• ISA84 Safety Instrumented Systems Certificate Program
    Frequently Asked Questions

    Program Definition

    Why did ISA develop the ISA84 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 ISA84 standard. They are called the ISA84 SIS Fundamentals Specialist, the ISA84 SIL Selection Specialist, and the ISA84 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 ISA84 standards.  ISA developed the ISA84 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 ISA84 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 ISA84 Safety Instrumented Systems Certificate Program compare to other safety programs?
    Review the comparison chart here

    Who can say they hold a certificate? 
    The ISA84 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 ISA84 program page at www.isa.org/isa84certificate.

    If a person holds all three certificates, what designation is used? 
    Certificate holders who are current with all of the ISA84 certificates may use the designation of ISA84 SIS Expert. Certificate holders can be searched by individual certificate program or by name at www.isa.org/isa84certificate.

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    Training Course Requirements

    Why are courses required for the ISA84 certificate program exam candidates? 
    Certificate programs are typically associated with mastery of specific course content and may or may not require work experience. The ISA84 certificate program was developed by ISA working with industry experts who are active on the ISA84 standard committee. The program(s) increase knowledge and awareness of the ISA84 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 www.isa.org/isa84certificate. A candidate is not made eligible for the exam until they successfully complete the prerequisite course.

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    Documentation

    What paperwork must be completed to take one of the exams?

    No application is required for certificate exam 1, 2 or 3. Please review the program requirements at www.isa.org/isa84certificate.

    What work experience documentation is necessary to meet the program requirements? 
    As an applicant, you must meet the work experience requirements as outlined in the requirements (and on the application) at www.isa.org/isa84certificate. Back-up documentation with signatures that verify the necessary work experience must be included.

    Do all of the details of Work Experience need to be completed on the application? 

    Yes. ISA reviews the details to ensure work experience meets the minimum requirements for qualification. ISA reserves the right to contact current and previous employers to verify the information submitted.

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    Fees

    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 www.isa.org/isa84certificate. The exam fee for an ISA84 certificate exam is $185. There are no group discounts for certificate exam fees. This fee includes one electronic exam, as well as processing of the certificate exam application for certificate exams 2 and 3.

    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?
    Applicants may retest once 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 info@isa.org or +1 919-549-8411. ISA accepts AMEX, Discover card, Master Card, and VISA credit cards.

    Payment should be received with the course registration and/or application. If you are sending payment separately please include this information with the application. Applications for certificates 2 and 3 cannot be processed without a form of payment.

    Is the certificate program exam fee refundable? 
    ISA84 certificate program fees are refundable, less a $50 processing fee, if you decide not to take the exam after completing the course and within the 3 month eligibility window.

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    Testing

    The ISA84 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 www.prometric.com/isa. The exams are not offered the day after completing the required course.

    How does one become eligible to take an ISA84 certificate exam? 
    Certificate program applicants must register for the required course and the exam, and successfully complete the required course. For certificate exams 2 and 3, applicants must have passed exam 1. Click on the Requirements link at www.isa.org/isa84certificate to review the program requirements and see the Application and Documentation section of these FAQs above.

    When will applicants find out if they are eligible to take an ISA84 exam? 
    Within 5 business days of completion of the required course, an eligibility email that contains the information needed to schedule an exam at Prometric will be sent. For certificate exams 2 and 3, you must have passed certificate exam 1 and also received notification that your application for certificate exam 2 or 3 has been approved.

    How long is an applicant eligible to take an ISA84 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, he/she must register for the course and exam again and re-take both.

    What is a passing score for an ISA84 certificate exam? 
    A candidate must answer at least 70% of the exam questions correctly to pass any of the three certificate program exams.

    What if a candidate does not pass the certificate exam? 
    If a candidate fails the exam, he/she may retest one time within the initial six (6) month eligibility window for a fee of $150. If an applicant 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 ISA84 electronic exam? 
    The ISA84 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.

    An ISA84 certificate exam must be taken within six(6) months of the last day of the certificate program required course. If a candidate fails the exam, he/she may retest one time within the six (6) month eligibility period. 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.

    Once eligible, how is an exam scheduled? 
    Applicants who complete the program requirements will receive an email with an eligibility code. Go to www.prometric.com/isa to review locations and schedule an appointment.

    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 Prometric Candidate Care at 800-853-6769 and ask that it be emailed to you again. ISA cannot provide the confirmation for you.

    Who should be contacted to reschedule an exam appointment? 
    Candidates must contact ISA if an exam appointment needs to be rescheduled. If the appointment is not cancelled at least 2 days in advance at Prometric locations in the United States/Canada or at least 5 days in advance at other Prometric locations, a reschedule form must be completed and sent to ISA with payment before the candidate eligibility can be re-set.

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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?
    Results are reported immediately at the testing center. If a candidate passes, a certificate will be mailed within thirty (30) days of the exam date. Failing candidates receive a diagnostic report of how they performed on the exam at the testing center.

    What if the testing center does not provide the testing results? 
    If the testing center is unable to provide testing results, have the test center administrator complete a candidate incident report and then let ISA know by calling Customer Service at +1 919-549-8411.

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    Renewal

    Because the ISA84 SIS Certificate Programs are certificates and not certifications, you are not required to renew your ISA84 Certificate(s); however, once obtained your certificate(s) will only be considered current for three (3) years. After your three-year expiration date, your certificate's status will no longer be considered active and you will not be able to claim that you hold a current/active ISA84 certificate. Click here to learn more about extending the current status of your certificate(s).

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    Displaying Your IS84 Certificate Program Credentials

    How do I get a copy of my ISA84 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 ISA84 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: ISA84 SIS Fundamentals Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS.)
    • If you have achieved Certificate 2: ISA84 SIL Selection Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SSS.)
    • If you have achieved Certificate 3: ISA84 SIL Verification Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SVS.)
    • If you have achieved Certificates 1 and 2: ISA84 SIS Fundamentals and ISA84 SIL Selection Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS and SSS.)
    • If you have achieved Certificates 1 and 3: ISA84 SIS Fundamentals and ISA84 SIL Verification Specialist. (Do not use ISA84 SFS and SVS.)
    • If you have achieved Certificates 1, 2, and 3: ISA84 Safety Instrumented Systems Expert. (Do not use ISA84 SIS Expert.)

    Because these are certificate programs and not certification programs, you should not list your ISA84 certificate designations directly after your name. On your business card (signature block, resume, etc.), you should display/include your ISA84 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 ISA84 designation listing (e.g. ISA84 SIL Selection Specialist Certificate Holder).