All PTS classes are available on an in-house basis. In-house classes offer electric utilities a more cost effective way of providing employees with training by eliminating the cost of employee travel. Frequently Asked Questions
Contact your training department to see if bringing the class in-house is feasible. PTS will work with your training staff to make it a smooth and enjoyable process. The number one goal of a training department should be to ensure that the employees have the best training available. We help accomplish this goal!
If your training department is not responsive, have your department sponsor a class. As an incentive, at least one department employee will receive a free enrollment in the class. With this option, you would have four responsibilities that should take a total of no more than 45 minutes.
1.) provide a room equipped with a large white board (dry erase board), two flip charts with new pads of paper, and two 5-foot tables at the front of the class for demonstration items. Preferably the room would hold 30 or more people, but at least 24 people.
2.) If the room is at a facility at which refreshments are not available such as a fraternal lodge, you would be asked to provide the names and telephone numbers of two or three caterers.
3.) Forward an e-mail advertising the class to all other employees at your utility.
4.) Deliver the course manuals to the training room. These manuals would be shipped to you from PTS prior to the class.
PTS would then act as a training department. We provide all advertising. For larger utilities we advertise only within the utility because we are positive we can easily obtain the minimum of 24 people that we need. For smaller utilities, we also advertise in neighboring utilities in order to get the 24 people.
We handle all registrations and confirmations. We arrange the refreshments. If there is a charge for the classroom, we pay the charge. We provide the instructor and training manuals. After the class, we invoice the students.
Just as the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA), the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) sponsor classes for their members throughout the U.S. and Canada, your utility association or power agency can do the same.
Contact a local or regional association and urge them sponsor a class. Examples of these types of associations would be public power associations; municipal electric associations; electric co-op associations, investor-owned utility associations, and associations for accountants, purchasing professionals, engineers or customer service managers. The utility employee who initiates one of these classes receives free enrollment in the class for him- or herself, and one other employee.
Frequently asked question regarding in-house classes:
What classes are available?
All classes are available on an in-house basis.
EUSO - Electric Utility System Operations is available in a 2-day or 3-day format.
EDS - Electric Distribution Systems is available in a 1-1/2 day or 2-day format.
EUBO - Electric Utility Business Operations is available in a 1-day or 2-day format.
The CAEDS - Customer Aspects of Electric Distribution Systems is available in a 3-day format.
IESO - Industrial Electric System Operations is available in a 3-day format.
How do I determine the quality of the classes?
E-mail us or call us, and we will provide the names and telephone numbers of people, in utilities or in utility associations in your area, who are familiar with our classes. You will be able to hear, firsthand, how others rate our courses. You can also view our customer list and testimonials from previous class participants.
How do I determine whether the 2-day or 3-day version of the EUSO class is better?
Both versions have the same price. The utility decides which version is better suited to the class based on input from PTS. Some general guidelines are:
For a utility without generation, the 2-day version works well because the generation part of the class can be minimized.
The 3-day version works better for any class that desires a thorough understanding of generation.
If a class needs a thorough understanding of power factor (sometimes referred to in terms of VArs, as reactive power, or in terms of capacitors) the 3-day class is necessary. This is because 2-1/2 to 3 hours is devoted to this topic.
For generating plant personnel, the 3-day version always works better.
The 3-day version is really necessary for any class with a significant number of people in technically oriented jobs. These jobs include engineering, safety, drafting, SCADA professionals, any type of craft position from line crews to substation electricians, relay technicians, instrumentation and controls technicians, account executives, purchasing, environmental professionals, engineering managers and system operators.
The 2-day class works well for customer service people, attorneys, accountants, administrative-support staff, communications and marketers, financial analysts, economists, upper level management and members of the board of directors.
How do I initiate an in-house class?
We work with the training department, or we work with any other department, depending on the preference of the utility. Call us at (503) 819-7212 for e-mail us and we will work with the utility to make sure everything runs smoothly.
What is the price?
There is a fixed price for the first 24 people in a class, plus a per-person price for each person more than 24, plus instructor expenses from Portland, Oregon.
What if we have a smaller utility and cannot get 24 people?
In PTS's 25-year history, this has never prevented a class from being conducted. Typically, the utility and PTS work together to advertise the class to neighboring utilities. We use utility associations where available, and where not available, advertise directly to neighboring utilities. You provide the initial entree to the association or to neighboring utilities, and PTS does the rest. When doing this, PTS recommends that neighboring utilities be charged slightly more than the contract rate in order to reduce the per-person cost to your utility. We believe that you should be rewarded for the initiative and effort in bringing the class to your area.
Can we customize a class to our utility?
Yes, we do this anyway for all in-house classes. We send you an information form prior to the class. For non-generating-plant classes, the form provides the instructor with your transmission voltages and distribution voltages, types of generation, names and voltages of key substations, energy rates, power factor charges, demand charges, locations of large capacitor banks and shunt reactors, etc. For generating plants, the form provides the instructor with sizes of the generators, the type of generation, the type of excitation systems including, the labeling of the VAr meter, ramp times, etc. These information forms are then used to tailor the class to the utility.
Classes are sometimes customized even more when requested by the utilities. PTS works with the utility to ensure that the class material provides what is desired.
What is the lead-time required to conduct a class?
The lead-time depends on the availability of an instructor. In-house classes have been conducted as quickly as 3 weeks after the initial contact, but more typically classes are scheduled for 6 weeks or later after the initial contact.
What is needed in terms of a room and equipment?
A classroom that can hold at least 24 people with a large dry-erase board (white board) is required. A 4-foot by 8-foot board, or two 3-foot by 5-foot boards work best. Two flip charts set to the instructor's right when the instructor faces the class are required. Each flip chart should have a new pad of paper, and preferably not the Post-It-Note type of flip-chart pads. Two 5-foot tables, for demonstration items, set between the instructor and class, are needed. Markers for both the white board and flip charts are needed in black, red, green, blue, orange, brown and purple and an eraser for the white board.
What is the starting and ending time for the class?
The utility normally sets these times. For classes at generating plants, the starting time is often 7:00 a.m. in order to have students start at their regular time; ending times are the same as the normal ending time. Classes held for office personnel at the office itself most often start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:45 p.m. Classes held away from the office often start at 8:30 a.m. on the first day and at 8:00 a.m. thereafter. The 8:30 a.m. start allows students to find the location and parking.
What do students receive in terms of materials?
Students receive PTS' copyrighted training manual. This high-quality manual was developed by PTS after being unable to find any book that covered electrical system operation in simple everyday language. It has many full-page photographs showing both internal views and external views of all key equipment. The quality of the manual is indicated by the fact that many former students have told us that they loaned their manual to another employee, only to never see it again.
Is the training manual available without attending the class?
Are in-house classes available anywhere other than in Canada or the United States?
Yes, the class is available in any English-speaking country.
What if we are not satisfied with the class?
We are confident enough in our classes that we provide a money-back guarantee. If evaluations of the class indicate the students were not satisfied, there is no charge. The only stipulation is that the students must return the class manuals.
What other classes are available?
As PTS has traveled North America conducting classes, it has identified additional high-quality classes. One of these is Utility Economics. The Utility Economics class is taught by a utility economist with more that 25 years experience. Another class is an advanced electrical class for journey-level line crews who are not receiving on-going training in their career. This class is taught by a practicing lineman.
Please e-mail us if you have questions regarding these two classes.