The Safety Critical Task Analysis (SCTA) Facilitator Course

The Safety Critical Task Analysis (SCTA) Facilitator Course

This is the course for people who wish to facilitate Safety Critical Task Analysis (SCTA) projects and sessions. Whether you’re a complete newbie or whether you have established practices for doing this and want to review and revitalise those or have a refresher, this is the course for you.

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Our company is steeped in SCTA history and has been our core business for decades. David Embrey started publishing on SHERPA in the early 1980’s which captures the task analysis, failure and PIF analysis that makes up the core components of SCTA. Since then we have adapted and innovated in this area, including specialist software to make the improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process and practical hints and tips for getting the most from it. We continue to research and present at international conferences in this area.

What do we learn?

We’ve created a very attractive package getting people up to speed on understanding and conducting SCTA work. The learning objectives include understanding the regulatory context and background to the method, identifying different human failure types and what to do about them, best practice Hierarchical task analysis, failure and PIF analysis, understanding how to conduct good workshops and walkthroughs and what documentation can be produced from this work: SCTA report, risk-informed procedures and task-based competency standards.

All of this is designed to be compliant with the COMAH regulations in the UK, which is similar to what some other areas are adopting, e.g. Asia-Pacific.  

Blended learning approach

This course includes video talks, quizzes, activities, workshops and webinars. Participants will engage with a detailed road tanker offloading case study as part of the course, which has a high degree of vulnerability to different types of human failure.

Flexibility for remote learning

We used to do a two day face to face course before Covid but accelerated plans for an online version. This isn’t just the same but an online form. We have developed new material and take advantage of the online platform – why do something the same when you can do it better? There is consequently more material and we can spread the learning out more so people have more time to digest the material.

How long?

The course is about the equivalent of 3 days’ worth of training spread over a week or a month depending on how fast and flexible clients want the programme.

Software support

HRA has developed specialist SCTA software that makes the process much easier to learn and apply: The SHERPA Software Platform previously know as Human Factors Risk Manager (HFRM).


A demo version of the software is included so participants can see for themselves what value it offers. We like to give participants access to the software beyond the course so they can evaluate it further. The principles we teach are the same and compliant with UK COMAH regulations, this can be achieved with Post It Notes, Word and Excel, so participants can still transfer that learning to these different forms of application. We build in time to talk about the pros and cons of these.

What some of our clients say

  • "This is a course all [Major Hazard Industries] in Singapore should consider as it helps participants acquire the needed knowledge, not only to drive human reliability improvement, but also to meet the Human Factors aspect of the local Safety [Regulations]." Process Safety Manager, Singapore.
  • “The Safety Critical Task Analysis course delivered remotely by HRA Ltd. covered all the elements of SCTA that I wanted out of the course and also provided some very useful hints and tips. The use of video and webinars offers a very effective and productive way of delivering training on this topic and we will be looking to make greater use of this in the future.” Snr Staff HES Engineer, UK.
  • “Flexible modular course focussed on HF & SCTA with use of practical examples to enable HSE professionals, operations and engineers get onto the first rung of the SCTA ladder to improve task based procedures and competence assurance - a must for anyone working on a MAH site.” UK
  • “I found this course to be very informative, As an operator always working with procedures. This course gave me a good foundation on what goes into building a procedure using the software.” UK
  • “I would recommend this course.” UK


Get in touch if you want a group from your organisation to do this, or if you want to find out when our next open course is. [email protected]

More information

The Human Factors Safety Critical Task Analysis Course Webpage.

The FREE 30 minute mini-course gives an overview of the SCTA process (sometimes called Human Factors Critical Task Review) Free mini course HFCTR