The topic of this paper is the implementation of effective training programs for Distribution System Operators. Some of the things we will explore are:
- Whether or not what the industry has done for Transmission Operators is a good model for Distribution operators
- Appropriate uses of generic training resources
- An overview of the Systems Approach to Training (SAT), including its foundational premises and main benefits, general mechanics of its implementation, and the resources needed to implement it
Is What’s Good for Transmission Good for Distribution Too?
As you probably already know, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC’s) reliability standard PER-005 mandated that Transmission Operators, Balancing Authorities, Reliability Coordinators, and some Transmission Owners implement a systematic approach to implement training for System Operators performing real time reliability related tasks on the Bulk Electric System (BES). This was done because it was recognized that the competence of these operators can have a significant impact on the reliability of the BES and therefore it is critical that they be adequately trained.
While implementing an SAT-based training program, transmission entities not only comply with PER-005 (which makes compliance departments happy), but they get appropriate, effective, and efficient training for new and veteran operators. Also inherent in the SAT approach is the addressing of both initial training for new hires as well as continuing training for veteran operators.
Now that the industry has gotten used to the idea of SAT for transmission operations, some people are speculating that similar regulations may be pushed down to the distribution level. This has influenced them to begin implementing the SAT approach for their distribution operations organizations. Others, having witnessed the approach being applied in their transmission organizations and liking what they have seen, would like to duplicate that structure and discipline in their distribution organizations too.