I recall the first time I was called an “expert.” I thought that sounded nice. I spotted a magazine article on safety and thought “I do not have to read that as I am an expert.” I quickly recovered. The real problem with being called an expert is that many forget how fast knowledge grows and they quickly become NOT an expert. Luckily I enjoy learning. I spread out my advanced degree college education over many years at night school while working. The degree was not the top priority as learning was fun but it was nice to get the degrees. I did have a motivation issue after getting a PhD. There was nothing higher to get.
I believe a similar situation has prompted several Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE) holders to ask for more. CFSEs have complained that although the CFSE program is considered the highest competency demonstration in the world, it was too general. The program did not provide a way to show more in depth knowledge in specific areas. Thus the CFSE Endorsement Program was created. A series of new exams have been created that focus on one particular area in the safety lifecycle. The questions of these exams are tougher and show more depth than the more general questions of the CFSE exam.
Specific endorsements that can be earned by passing the exams include:
- Functional Safety Management (FSM)
- Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
- Consequence Analysis
- SIF Design
- SIL Verification
- SIL Target Selection / LOPA
- Safety Requirements
- Proof Test Planning
- Maintenance Data Analysis
- Application Software
- SIS Operation & Maintenance
- Alarm Management
- Control System Cybersecurity
I recall the scouting program I joined when very young. I remember different levels: Second Class, First Class, and Eagle. And I recall colorful “merit badges” that could be earned even as a Second Class. It was a good program and I found it motivational. I find the new CFSE Endorsement Program motivational as well, and I am looking forward to adding Endorsements to my CFSE credentials.