Requirements for CPE®

Process hazard analysis (PHA) is the foundation for process safety. The identification of hazard scenarios for a process using techniques such as the hazard and operability (HAZOP) study is necessary for other aspects of process safety to be addressed properly. Consequently it is essential that individuals who lead PHA 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 PHA studies that are more complex. An Expert has a minimum of ten years of relevant experience and conducts studies frequently. This professional has advanced knowledge and abilities in PHA, for example, how to address human and psychological factors that affect PHA teams.

Primacert expects that a Certified PHA Expert using the designation CPE® 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 ten years of recent and relevant work experience.
  • Relevant work experience must include facilitating a minimum of four PHA studies within the last year.

Work Products

  • Reports that contain the study worksheets from two separate and substantial PHA studies facilitated within the last year by the applicant must be submitted. The PHA procedure(s) and any associated guidelines used must also be submitted to facilitate review of the work products.


  • In addition to the training required for the practitioner and specialist levels, successful completion within the last three years of a training course designed to teach participants PHA leadership skills, such as Primatech's Leadership and Facilitation Skills for  PHA Team Leaders and a training course designed to teach participants an understanding of human factors in process safety, such as Primatech's Understanding and Applying Human Factors 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 PHA studies facilitated by the applicant within the last year who can rate leadership skills.


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


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