Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA)

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 11.5

Online | Face-to-Face | In-company


This course will develop your understanding of the Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) methodology and how to apply it. LOPA is a semi-quantitative tool used for analysing and assessing risk on a process plant which uses an order of magnitude technique to evaluate the adequacy of existing or proposed layers of protection against known hazards.

The course will help you understand how significant scenarios are categorised and tolerable frequencies assigned for identified hazardous events. You will also learn to assign risk categories and determine how many Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) should be in place. The course also covers the specification and requirements for a protection layer to be accepted as an IPL.

All the essential LOPA steps are practised in workshops, including the use of software tools. Course materials include a compendium of LOPA research papers, reference materials and further reading.

Course outline

  • Concept, purpose and principles of LOPA
  • LOPA methodology (selecting scenarios, the LOPA process, describing scenarios, estimating initiating event frequencies, independent protection layers and their reliability)
  • LOPA study and documentation
  • Advanced aspects 
  • Facilitating a LOPA study
  • Responsibilities and challenges

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you will understand:

  • the LOPA methodology and how to apply it
  • how to decide if a process needs a safety instrumented system (SIS)
  • what safety integrity level (SIL) is required
  • how to define an Independent Protection Layer (IPL)
  • how to implement a process to manage these systems through the life cycle of an installation
  • how to lead a LOPA study.

Who will benefit

  • Process safety engineers
  • Loss prevention specialists
  • Production engineers
  • Process design engineers
  • Project engineers
  • Process programmers
  • Instrument control designers
  • Anyone responsible for leading a LOPA study

Previous delegates said

"All of a sudden, the whole concept came together as an 'aha'."
Trevor Hughes, Hughes Consultancy and Research, UK

"Exactly the required information for me to carry out LOPA activities."
Philip Gow, Mexichem, UK

"I found the real-life examples very useful to aid understanding."
Paul Nash, Natural Resources Wales, UK

"The theory and principles were covered very well and enabled me to put them into practice in the worked examples."
S Allan, Johnson Matthey, UK

"I came away from the course with a good understanding of what LOPA is about and how to apply it."

D Stevenson, Lanxess Urethanes, UK 

"The trainer was very engaging with good practical examples and good interaction with the group."
S Branagh, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Ireland

"The best thing about the course was the practical discussion around the application of LOPA and the common pitfalls."
V Gupta, Lagoni Engineering, UK

Upcoming courses


Online courses consist of three live and interactive modules with the trainer on the dates indicated together with pre-recorded video content for independent study alongside the live sessions.

From 19 September 2023

  • Module 1 – 19 September 2023, 10:00–13:00 BST
  • Module 2 – 26 September 2023, 10:00–13:00 BST
  • Module 3 – 3 October 2023, 10:00–13:00 BST

From 19 October 2023

  • Module 1 – 19 October 2023, 09:30–12:30 AWST/MYT / 11:30–14:30 AEST / 14:30–17:30 NZDT
  • Module 2 – 24 October 2023, 09:30–12:30 AWST/MYT / 11:30–14:30 AEST / 14:30–17:30 NZDT
  • Module 3 – 26 October 2023, 09:30–12:30 AWST/MYT / 11:30–14:30 AEST / 14:30–17:30 NZDT

From 21 November 2023

  • Module 1 – 21 November 2023, 14:00–17:00 GMT
  • Module 2 – 28 November 2023, 14:00–17:00 GMT
  • Module 3 – 5 December 2023, 14:00–17:00 GMT

Live sessions are delivered via Microsoft Teams. If you don't already have this installed, you can join as a guest in order to access the training.

Please note: this course uses example spreadsheets that do not display correctly on a Mac computer. You are therefore strongly advised to use a Windows-based PC to access the course. 


  • 21–22 September 2023, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia POSTPONED
  • 27–28 September 2023, Aberdeen, UK
  • 9–10 October 2023, Boksburg, South Africa
  • 10–11 October 2023, Brisbane, Australia 
  • 13–14 November, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 6–7 December 2023, Manchester, UK

Not available then?

Register your interest in alternative dates.


Course fees vary depending on delivery format and location. Select your preferred course date to see the relevant fees.

How to register

Select your preferred course from the list of upcoming start dates and go to the 'Book course' button at the bottom of this page.

More than one person to train?

Multi-place discounts

Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place. Bookings must be made at the same time to receive the discount.

  • 2 places – 10% discount
  • 3 places –15% discount
  • 4 or more places – 20% discount

In-company training

This course can be delivered to corporate teams, either on-site or online. This could be a cost-effective option if you have several people requiring the training. Content can be tailored to your specific requirements. Request a quotation.

Attendance certificate & CPD hours

An e-certificate will be issued at the end of the course to confirm attendance and CPD hours logged. Please note that you must attend the whole course to receive the certificate. 

In the case of online courses, CPD hours should be used as an approximate guide and will vary depending on the preferred approach of the delegate and to what extent additional learning is completed.

Associated course

Process Risk Assessment

Learn about risk assessment in the process industries and why it is key to protecting against process safety incidents.

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