Requirements for CPS®

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. A Specialist has a minimum of five years of relevant experience and conducts studies regularly. This professional has in-depth knowledge and abilities in PHA to lead studies such as PHA on control systems.

Primacert expects that a Certified PHA Specialist using the designation CPS® 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 PHA studies within the last year.

Work Product

  • A report that contains the study worksheets from a substantial PHA study facilitated within the last year by the applicant must be submitted. The PHA 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 designed to teach participants advanced techniques for performing PHA studies, such as Primatech's Advanced PHA for Team Leaders.


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


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


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