The exida Certification Program

The exida IEC 61508 Certification Program was established in 2005 in response to demand primarily from end users in the process industries and manufacturers of instrumentation products. There was a need to provide a higher quality of technical expertise with effective and responsive service.  

We're Internationally Accredited.

exida is an accredited Certification Body (CB) authorized to perform product certification by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the technical fields of functional safety and cyber-security.  ANSI is the Accreditation Body (AB) for IEC standards in the United States. They are a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).  Most countries in the world have an AB which is a member of IAF .  IAF members have agreed to the Multilateral Recognition Agreement recognizing the equivalence of other member’s accreditations.  Thus IAF member accreditations are valid in most countries of the world.   

Our Process.

The exida IEC 61508 Certification Program offers the most comprehensive product review of any Certification Body (CB) resulting in products that are safer, more secure, easier to use, and more reliable.

exida operates the IEC 61508 Functional Safety Certification Program based on a “scheme” which lists all requirements that a product manufacturer must meet in order to receive an exida Certificate.  These requirements are documented in a “Safety Case.” View the Functional Safety Certification Scheme Description

The exida scheme goes beyond IEC 61508 and requires:

  • a product manufacturer do (or have done) a detailed Failure Modes, Effects, and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) which derives all failure rates for each failure mode of the product.  This includes false trip data not required by IEC 61508 or other CBs.
  • cybersecurity audits per IEC 62443 standards
  • practical manual proof test procedures or automatic proof test functionality.
  • Surveillance audits where engineering changes, field failure data, and design procedures changes are audited to answer the question “Is this product still safe?”  Many functional safety certification programs done per IEC 61508 do not require any surveillance audits.

Safety Cases

exida prepares a full Safety Case for each certification project.  A Safety Case is a complete list of all requirements of the stated scheme along with arguments and evidence that the product under assessment meets all requirements. It is an essential tool to ensure completeness of the certification audit thereby finding potentially dangerous flaws in a product design.  Despite the proven value of this technique, few certification agencies prepare a Safety Case.

Comprehensive Reports & Market Exposure

exida prepares a Certification Report summarizing the audit information in a public format.  This report and a Certificate are publically posted on the exida website under the "Safety Automation Equipment List". This web resource provides the most up to date and comprehensive listing of functional safety and cyber-security certifications available.

Failure Modes Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) Technique

Few manufacturers or certification bodies have the in depth knowledge to perform a Failure Modes Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA).  As exida developed this technique and has refined the method over the last twenty years, our level of expertise is unmatched.  This valuable tool for predicting field failure rates for each failure mode has been shown to accurately match field failure data from the process industries.  Each analysis is backed up by extensive fault injection testing and a detailed field failure study.  This analysis suite results in the most realistic failure rate and failure mode information. This analysis covers both dangerous failures and failure that cause a false trip, Unlike other agencies, exida does not accept manufacturer's warranty failure studies alone as those studies typically show very optimistic results.

Unlike other agencies, exida does not perform "cycle testing" to show random mechanical failure rates. This cycle testing technique does provide some useful life information but should never be used to represent random failure rates.  Instead exida uses the FMEDA technique backed up by a detailed mechanical failure rate database. This database is the result of nearly 300 field failure studies representing over 160 billion unit operating hours in industrial environments.  We believe this to be the largest set of failure data for the process industries in the world.     

Independent audits and assessments

The exida Certification Program is operated globally by exida.com L.L.C. with work performed by its subsidiary companies. Assessors from exida are assigned on a project basis. Individuals are assigned to do the IEC 61508 assessments such that no one who has worked on a project as a consultant may participate in the assessment.  The exida program ensures an independent audit and assessment. 

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