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Commissioning Fundamentals and a Practical Approach

Timothy D. Blackburn, MBA, P.E.

Course Outline

Have you ever experienced something not working, but discovered long after start-up? Do you have an uneasy feeling that something might not be installed correctly, but don't know how to verify? Then try commissioning. Actually, Commissioning is nothing new. What good engineer would not confirm an installation works? But if commissioning is documented poorly, it is inadequate. If it is done improperly, it is inadequate. Projects routinely have problems. One part of the solution is to have a robust and documented Commissioning process (assuming the design is robust in the first place). However, we can go to far and judge success by the weight of the paper generated. How can Commissioning be implemented meaningfully in the real world? This course will attempt to answer this question. The Author has been a leader in the Pharmaceutical industry in the application of documented Commissioning to minimize the regulated paperwork required for Validation/Qualification. He shares his learned experience in this course in the practical application of commissioning, whether in a regulated industry or not. This course is to a general audience - see separate material for specific applications to the Pharmaceutical industry.

The fundamentals of Commissioning are examined, typical Commissioning documentation are discussed, practical applications described, and a practical implementation strategy is offered.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, you will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for all engineering disciplines, especially those involved in Commissioning for projects. As well, Architects, Contractors, and Owners will benefit.

Benefit to Attendees

This course explains the fundamentals of Commissioning, and offers practical approaches. The Attendee should be better able to implement effective and efficient commissioning, which offers better first-time start-up and reduced "after-the-fact" problems in projects.

Course Introduction

Commissioning is an essential step in delivering a project. Without it, we cannot have assurance of a quality outcome. This course offers a general overview along with a practical approach to commissioning.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (120 KB) Commissioning Fundamentals and a Practical Approach. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

Commissioning is a worthwhile exercise. It minimizes punch lists and provides higher assurance of project success. Commissioning is an important exercise to ensure what we installed is what we specified, and it works as specified. However, commonsense should prevail. Do no more or no less than is needed, and your project will benefit. Remember to "InVEST" wisely (Integrate Commissioning with Qualification, Verify, Ensure Qualification Success, Sensible, Traceable/Document it) and set SMART Acceptance Criteria in the beginning (Sensible, Maintainable, Accurate, Range, Traceable).


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.