API 581 Overview

This one-day Risk Based Inspection course is designed to help inspection and engineering personnel responsible for fixed equipment mechanical integrity understand the risk-based inspection methodology as defined in API RP 581, 3rd edition.


API 581 Overview

This one-day training provides participants with a basic understanding of the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methodology defined in API Recommended Practice 581, 3rd edition. This RBI training covers:

  • Introduction to API 581
  • Determine Probability of Failure (PoF)
  • Determine Consequence of Failure (CoF)
  • Risk Based Inspection Planning

In addition to the classroom instruction, this course includes excersises designed to help you better understand the RBI methodology defined in API RP 581.


This course walks participants through the published API Recommended Practice 581 Risk-Based Inspection Methodology (3rd Edition) with discussion and exercises designed to provide participants with a basic understanding of key elements of the methodology


  • Introduction to API 581 3rd edition
    • What is the purpose of API 581
    • How API 581 is organized
  • RBI Methodology
    • PoF for Thinning, Cracking, and External Damage
    • CoF (Level 1)
  • Risk Based Inspection Planning
    • Combining PoF and CoF to determine Risk
    • Develop Risk Based Inspection Plans

Who should attend

This training is intended for engineers and inspection personnel involved with corrosion, process safety, mechanical integrity, and RBI in onshore and offshore process industries such as oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical, and power.


Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of RP API 581 and how it is organized
  • Understand how probability of failure is calculated for Thinning, Cracking, and External damage mechanisms
  • Determine how consequence of failure is calculated in an API 581 Level 1 Consequence analysis
  • Identify how POF and COF are combined to determine risk in API 581
  • Describe how risk based inspection planning is accomplished in the API 581 methodology

Included API 581 Overview Course Materials

  • Comprehensive note set
  • Practice exercises to reinforce learning and understanding

Attendee Requirements

Attendees are responsible for their own method of transportation, lodging, and meals. AOC does provide lunch for the day of the course. All attendees are responsible to provide their own copies of the API RP 581 (3rd Edition) documentation.

How much does it cost?

Our standard 1-day API 581 Overview costs $500 / per participant for our in-house offering at our Houston, Texas Headquarters.

When is this course offered?

Unlike our API 580 Training, which is offered in concert with API's certification exam schedule, this course is offered as demand dictates. If no sessions are currently listed at the top of this page, please reach out to us using this form to inquire about our next offering.

Where is this course offered?

This course is available in-house (at AOC) or on-site (at your location) and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization. While we offer this course to the public in our in-house training facility in Houston, Texas, we also provide this course (or variations of this course) in-house or on-site to many other companies around the world.


Leon Johnson, Vice President - Performance and Learning

Leon has over 18 years of experience providing RBI program implementation, management, and training in the refining, gas processing, petrochemical, and chemical industries. Leon has a B.S. in Engineering Technology from the University of Houston and an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University, Kingsville. In addition to API 580 certification, he is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and a Member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

Mike Hurley, Vice President - Technology

Mike has over 20 years of experience providing Inspection, RBI, PSM program implementation, management, and training in the refining, gas processing, petrochemical, and chemical industries, with half or more working directly for major chemical companies. Mike has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas. In addition, he is also certified to API 580.

Rob Sladek, Senior Consultant

Rob brings more than 25 years of Mechanical Integrity experience from both the service provider and Owner/User vantage points. Rob is known for his ability to craft custom Mechanical Integrity solutions ensuring the implementation effort includes the total integration of related processes and available software programs and meets the needs of the end user. Rob's current API certifications include: API 510, 570, 571, 577, 580, 653, and API SIFE.


AOC's policies with respect to cancellation either by the participant or by AOC are as follows:

  • Course Cancelation: Should this course be cancelled due to insufficient attendance, all registration fees shall be refunded. AOC will contact participants 30 days prior to the start of the course to confirm attendance and provide further details. AOC are not responsible for losses in travel/accommodation expenses, therefore it is advised that participants refrain from booking travel/accommodation until they confirm the course with AOC.
  • Participant Cancellation: Any participant that decides not to attend is entitled to transfer their registration to a substitute participant or may attend a later course. No refunds will be given.
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Why Choose AOC

We have been providing Risk Based Inspection training since our inception. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using AOC as your RBI training provider:

  • AOC's consultants have remained at the forefront of RBI and were involved in RBI before API 580/581 even existed.
  • AOC consultants continue to be actively involved in the development of the API 580 Recommended Practice.
  • Our courseware is professionally developed and takes into account current instructional best-practices.
  • AOC trainers are API 580 certified.
  • Our trainers have been facilitating RBI training courses for over 20 years
  • Our trainers are not merely teachers - Between them they have over 60 years practical experience with hundreds of RBI implementations in many diverse plants, operational environments, and regulatory environments around the world.
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About API 581

American Petroleum Institute (API)

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a national trade association that represents all facets of the oil and natural gas industry. Although it's focus is primarily in the US, API is recognized around the world for a broad range of programs. For more than 90 years, API had been at the forefront of the development of petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemical equipment and operating standards and now has an extensive catalog of codesĀ which standardize industry practices.

API offers an Individual Certification Program designed to recognize working professionals who are knowledgeable of industry inspection codes and standards and who are performing their jobs in accordance with such codes and standards. Adherence to API standards and practices is a legal requirement in many US states and has become widely recognized and adopted in many other countries.

Risk Based Inspection (RBI)

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is a methodology used to schedule inspections of equipment in industrial plants. Equipment usually consists of piping or fixed equipment such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers, and storage tanks.

Throughout the refining and petrochemical industry, RBI is becoming an accepted and dominant methodology to schedule pressure equipment inspections. Effective RBI has been proven to improve reliability and safety of such equipment. These benefits have been achieved by mitigating risks (primarily through inspection) associated with loss of containment events caused by damage mechanisms.

RBI is, essentially, a method of optimizing inspection plans so that risk is minimized and return on investment is maximized.

When done correctly, RBI can reduce the frequency of inspections while ensuring the risk does not increase. Conversely, it can shorten inspection frequencies should the risk necessitate it.

This complex nature of RBI has necessitated a need for a formal definition of the methodology.

API Recommended Practice 581

In 2002, API published it's first edition of their Recommended Practice 580 which formally outlines and explains the basic elements for developing, implementing, and maintaining a credible RBI program.

While Recommended Practice API 580, Risk-based Inspection, provides guidance on developing RBI programs, Recommended Practice API RP 581, Risk-Based Inspection Methodology, provides quantitative methods for calculating POF, COF, and developing risk-based inspection plans.

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Course Inquiry

For more information about this course or to inquire about a customized version of this course hosted in-house at our Houston, Texas location or on-site at a location convenient to you, please complete the form below.

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