Skip to Main Content

Water and Sewer Authority Board Member Training FAQ

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the training requirements set out in Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605 & 68-221-1305. Please be aware that the information below is meant to be only a summary of the requirements rather than a comprehensive restatement of the law. You should direct any specific questions about your training and eligibility to your governmental entity’s attorney, or to speak with a utilities specialist, email utilities@cot.tn.gov or call the Comptroller’s utility line at 615.747.5260.

All members of the board of commissioners of the authority must meet the training requirements. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(1) & 68-221-1305(f)(1). The members of the governing board of any water or sewer authority created by public or private act are subject to the training requirements in Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-82-307 & 308. Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-82-308(f)(9).

The statutes require board members to attend a minimum of twelve hours of training and continuing education in the approved subject matter within one year of initial appointment or election to the board or within one year of reappointment or reelection to the board.

After a board member has satisfied his or her initial twelve hours, he or she is required to obtain twelve hours of training every three years thereafter. The first three-year period begins the January 1st after the calendar year in which the board member completes the initial one-year training period. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(1)-(2) & 68-221-1305(f)(1)-(2).

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(4) & 68-221-1305(f)(4) provide that “[a]ny association or organization with appropriate knowledge and experience may prepare a training and continuing education curriculum for board members covering the subjects set forth in subdivision (f)(3) to be submitted to the comptroller of the treasury for review and approval prior to use.”

The Comptroller’s Office provides seven hours of online training at no cost for board members of authorities. The Comptroller’s Office also offers periodic training classes at various locations throughout the State. For questions about Comptroller training opportunities, contact the Comptroller’s utility line at 615.747.5260 to speak with a utilities specialist.

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(3) & 68-221-1305(f)(3) provides that the subject matter for training includes, but is not limited to, “board governance, financial oversight, policy-making responsibilities, and other topics reasonably related to the duties of the members of the board of commissioners of an authority.”

The Comptroller’s Office will approve internal training so long as it is compliant with all requirements for training set out in Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605 & 68-221-1305.

Training curricula must be submitted to the Comptroller’s Office for review and approval prior to use. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(4) & 68-221-1305(f)(4).

Any organization wishing to have its training approved should submit a detailed syllabus and the appropriate supporting documentation to utilities@cot.tn.gov for approval. For questions, contact a utilities specialist at the above email address or call the Comptroller’s utility line at 615.747.5260.

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(4) & 68-221-1305(f)(4) provide that any changes and updates to your curriculum must be submitted to the Comptroller’s Office for approval prior to use. The statutes further require that “any training and continuing education curriculum approved by the comptroller shall be updated every three (3) years and resubmitted to the comptroller for review and approval.”

Board members should maintain copies of appropriate supporting documentation, including proof of attendance or completion certificates, for at least two continuing education periods.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(f)(5) & 68-221-1305(f)(5), 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 water and wastewater financing board.”

The board member will not be eligible for reappointment or reelection to another term of office. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 68-221-605(g) & 68-221-1305(g).