How to Get a NERC Certification

Posted On: February 19, 2018

What’s NERC?

NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) monitors, regulates, and implements compliance policies for power system operators in the U.S. and Canada. NERC certification promotes safe power systems through reliability standards, the widely accepted regulatory standards for bulk-power system operators, owners, and workers. NERC uses these standards for audits ensuring efficient, safe, and reliable power sources for households and business operations.

Why is NERC Important?

Dependable power production relies on the regulation of bulk power systems. It is a critical responsibility as a disruption can affect many locations and customers. The bulk-power system is an interconnected electric energy transmission network that provides electric energy from generation facilities maintaining transmission system reliability. Reliable power production is achieved through the enforcement of standards and the certification of system operators.

How Does NERC Ensure Compliance?

NERC compliance ensures safety and efficiency in all generation and distribution companies through standards compliance, including:

  1. Power plant monitoring
  1. Standards enforcement
  1. Registration and recognition of power system operators
  1. Certification of compliant power plants and companies
  1. Regional compliance and monitoring of certified power plant companies

How Do You Get Your NERC Certification?

System operators work in power plant control rooms handling the bulk power system during normal and emergency operations. NERC’s System Operator Certification Program seeks to ensure system operators meet minimum qualifications. To earn NERC certification, an operator passes an exam and completes NERC‐approved continuing education every three years.

What is on the NERC Certification Exam?

NERC’s system operator certification exam is based on job analysis surveys of certified operators across the industry. There are four exams containing 100 to 120 questions: Reliability Exam, Balancing, Interchange, and Transmission Exam, Transmission Exam, and Balancing Exam. Each exam will test the following major knowledge areas:

  • Resource and Demand Balancing
  • Transmission
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Emergency Response
  • Contingency Analysis and Reliability
  • Communications and Data

How Do You Prepare to Take the NERC Certification Exam?

NERC recommends that the NERC certification exam content outlines be used in conjunction with NERC Reliability Standards and power system operation reference books and materials. To prepare to take the certification exam, operators are wise to sign up for a NERC certification exam prep program covering the major subjects tested in the four NERC exams like those offered by

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