and re-take both.

When can an applicant take the ISA/IEC 61511 electronic exam? 
The ISA/IEC 61511 exams are available electronically through Prometric throughout the year. Appointment availability is developed by Prometric for each testing center, with some centers offering evening and Saturday appointments.

Once eligible, how is an exam scheduled? 
Applicants who complete the program requirements will receive an email with an eligibility code. This code is used to review locations and schedule an appointment with Prometric at

Once scheduled, how is an exam confirmed? 
Exam appointments are confirmed by Prometric via email. ISA does not provide candidate email addresses to Prometric--the candidate provides the email address they wish to receive the exam confirmation.

What if an exam confirmation is not received from Prometric? 
Contact ISA Certification Administrator at

Who should be contacted to reschedule an exam appointment? 
Candidates can go to and click Reschedule/Cancel using Prometric Confirmation number that was emailed after scheduling appointment. If the appointment is not rescheduled at least two days (48 hours) in advance at Prometric locations in the United States/Canada or at least five days (120 hours) in advance at other Prometric locations, a reschedule form must be completed and sent to ISA with payment of $150 before the candidate eligibility can be reset.

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Examination Process

Once a candidate is eligible, how much time is available for testing?
The eligibility period to take a certificate exam is six (6) months from the date the course is completed. You must complete all testing within the six (6) month eligibility period, including any reschedules or retests. Candidates have two hours to complete the exam.

Are there testing windows for taking certificate exams? 
There are no testing windows for taking any of the certificate exams. Testing center availability is set by each Prometric testing center in the Prometric network. Some Prometric testing centers offer evening and Saturday appointments.

When should a candidate arrive at the testing center? 
Candidates should arrive at the testing center no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam time to sign-in and receive instruction. All examinations are given in a two hour time period.

What if the testing center cannot accommodate an exam appointment? 
If technical difficulties or inclement weather cause the cancellation of an appointment or the closure of a Prometric testing center, Prometric will attempt to contact the candidate using the phone numbers provided to them by ISA. Last minute cancellation situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and ISA and Prometric will work together to reschedule the candidate as quickly as possible.

What should be brought to the testing center? 
The Confirmation Letter from Prometric and a valid government issued photo ID with signature.

Are there any materials that are not allowed at the testing center?
All exams are closed book. No reference material will be allowed in the testing center. A location for personal items such as a pocket book, palmtop, mobile phone, or pager will be made available to you. Please note that storage space will be limited.

Will anything be provided to candidates at the testing center? 
A whiteboard with marker will be provided when candidates check-in at the testing center, and a scientific calculator will be available as a hot button on the computer screen.

When are candidates notified of their certificate status?
Prometric will email results to the candidate after completion of the exam. If a candidate passes, a certificate will be sent within thirty (30) days of the exam date. Failing candidates receive a percentage of each domain on how they performed on the exam by email. The percentage is not used to calculate your testing result.

What if the candidate does not receive their testing results by email from Prometric? 
Prometric will email pass or fail results after completion of exam.  If you do not receive it within 24 hours, please contact them at and provide Prometric confirmation number that you received when you scheduled the test and your last name.

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You are not required to renew your ISA/IEC 61511 Certificate(s); however, once obtained your certificate(s) will only be considered current for three (3) years. Click here to learn more about extending the current status of your certificate(s).

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Displaying Your ISA/IEC 61511 Certificate Program Credentials

How do I get a copy of my ISA/IEC 61511 certificate in case I lose it or if my supervisor wants one? 
To receive a duplicate copy of your certificate, send a written request to ISA with your mailing address and payment of $15 for a duplicate certificate. Once your payment is received, a certificate will be mailed to you.

How should I display my ISA/IEC 61511 certificate designation(s) on business cards, in signature blocks, etc.?

ISA recommends the following for displaying or noting your credentials:                                                                               

  • If you have achieved Certificate 1: ISA/IEC 61511 SIS Fundamentals Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS.)
  • If you have achieved Certificate 2: ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Selection Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SSS.)
  • If you have achieved Certificate 3: ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Verification Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SVS.)
  • If you have achieved Certificates 1 and 2: ISA/IEC 61511 SIS Fundamentals and ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Selection Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS and SSS.)
  • If you have achieved Certificates 1 and 3: ISA/IEC 61511 SIS Fundamentals and ISA84 SIL Verification Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS and SVS.)
  • If you have achieved Certificates 1, 2, and 3: ISA/IEC 61511 Safety Instrumented Systems Expert. (Do not use ISA84 SIS Expert.)


Because these are certificate programs and not certification programs, you should not list your ISA/IEC 61511 certificate designations directly after your name. On your business card (signature block, resume, etc.), you should display/include your ISA/IEC 61511 certificate designation in an area distinctly separate from your name and certificate/licensure/degree designations (e.g. CAP, PE, MBA, etc.). When possible, include "Certificate" or "Certificate Holder" after your ISA/IEC 61511 designation listing (e.g. ISA/IEC 61511 SIL Selection Specialist Certificate Holder).