Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is a risk management approach used to manage the overall risk of a plant by focusing inspection efforts on the static equipment having the highest risk. The RBI methodology provides the basis for making informed decisions on inspection frequency, the extent of inspection, and the most suitable type of NDE. In most processing plants, a large percent of the total unit risk will be concentrated in a relatively small percent of the equipment items. These potential high-risk components may require greater attention, perhaps through a revised inspection plan. The cost of the increased inspection effort may sometimes be offset by reducing excessive inspection efforts in the areas identified as having the lower risk.

RBI defines the risk of operating pressurized process equipment as the combination of two separate elements: the probability of failure (POF) and consequence of failure (COF).

API RBI technology systematically factors risk into inspection decision-making, helping to identify areas of vulnerability by confirming equipment condition, identifying damage mechanisms and rates, and predicting POF. The outputs of a RBI study help plant personnel make more informed decisions and target inspection dollars where they are needed most.