“No Audit” Audit Preparation by Certrec Saves Thousands

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Regional entity cancelled regularly scheduled audit for this Certrec client.

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We are very pleasantly surprised to learn about the decision to forego an onsite audit. Certrec developed our NERC Compliance program years ago, understanding our goal to always be in compliance. ~Wind Fleet NERC Compliance Associate

Certrec, a leading regulatory compliance and licensing service provider that supports NERC and NRC Compliance, announced today that a registered entity customer had a regularly scheduled audit cancelled based on its robust program.

“No Audit” – Recently, a registered entity scheduled for an audit was queried about the Internal Compliance Program (ICP) by the regional entity. The regional entity communicated that the registered entity could provide its ICP, any internal controls and evidence of implementation for review. Based upon the very positive results of the regulator’s review, the regularly scheduled audit was cancelled.

“We were very pleasantly surprised to learn about the decision to forego an onsite audit. Certrec developed our NERC Compliance program years ago, understanding our goal to always be in compliance,” says Wind Fleet NERC Compliance Associate.

Certrec developed the registered entity’s NERC Compliance program including the ICP several years ago and has managed the program since development. The registered entity’s ICP provided auditable evidence of their internal controls and their effectiveness in full coverage of the applicable NERC Standards and Requirements. Additionally, all elements of a robust ICP were in place. The registered entity was able to provide “stacking evidence” in all cases demonstrating the depth and breadth of their compliance program’s implementation.

Background – The registered entity, a Generator Owner and Operator, recognized the importance and cost savings of a robust ICP. The registered entity recognized very early that they lacked sufficient resources to handle their NERC Compliance program. Certrec was chosen to build their ICP and support them through real-time ongoing compliance support. Providing the necessary expertise, self-assessment, engineering, and infrastructure ensures ongoing compliance with NERC Reliability Standards. Choosing Certrec helped the registered entity achieve their goal of continuous compliance.

Significant Investment, Significant Savings – Many registered entities, as well as regional entities, invest significant resources in audit preparation. Initially, the registered entity organizes and reviews procedures, policies, and evidence. SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) are identified and prepared for their role in the audit. Mock audits are held to prepare the team for a successful audit with their regional entity. During these activities, the regional entity is preparing for the audit: reviewing previous audits with the registered entity, deciding how many and what standards will be included in the audit, staffing, etc.

When all aspects are considered, the registered entity and the regional entity, each have invested thousands of dollars in resources to prepare for an audit. Some estimates range from $75,000 to $100,000 for each entity.

Determine Current State of Regulatory Program – Many registered entities may find audit preparation challenging due to the dynamic, and, sometimes, complex technical nature of the associated regulations. Often these regulations can be misunderstood, and, in some cases, go unnoticed by the registered entity. A proven regulatory program can provide significant savings. NERC pays close attention to entities that historically experience challenges in compliance, adding more frequent audits, increased in depth reviews, and, possibly, fines.

With Certrec your NERC work is done once and done right.

Founded in 1988, Certrec is an engineering and technology based organization providing regulatory support services in the electric power industry. With over 1,000 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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