Requirements for CLS®

Layers of protection analysis (LOPA) enhances the results of PHA studies by providing more objective estimates of the risks of hazard scenarios. Such risk estimates play a critical role in decisions on the adequacy of the safety of processes. Consequently, it is essential that individuals who lead LOPA studies meet a standard for competence. Three increasing levels of competency are offered: Practitioner, Specialist and Expert.

This certification is intended for a process safety professional who routinely acts as the team leader for LOPA studies. A Specialist has a minimum of five years of relevant experience and conducts studies regularly. This professional has in-depth knowledge and abilities to lead LOPA studies for such purposes as safety integrity level (SIL) determination.

Primacert expects that a Certified LOPA Specialist using the designation CLS® 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 LOPA studies within the last year.

Work Product

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


  • In addition to the training required for the practitioner level, successful completion within the last three years of a training course that addresses the application of LOPA to the determination of safety integrity levels, such as Primatech's Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Determination Using LOPA and Other Methods to Comply with IEC 61511 and ISA 84.


  • 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 LOPA study facilitated by the applicant within the last year who can rate leadership skills.


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


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