NERC Certification Exam Prep FAQ
The regulation of bulk power systems is critical for the reliable production of power. A disruption can affect many locations and customers. The bulk-power system includes facilities and control systems that operate an interconnected electric energy transmission network and electric energy from generation facilities maintaining transmission system reliability. Do you need NERC certification and wonder what it’s all about and what’s required? Read on for a rundown of NERC certification exam prep basics.
What is NERC?NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) monitors, regulates, and implements compliance policies for power system operators. All power plant companies providing bulk-power plant systems, power generation, power transmission, and power distribution in the U.S. and Canada are required to comply with NERC standards. NERC promotes safe power systems through their array of NERC reliability standards. The NERC Reliability Standards are 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.
How are NERC Standards Applied?NERC compliance aims to ensure safety and efficiency in all generation and distribution companies using different kinds of power sources. Key ways NERC ensures standards compliance include:
- NERC monitoring of power plants to measure and specify possible improvements and changes.
- Enforcement of current standards and compliance procedures for the whole operation.
- Registration and recognition of power system operators as fully functioning using NERC reliability standards.
- Certification of power plants and companies as certified NERC-compliant, which includes employee training and orientation.
- Regional compliance and monitoring of certified power plant companies to ensure possible violations aren’t overlooked.
What is NERC System Operator Certification?To promote the reliability of the North American power system, the System Operator Certification Program seeks to ensure system operators meet minimum qualifications. Once an operator passes an exam, he or she must maintain certification by completing NERC‐approved continuing education every three years.
What is the NERX Exam?Qualification is done by testing operators’ specific knowledge of job skills and Reliability Standards. NERC’s system operator certification exam prepares operators to handle normal and emergency operations in bulk power systems. The exam is based on job analysis surveys of certified operators across the industry. This information also forms the content outline for the four exams:
- Reliability Exam: 120 scored questions
- Balancing, Interchange, and Transmission Exam: 120 scored questions
- Transmission Exam: 100 scored questions
- Balancing Exam: 100 scored questions
What Do the Exams Cover?NERC provides exam content outlines listing the knowledge areas tested and the number of questions asked. Each exam will test the following major knowledge areas:
- Resource and Demand Balancing
- Emergency Preparedness
- Emergency Response
- Contingency Analysis and Reliability
- Communications and Data
What does a NERC Certification Exam Prep Cover?As you might expect, a NERC certification exam prep will cover the major subjects tested in the four NERC exams. The 360training.com NERC Certification Exam Training packages are made for non–certified operators in preparation for the exam. Topics include a three–part review on system operations and a NERC Certification exam preparation that counts as both completion exam and eight CE hours:
- Module 1: Power Generation, Transmission, and Interchange
- Module 2: System Protection and Control
- Module 3: System Operations and PSR
- Module 4: Practice Exam
What are the Course Objectives?After completing a NERC Certification Exam Training program, learners should be ready to take the exam and be able to:
- Describe how power generation, transmission, and interchange relate to and support bulk electric system reliability.
- Explain how the key components of System Protection and System Control support reliability.
- Discus how specific system operations in routine and power system restoration (PSR) serve to maintain and/or restore system reliability.