Education & Training Services

TVPPA’s Distance Learning Programs


TVPPA offers four technical distance learning programs. Each course’s basic curriculum covers mathematics, electrical theory and fundamentals of alternating current. Hands-on lab sessions provide training to reinforce the material taught in the correspondence units.
The administrative functions of the distance learning program are housed at the TVPPA headquarters in Chattanooga, TN. Distance learning labs and technical training are held at various locations including TVA’s Bellefonte facility near Scottsboro, AL; Jackson, TN; Greeneville, TN; Area 2 State Fire Rescue Training Center in Princeton, KY. Laboratory sessions are scheduled on a regular basis, and may be scheduled in-house.

Detailed information on each program:

Lineworker Apprenticeship
Apprentice Lineman training introduces the beginning apprentice to the basic math, electricity and alternating current fundamental principles that are the groundwork for understanding the “hows and whys” of this profession. Students learn the basic tools and equipment used in everyday operations, and applications include stringing and sagging wire; underground distribution systems; transmission and distribution line maintenance; transformer connections; meter applications; substation operations; and phasing and measuring voltage and current.

The seven laboratory sessions, plus the final exam, enable students to apply the knowledge learned from the correspondence units. Participants learn basic knots and safe climbing techniques, as well as pole-top rescue, both climbing skills necessary for overhead line construction. Training includes the safe and responsible operation of a Digger Derrick truck. Participants construct and frame lines using specifications, and learn grounding and preparation of stress cones for underground cable. Effective job briefing and basic troubleshooting steps for overhead and underground systems are demonstrated, as well as transformer banking, bucket truck pre-trip inspection, and bucket truck rescue.

Upon successful completion, enrollees will earn TVPPA Certificate of Completion and Department of Labor Certificate of Completion of Registered Apprenticeship Program if the participating utility or construction company’s program is registered with the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship and the apprentice completes both the required number of hours of on-the-job training and the related instruction.

4 Correspondence Units / 7 Field Labs / 1 Final Exam

Substation Maintenance Program
Our Substation Maintenance program is a two tiered program with hands-on labs. The first tier consists of completing a core curriculum of two required courses. Much like a college curriculum, there are three specialist certificate options after completing the core: Substation Maintenance, Relay & Protection, Electric Utility Metering.

The core curriculum of the program covers all of the components of an electric power system from production to consumption. It also covers the principals of circuit calculations that include inductors and capacitors, items such as the relationships of voltages in currents across different transformer configurations, AC power calculations, and metering fundamentals. Students will learn the basic math skills needed to perform calculations used in the industry.

Substation Maintenance Specialist
If you are interested in beginning the program, you will enroll in our Substation Maintenance Program, Unit 1 and Unit 2. The updated Substation Maintenance Specialist material (Unit 3) is now available.

This specialist certificate course will cover in detail typical maintenance tasks needed to keep substation equipment healthy, maximize lifespan, and minimize failures. Some examination of typical preventative maintenance programs including transformer oil testing, temperature maintenance of transformers, circuit breaker mechanisms, characteristics of gas insulated switchgear and electrical busses. There will be a data application section that shows how various types of substation data can be used to predict failures so costly failures are avoided and reliability of the grid is increased.

The two hands-on laboratory sessions provide training in electrical safety, AC and DC instruments, inspection, testing and maintenance of various substation equipment, cable testing, fault finding, and low resistance measurement.

Electric Utility Metering
If you are interested in beginning the program, you will enroll in our Substation Maintenance Program, Unit 1 and Unit 2. The updated Electrical Metering specialist material (Unit 3) is now available.

This is a detailed study of all aspects of metering AC circuits at the transmission, distribution, and customer levels. Topics such as different the different types of meters, metering that is provided by protective relays, Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Smart Grid access to meters, and communication fundamentals of network and wireless systems are included. Testing equipment and procedures will also be included in this module.

Laboratory sessions provide training with single-phase hookups, single-phase network metering, self-contained polyphase, three-phase hookups, delta and Wye hookups, test board applications, and recent developments in electronic register testing, maintenance and programming.

Laboratory sessions are not scheduled through TVPPA.*

Training centers for Electrical Metering Labs:

Mid-South Electric Metering Association Meter School,
Southeastern Metering School,

Relay & Protection
If you are interested in beginning the program, you will enroll in our Substation Maintenance Program, Unit 1 and Unit 2.

This course is designed with detailed study of the different types of protective relays, the application of those relays to specific configurations, and a deep dive into the criticality of the timing relationships between various types of devices. The student will be looking at the tools used to set microprocessor relays, and the aspects of the cyber security of the communication wide area and local area networks. An overview of test equipment and testing procedures will be integrated into this specialist certification.

Relay Lab:
This 5-day lab covers the following: Basic relay co-ordination, Zones of Protection, Relay testing and programming of Schweitzer 351, Standard Electromechanical Relay, Dispatcher Training, Operations Training for How to read One lines, Primary Maps coordination of fuses, ocrs, sectionalizers and S&C Change over devices.