Independent/Functional Safety Assessment or Evaluation


An independent functional safety assessment is one of the requirements of AS 61508 "Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems", and appears as an evaluation in Def(Aust) 5679 "The Procurement Of Computer-based Safety Critical Systems" and under a variety of guises in other safety standards.

The major aim of an independent safety assessment is to provide an independent opinion on whether the system is acceptably safe. How this opinion is used, and who makes the final decision, depends upon the regulatory framework within which the system is being produced.

Independent safety assessments may be carried out at various stages in the safety life cycle. One requirement of AS 61508 "Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems" is that communication be established with the assessor to ensure that the assessor is able to do their job. This is often supplemented by an assessment being carried out after the safety requirements are derived but before realisation begins.

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As the name suggests, there are often independence requirements attached to an assessment.