Want to understand HOW your system has failed? ... or will fail?

whether you need to better understand how long it will take your system to fail, or what things you need to address to improve the reliability of your system, FAULT TREES can help


  • Virtual (synchronous) delivery

  • Video lessons recorded with 12 month access

  • Downloadable INTERACTIVE PDF workbook

  • Includes ONE on ONE interaction with instructor

  • Can be delivered specifically to your ORGANIZATION

  • Scope for TAILORING content 


Fault trees are visual representation methodologies that represent our understanding of how faults progress to a state of failure.


Fault trees can be used to model system reliability where the reliability performance characteristics of components are used to determine system reliability performance characteristics. This allows us to model Time to Failure (TTF) at a system level if we have a good understanding of component TTF. This can then be used to inform things like warranty period determination or reliability at any point in usage.

Fault trees can also be used from the perspective of Root Cause Analysis (RCA). This usually occurs when we have observed a failure (or undesirable event) and want to ‘collectively brainstorm’ a series of explanations as to why it occurred. Fault trees used in this way can be used to identify likely ‘root causes’ that can either be the subject of further investigation or be designed out of the system. Fault trees used in this context support ‘reliability improvement’ more than ‘reliability measurement.’

Fault trees in this way can be used in a fundamentally more valuable context where we focus on preventing problems like failure before they occur. Fault trees used in this way are often parts of larger proactive reliability engineering activities like Failure Mode and Effects Analyses (FMEAs). If failure is defined as any event where we fail to meet our customer or user expectations, fault trees can help us do robust, customer-centric design. This is where we prioritize what features matter the most to our customers, and we incorporate really simple design changes very early in the production lifecycle to become or remain an industry leader.

Students who design, manufacture or need to otherwise manage any sort of product or equipment will benefit from this course. FTA can be used for modelling TTF and informing key business plan decisions. FTA can be used to identify root causes of failure – both in the past and in the future. This means that FTA can be used to prevent problems, including issues that may introduce production costs and delays. FTA can be used to identify the VITAL FEW problems and issues our product, systems or services need to focus on.


The course is broken down into 11 lessons that take you through the fundamentals of FTA, broken down into ‘three’ perspectives: system reliability modelling; RCA; and robust customer-centric design. These modules are based on an example that is iteratively developed throughout the course, with students completed exercises and questions in the workbook.


There is a total of 4 hours of lessons.

Lesson #1 - Introduction ... where we introduce you to fault trees and FTA and show you a couple of examples.

Lesson #2 - Using fault trees to MODEL system reliability ... where students are taught how to use fault trees to represent how component ‘functional states’ relate ti system ‘functional states.’

Lesson #3 - Modelling complex system reliability ... where we take what we learned in Lesson #2 and develop it for more modelling more complex systems.

Lesson #4 - Using fault trees to ANALYZE system reliability ... where students are taught how to use fault trees (like those developed in Lessons #2 and #3) to generate system reliability performance characteristics.

Lesson #5 - Dependent failure ... where we look at some more specific instances of system reliability modelling, which includes failures across multiple components due to Common Cause Failure (CCF) and other factors that might influence systems we believe have redundancy.

Lesson #6 - Complex system reliability analysis exercise ... this is a completely guided, step by step process where students are mentored through a problem that requires a complex system to have its reliability analyzed.

Lesson #7 - Fault trees and Root Cause Analysis (RCA) ... where we change perspectives and start using fault trees to identify the potential root causes for an observed failure.

Lesson #8 - Robust, customer-centric design ... where we change perspectives (slightly) again to use fault trees to prevent all manners of problems (ranging from production issues through to customer failure) where we define failure to be any event where we fail to meet customer expectations.

Lesson #9 - Fault trees and cut sets ... where cut sets are used in various reliability engineering applications. This lesson teaches students what cut sets are and how we can use fault trees to find them.

Lesson #10 - Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) … the procedure ... many textbooks and courses stop before this lesson. They take students through the theory of FTA, but don’t teach them how to come up with a strategy for the team conducting FTA.

Lesson #11 - Fault tree pros and cons ... where we summarize what we have learned about fault trees, along with identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Fault trees are like any other tool – engineers need to know when they are and are not appropriate for the problem at hand.


We have more more stuff for you below if you need a more formal understanding of how this course can help you.