The Advanced Process Control Certificate is an instructor-led, 100% online program. The certificate consists of three modules covering the different aspects of control loop optimization, faultfinding, and application of advanced control strategies from a non-mathematical and practical point of view. The material is rich in practical examples and features many hands-on exercises (labs) using process simulation software to help understand the important concepts covered during the course. Live online sessions run once a week for the duration of one hour during each of the three modules.

What You Will Learn

  • The characteristics of process dynamics and their relevance to controller tuning.
  • The inner workings of Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers and what each of the three modes actually do.
  • The different controller types, algorithms, and options – and when to use which one.
  • The appropriate tuning techniques for different process types and tuning objectives.
  • How to tune gap, cascade, split-range, and override control strategies.
  • Techniques for quickly assessing the performance of control loops.
  • How to establish if tuning is the real/only problem affecting a particular control loop.
  • How to test the performance of final control elements, such as control valves and dampers.
  • When and how to apply cascade and feedforward controls.
  • The design, use, and tuning of ratio and override controls.
  • How to deal with nonlinear processes and control elements.

Who Should Attend?

The training is intended for process control, instrumentation, and process engineering personnel who want to understand process control, PID controllers, control loop tuning techniques, troubleshooting, and advanced control strategies. The course is designed to provide attendees with sufficient knowledge to optimize PID control loops, determine the root cause of performance problems, and implement advanced regulatory control strategies. It is applicable to technical and supervisory personnel. It is presumed that participants come from a setting where they can apply the knowledge received.

Course Content

This online certificate has three modules. Live online sessions of approximately 60 minutes will be held on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST).


The fee for each module is $1195.00
Register and pay $3295 for the entire Certificate in advance and save $290! Please contact Chris Abraham at 902-494-4792 or 1-800-565-1179 for more information.

Certificate Requirements

It is highly recommended that participants take the in sequential order, however this is not a requirement. The certificate is awarded after the completion of the three modules, including all quizzes and final exams. This represents approximately 90 hours of training which includes online sessions, home study, labs, assignments, and exam preparation. The participants must attain a minimum of 65% for each module and an aggregate average of at least 75% in the program.

Textbook Required

Process Control for Practitioners (2011), by Jacques Smuts, ISBN-10: 0983843813; ISBN-13: 978-0983843818. Available at or can be ordered from OptiControls Inc. by emailing or by calling 713-459-6291.

List Price: $89.95
Shipping (when ordering from OptiControls): Approximately $10 - $15 depending on location
Note: Textbook Price is in US Dollars

Course Materials

  • Downloadable copies of the class slides used each week
  • Downloadable step-by-step instructions for the labs
  • License for the process control simulation software used during labs
  • Controller tuning spreadsheet simplifying process analysis and controller tuning

Computer Requirements

A Microsoft Windows-based computer with Microsoft Excel 2007 or greater and Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for running the simulation software and doing practical exercises.


Jacques Smuts, Ph.D., P.Eng., is the founder and principal consultant of OptiControls Inc., a senior member of ISA, a licensed professional engineer, and has been a process control practitioner for more than 25 years. He is an expert in his field and has optimized thousands of control loops and solved control problems for many companies on a wide range of processes.

Jacques has authored and co-authored numerous technical papers on process control which he presented at international conferences. He is also the author of the book Process Control for Practitioners.

Jacques is an advocate for improving process control and has developed several process control training seminars that he has presented to hundreds of engineers and technicians in several countries. He has developed industrial controller tuning and performance monitoring software programs that are being used in process plants all over the world. Jacques is an authority on industrial process control, controller tuning, and control loop performance monitoring.

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