Skip to Main Content

City, County, and Authority Training FAQ

On April 12, 2017, House Bill 0088/Senate Bill 0138 was signed into law (Public Chapter No. 118) by Governor Bill Haslam. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding this comprehensive training bill.

All board members of municipalities, counties, and treatment authorities that oversee a water and/or wastewater system.

Yes. This applies to all officials that oversee a water or wastewater system.

Board members are required to have 12 hours of training within 12 months of their initial election or appointment (or re-election/reappointment after April 12, 2017) and 12 hours every three years thereafter (this is referred to as a continuing education period).

The initial 12 hours is only required for the first election or appointment and not every election or appointment.  Once a board member has satisfied their initial 12 hours after election or appointment, their continuing education period of three years begins on the following January 1st.  

In 2019, the Comptroller’s Office began providing online training at no cost for board members of muncipalities and counties that oversee a water and/or wastewater system.  Periodic training classes are also offered by the Comptroller's Office, utility associations, and other organizations.

Yes. The Comptroller’s Office will approve training by any association or organization with appropriate knowledge and experience.  

The subjects for training include, but are 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.

Yes. The Comptroller’s Office will approve any training that is appropriate and reasonably related to a board member’s responsibility.  This includes, but is not limited to, budget and audit work sessions, ethics courses, governance responsibilities, and other classes or workshops that the governing body attends.

Training curriculum must be approved by Comptroller’s Office prior to the training date to count toward the required hours.  

Anyone wishing to have training approved should submit a detailed syllabus and the appropriate supporting documentation to utilities@cot.tn.gov for approval.

A curriculum must be updated and approved every three years.

Public Chapter 41 requires a board member to provide certificates of completion or attendance to the government entity that he or she represents. Government entities must keep these certficates for six years after the calendar year in which the certificate is submitted.

It is also a best practice for board members to maintain copies of the appropriate supporting documentation, including attendance and/or completion certificates, for at least two continuing education periods. 

A board member can apply to the Comptroller’s Office (utilities@cot.tn.gov) for a six (6) month extension. If approved, the board member must file the request and approval letter with the Water & Wastewater Financing Board.

  • If a board member of an authority fails to receive the required training and fails to request an extension, he or she is ineligible to be reappointed.
  •  If a board member of a municipality fails to receive the required training and fails to request an extension, the municipality is referred to the Water & Wastewater Financing Board.
  • If a board member of a county fails to receive the required training and fails to request an extension, the county is referred to the Water & Wastewater Financing Board.