Ensuring a Successful NERC Audit in 2014 with “Living” RSAWs

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Certrec’s “Living” RSAW Solution Cuts Through the Complexity of Reliability Standard Audit Worksheets (RSAWs) Pre-Audit Narrative, Evidence, & Submittal Requirements

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RSAWs are the 'make it or break it' component of your NERC audit – as they are the road map of your compliance program, says Ted Enos, Certrec President.

Certrec, a leading licensing and regulatory compliance service provider that supports NRC and NERC compliance, is pleased to announce its “Living” Reliability Standard Audit Worksheet (RSAW) solution for complying with NERC audit requirements.

NERC Compliance Enforcement Authorities (CEAs) use Reliability Standard Audit Worksheets (RSAWs) to determine if Registered Entities comply with applicable reliability standards and requirements, to identify non-compliances (potential violations), and to issue sanctions.

“RSAWs are the ‘make it or break it’ component of a NERC audit – as they are the road map of a Registered Entity’s compliance program,” says Ted Enos, President of Certrec. “The RSAW is also an Entities’ primary method of communicating its internal compliance process, controls, and evidence as:

  •     they determine whether or not sufficient evidence supports compliance with applicable NERC standards and requirements,
  •     they are the tool for identifying non-compliances and potential violations, and
  •     they serve as a public record of an audit.”

“Regulatory audits of Registered Entities are typically 3 to 6 years apart,” notes Enos. “This often challenges resource-strapped NERC Compliance managers due to:

  •     RSAW knowledge gaps between audits,
  •     the difficulty of RSAW preparation,
  •     inconsistent RSAW implementation during audits,
  •     lack of central repository for RSAW files, folders, and evidence, and
  •     exacting RSAW submittal package requirements.”

Certrec’s “Living” RSAW Solution Cuts Through the Complexity of Narrative, Evidence, and Submittal Compliance

RSAW narrative requirements have been changing - requiring Registered Entities to more clearly depict the linkages between the standards, requirements, and narratives to specific evidence in the requirement.

Certrec’s “Living” RSAW is a web-based solution for creating, managing, and submitting RSAW documentation and evidence in compliance with NERC submission criteria.

Certrec’s “Living” RSAW solution quickly cuts through the complexity of managing RSAWs with a template-based solution pre-loaded with regulatory standards, requirements, directives, and criteria (NERC, Regional Entity, ISO and RTO) and compliance narratives.

What makes the “Living” RSAW solution even more unique is that the Registered Entity’s policies, procedures, evidence files, and lifecycle changes are then relationally linked to the applicable NERC standards and requirements within the RSAW – as well as Regional Entity, ISO and RTO requirements, criteria, and directives.

Also of significant benefit is the inclusion of “One Click” RSAW package submittal – a web-based submittal tool that gives compliance managers the ability to submit self-audit or regulatory audit RSAW packages with the click of a mouse.

The “Living” RSAW allows NERC compliance managers to easily keep completed RSAWs up to date with ever-changing NERC standards, requirements, guidance, and lifecycle changes. Changes made to the NERC Approved RSAWs do not significantly impact the “Living” RSAW, as Certrec updates the templates.

Founded in 1988, Certrec is an engineering and technology based organization providing regulatory support services in the electric power industry. With over 600 cumulative years of direct industry experience (including nuclear, fossil, and renewables), Certrec has developed exceptional capabilities to support regulatory activities emanating from regulatory entities such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) , North American Electric Reliability Corporation and Regional Entities (NERC) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others regulatory agencies. Certrec's Office of Licensing and Compliance (OLC), Office of Assessment and Recovery (OAR), Office of NERC Compliance (ONC), and Office of New Plant (ONP) services are used by utilities and entities across the United States to help manage the regulatory process to their advantage.

Certrec offers support from highly skilled and experienced industry professionals including degrees in a variety of engineering disciplines (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, and Nuclear). Additionally Certrec's staff has multiple degreed personnel in physics, communications, a variety of MBAs, and information technology. This highly skilled team of personnel has direct working experience in all regulatory areas of licensing, compliance, and engineering including nuclear, fossil, and renewable generation and transmission.

For over 25 years, Certrec has been utilizing its hundreds of years of industry experience to help clients develop and manage solutions to complex regulatory issues. Combining this direct industry experience with Certrec's Information Technology assets has led to development of technology-based solutions and tools directly targeted to the electric power industry and specifically focused on helping clients manage regulatory issues.

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Michelle Thomas
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