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Checklists - An Important Tool In Engineering Design

Wikipedia gives the definition of a checklist as follows:

A checklist is a type of informational job aid used to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task.

For further reading refer:

In engineering design of a chemical process plant there can be several checklists. Some examples for engineering design checklists are as follows:

1. Checklist for Process Flow Diagram (PFD)

2. Checklist for Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDS)

3. Checklists for Equipment Data Sheet (e.g. Pumps. Tanks, Vessels, Compressors, Mixers, Dryers, Package Items etc.)

4. Checklists for Instrument Data Sheets (Flow meters, Pressure Measurement, Temperature Measurement, Analytical Instruments etc.)

5. Checklist for Vendor Data Analysis

6. Checklist for Piping Isometrics and GA Drawings

7. Checklist for Electrical Single Line Diagrams

8. Checklist for Instrument Loop Diagrams

Any engineering design activity can be verified for accuracy and completeness using a checklist. The above are just a few examples which I have provided and there can be many more.

Checklist formats generally have a description of what needs to be checked in the document as various bullet points with a check box next to it. The engineer or designer needs to check out the box with a X or √ after verifying that the requisites of the particular point mentioned in the checklist are fulfilled for the document being checked. Usually a checklist will have a long list of descriptive points which need to be checked against the document under checking. The engineer or designer needs to check each of the points in the checklist against the document being checked and tick of the check boxes for compliance against the points in the checklist.

Most established engineering consulting companies have standard checklist formats for most engineering design activities. However, these standard checklists need to be reviewed periodically as part of the overall quality management system of the organization in keeping with the latest changes in engineering design philosophy and client requirements. Sometimes clients themselves have their own engineering design checklists and there should be a mutual agreement between the consultant and client for their usage at the start of the project.

In certain cases checklists may be developed on a need basis for a particular design activity or for a particular project if there are no standard formats available. This should be done in a consultative manner with all concerned with the objective of enhancing the design quality of the engineering documents.

Concluding my blog post I reiterate that checklists are a great tool for quality engineering design and provide a great help in generating error-free engineering documents. The motto of first-time-right is greatly aided by checklists as well as the immense help they provide in cutting down time (man hours) in engineering design.

I would really love to have comments from the members of the "Cheresources" community about my blog posting.


I have even seen a master checklist to ensure all other specific checklists have been accurately filled...
Yes, many established consultants do have check list as stated. But all this checklist are not open source. Would it not be an good idea to make various check list with cheresources as an open platform where the experience of the senior engg will guide new engineers. Helping new engg to give a safer design is again service to the society. The check list being open can be commented by others also and can be a starting point for new engs.

Senior engineers of the forum can volunteer to be the controller of any one selected area. With his experience and others input he can modify & finalize the check list.
Great idea!
Divyang / Sheiko

I saw some checklist points for P&IDs and PFDs at:



Maybe you have something to share which can be shared without violating copyright issues you can share. I would be very glad to provide comments.

I had once tried to prepare some check list in excel. The file cannot be uploaded in comments hence I have pasted below few of the points. (The points are compiled after having a HAZOPS session with one of the consultants.) The job is extensive but worth doing.

Checklist for in house modification
1 High/Low pressure spec change
Control valve
Utilities into equipment
Utilities out of equipments
- - - -
2 Relief Devices
CSO / LO valves between equipments
Exchangers,Pumps TRV

- - - -
4 Specific Safety Equipment
Emergency isolation valve / Remote opt valve required?
Fire protection / Safety shower / Eye wash
Gas detection
- - - -
5 Typical Piping arrangements
Control valves
Sample points
- - - -
6 Freeze protection / Winterization
Freezing pt of fluid
Tracing of lines
Tracing of equipments
- - - -
7 Isolation
Equipment (Vessal, Hex etc.)
Battery limits
Emergency process isolation-(Fire, etc)
Utilities (N2, Steam out, Plant air etc)
B) This is true.

It's a kind of quality control procedure which, even not required, should be practiced by all professionals working in a job which requires accuracy, correctness and completeness. Not only that it is essential but it reduces the amount of human errors specially when no one is going to check your work. It also reduces the time to do reworks.

In my present company, it is a part of the quality procedure. But care must be taken in using such checklist. It should be up-to-date, meaning it is based on the speficications and philosophies of the project that you are working on. Otherwise, it will cause problem if used without double checking the items written on it.

Nice post. B)
I found other checklists for P&IDs on the net:



I also have a couple of other engineering companies checklists....
Mr. Shah, Mr. Ankur,

I agree with you that if one can share these check lists we should!

During my working years, (I am now retired .. yet once in a while offering consultancy) our company had its own standards for several items including standard specifications (for Pumps, compressors, Tanks, etc. etc.) But these are not now available on line as open sources. I shall try to upload these as & when I come across / or develop these in future.

Best wishes,

useful post & comments, Thank you all
Dear all,

I am looking for checklists for equipment process datasheets like vessel, storage tank, heat exchanger,...
Could you please kindly send me sample checklists to my email:

Thank you very much

Thank you


I am new in your community here the website of engineering checklist : P&ID ....



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