Application Design Engineer (Ex12)

Application Design Engineer (Ex12)

The CompEx Ex12 Application Design Engineer qualification has been developed to ensure the core competence of application design engineers who specify electrical equipment in hazardous areas.


This qualification is suitable for aspiring or practising application design engineers who have experience of selecting certified Ex electrical equipment for installations in locations where gases and vapours can potentially create a hazardous environment.

Entry requirements:

  • Practicing competent electrical application design engineers
  • Practicing competent electrical and instrument operatives aspiring to be application design engineers
  • Electrical/instrument engineers aspiring to be application design engineers
  • Employer supporting letter confirming the benefit of the Ex12 course for the individual


5 days


The 5-day course includes:

  • Theory only, no practical elements
  • Guided learning (theoretical 20-25 hours, applied learning 2-4 hours)
  • Various points of assessment throughout the course

The CompEx Ex12 qualification has been developed in consultation with the UK Regulator and industry to ensure that the core competence of application design engineers can be measured and provides a benchmark for employers to meet the competence requirements of the IEC 60079 Series of Standards.

Based upon the IEC standard 60079-14: Electrical installations design, selection and erection, the purpose of the Ex12 qualification is to instruct and assess the competence of candidates who are either aspiring or practising application design engineers.

The course consists of two separate units, Ex12a (Non-Intrinsically Safe equipment) and Ex12b (Intrinsically Safe equipment), which covers the minimum requirements for competence of electrical application design engineers, whose responsibilities include the selection of appropriate certified electrical equipment for pre-determined hazardous areas.

Key learning objectives

Candidates that successfully complete the Ex12 Application Design Engineer qualification will be able to:

  • Ex12A: meet the competency requirements of IEC 60079 -14 for ‘Designers (design & selection)’ for the design of Non-Intrinsically Safe electrical equipment installations in explosive atmospheres.
  • Ex12B: meet the competency requirements of IEC 60079 -14 for ‘Designers (design & selection)’ for the design of Intrinsically Safe electrical equipment installations in explosive atmospheres.

Qualification details

Candidates who are successful in all the assessments will receive a CompEx Certificate in Core Competence. For more details about the content of this qualification and information on the learning objectives please download the Ex12 qualification document.



Assessment is undertaken using applied knowledge assessments and multiple-choice examinations that cover the full Ex12 unit.  For some assessments, candidates are expected to demonstrate their understanding by using documentation and information available to determine the correct answer.


Candidates must undertake several examinations which cover both Ex12a and Ex12b including:

  • Marking exam (45 minutes)
  • Core exam (45 minutes)
  • Standards exam – Parts 1 and 2 (2 hours 15 mins)
  • Design exam – Parts 1 and 2 (3 hours)

Find a centre

Find your nearest licensed CompEx centre and get full contact details using our simple map facility.

Retain certification

Achieving CompEx core competency is essential for practitioners who work in potentially explosive environments, but competency must be maintained following certification.

Resource centre

The CompEx resource centre provides all the essential forms, documentation and downloads that you may need for CompEx training and registration

Applicable industries:

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