Requirements for CPW®

The development and use of effective and user-friendly operating and maintenance procedures in process facilities is essential for safe and efficient operations.  Procedures may be of varying types, including standard operating procedures, safe work practices, emergency operating procedures, and maintenance procedures.  Writing effective procedures involves understanding how to design them so that they are relied upon and adhered to. A competent procedure writer must know when a procedure is needed and the human factors principles involved in using them.

This certification is intended for individuals who routinely write procedures. A certified procedure writer has a minimum of three years of relevant experience and writes procedures regularly.

This individual understands the desirable characteristics of procedures and knows how to achieve them. They can organize, structure, and format procedures to address human factors considerations. Also, they can determine when procedures are needed and evaluate existing procedures.

The individual understands how much detail should be included in a procedure, how to present numerical information, how to use graphics and calculations, how lists and tables should be used, and how and when notes and warnings should be included. They can use transitions and deal with non-standard steps such as non-sequential, concurrent, and time-dependent.

Primacert expects that a Certified Procedure Writer using the designation, CPW®, can demonstrate competency by meeting the following requirements:


Academic Qualifications

  • A degree from an accredited university or college in a relevant technical discipline is required. At a minimum, degree includes three years relevant, full-time tertiary education.
  • If you do not meet these requirements, you may contact PCS to inquire about alternative qualifications.


  • A minimum of three years of recent and relevant work experience.
  • Relevant work experience must include developing a minimum of two process-safety-related procedures within the last year.

Work Product

  • A detailed procedure prepared within the last year by the applicant must be submitted together with any associated guidelines that were used in its development.


  • Successful completion within the last three years of training that teaches procedure writing skills, such as Primatech's Principles of Procedure Writing and Advanced Procedure Writing.


  • Two references from supervisor / manager / peer who can attest to academic qualifications, work experience, professional ethics, and responsibility for work products.