Requirements for CDS®

Dust hazard analysis (DHA) is used to identify fire and explosion hazards at facilities where combustible dusts and particulate solids are present. DHA is required by NFPA standards to protect facility personnel, the public, and the facilities. Consequently it is essential that individuals who lead DHA studies meet a standard for competence. Three increasing levels of competency are offered: Practitioner, Specialist and Expert.

This certification is intended for an individual who routinely acts as the team leader for DHA studies. A Specialist has a minimum of five years of relevant experience and conducts studies regularly. This professional has in-depth knowledge and abilities in DHA to lead studies.

Primacert expects that a Certified DHA Specialist using the designation CDS® can demonstrate competency by meeting the following requirements:


Academic Qualifications

  • A degree from an accredited university or college in a relevant technical discipline. At a minimum, degree includes three years relevant, full-time tertiary education.


  • A minimum of five years of recent and relevant work experience.
  • Relevant work experience must include facilitating a minimum of two DHA studies within the last year.

Work Product

  • A report that contains the study worksheets from a substantial DHA study facilitated within the last year by the applicant must be submitted. The DHA procedure and any associated guidelines used must also be submitted to facilitate review of the work product.
  • Work products and procedures / guidelines must be submitted in English to facilitate review.


  • In addition to the training required for the practitioner level, successful completion within the last three years of a training course designed to teach participants risk assessment methods, such as Primatech's Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) for Process Safety Management (PSM) and Primatech’s Risk Tolerance Criteria for Process Safety.


  • Two references from supervisor / manager / peer who can attest to academic qualifications, work experience, professional ethics, and responsibility for work products. Additionally, two references from individuals who were members of a team for a DHA study facilitated by the applicant within the last year who can rate leadership skills.


  • Successful completion of the Primacert examination for CDS®.
  • For a list of examination topics, see DHA Examination Topics.


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