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Frequently Asked Questions

Training Requirements:

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 7-34-115(j)(1), 7-82-308(f)(1), 68-221-605(f)(1) & 68-221-1305(f)(1), all local government board members that supervise, control, or operate a public natural gas, public water, or public sewer system, including, but not limited to, those systems using a separate utility board pursuant to any public or private act, must meet the training requirements. 

Comptroller Trainings

The Comptroller’s Office currently provides 17 hours of online training at no cost . The Comptroller’s Office also offers periodic training classes at various locations throughout the State. For questions about Comptroller training opportunities, email utilities@cot.tn.gov or call the Comptroller’s utility line at 615.747.5260 to speak with a utilities specialist.

External Trainings

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 7-34-115(j)(5), 7-82-308(f)(7), 68-221-605(f)(4) & 68-221-1305(f)(4) provides that “[a]ny association or organization with appropriate knowledge and experience may prepare a training and continuing education curriculum" for all utility board members. Other training opportunities can be approved for credit, however, material must be submitted to the comptroller for review and approval prior to use. In order for a training curriculum to be approved it must contain, "board governance, financial oversight, policy-making responsibilities, and other topics reasonably related to the duties of the members of the board."

Internal Trainings

The Comptroller's office is also granted authority to approve internal trainings so long as it is compliant with all requirements listed above.

Retro-Active Approval

Training curricula must be submitted to the Comptroller’s Office for review and approval prior to use, retro-active approval is not available. 

Curriculum Approval

Any organization wishing to have its training approved should fill out and file the form found here. Organizations must submit any changes and updates made to their curriculum, statute also states that training curriculum should be updated every three years and resubmitted to the Comptroller's office.

Municipal Systems:

All Municipal board members that supervise, control, operate a utility system are required to obtain 12 hours of certified utility education within one year of their initial election. If the board member was elected prior to 2017, than their initial training period would have begun on January 1st, 2017. Once the initial 12 hours of training is completed, officials are thereafter required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education within three year periods beginning on the January 1st following completion of the initial training period.

Utility Districts:

All Utility District board members that supervise, control, operate a utility system are required to obtain 12 hours of certified utility education within one year of their initial election. If the board member was elected prior to 2010, than their initial training period would have begun on January 1st, 2010. Once the initial 12 hours of training is completed, officials are thereafter required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education within three year periods beginning on the January 1st following completion of the initial training period.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann §§ 7-34-115(j)(8) & 7-82-308(f)(4), all utility governing body members are required to file an annual written statement with their municipality by January 31 of each year. Please keep in mind that these statements should be filed solely with the municipality, the Comptroller's office does not retain these records. Members must file a training statement even if they did not attend any training within the past year. Furthermore, board members should maintain copies of appropriate supporting documentation, including proof of attendance or completion certificates, for at least two continuing education periods.

Training Extensions

A board member may request a training extension of up to six months from the Comptroller’s Office. The law requires that the request “only be granted upon a reasonable showing of substantial compliance with this subsection (f). If the extension is granted, the board member must complete any additional required training hours necessary to achieve full compliance for only the relevant continuing education period within the extension period. The board member shall file copies of any extension request letters and corresponding Comptroller of the Treasury determination letters with the Tennessee Board of Utility Regulation.” 

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The Tennessee Board of Utility Regulation will have full discretion to order reasonable sanctions against the utility that the board member represents. This can include, but is not limited to losing the ability for the utility to accept grants and issue debt. If the board member is found verdict of guilty on any of the charges, then the suspension shall be made permanent and the board member will be ineligible for re-election.