CERTIFICATE OF CONTINUING REGULATORY EDUCATION

IPU’S CCRE RECOGNIZES LIFELONG LEARNERS

 

Are you a lifelong learner in the challenging field of public utility regulation?  Effective regulation depends on informed regulators. Your commitment to professional development will now earn you a Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (CCRE) from the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.  The CCRE is endorsed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and is available exclusively and free of charge to public-sector employees and personnel of nonprofit organizations.

The Certificate provides tangible evidence of your educational efforts.  What’s more, a certificate demonstrates to current and prospective employers a high level of education in interdisciplinary principles and practices of economic regulation.

The CCRE program incorporates some of the most popular educational programs currently offered by IPU, including the Annual Regulatory Studies Program (affectionately known as “Camp NARUC”), the Advanced Regulatory Studies Program, the Grid School, and the NARUC Utility Rate School.  For more experienced regulatory practitioners, academic coursework, instructional, and research opportunities are available for credit toward additional certificate levels.

There is no cost to enroll in the CCRE program beyond regular program fees and no formal testing requirements.  Simply register for an IPU educational course and you are automatically enrolled!  Credit also will be granted for select programs provided by other universities and professional organizations.  NARUC sponsored or endorsed educational programs are CCRE eligible.  Many of the programs you already attend count toward completion of the certificate.  Applicants may receive CCRE-eligible credit for having attended IPU and other eligible programs as far back as 2008.


What is a certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education?

Public utility regulation is an intellectually demanding and trans-disciplinary field of practice, for which applied post-graduate education, professional development, and networking with peers are regarded as essential.  Effective regulation relies on technical and analytical skills, as well as an understanding of structural dynamics and contemporary issues.

commitment of regulatory personnel to continuing education and professional development.   The CCRE is not meant to present an obstacle to career advancement or a A Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (CCRE) recognizes the value of sustained prerequisite for demonstrating technical competency.   Rather, the CCRE is designed to recognize the dedication and efforts of lifelong learners in the regulatory policy community.

The CCRE program incorporates well-known core educational programs currently offered through IPU, including the Annual Regulatory Studies Program, the Advanced Regulatory Studies Program, and the NARUC Utility Rate School.  For more experienced practitioners, academic coursework, instructional, and research opportunities are also available for credit.

IPU is coordinating with other university-based regulatory educational programs and has received an endorsement for the CCRE program from NARUC for the IPU-MSU Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education.

 

About the CCRE program

First CCRE recipients Jesse Harlow and Steve Kulesia (Michigan PSC and MSU grads).

  • Certification will initially be available only to public-sector and nonprofit personnel (e.g., employees of federal and state public service commissions and consumer advocacy agencies).
  • The certification process must be initiated while the participant is employed at a commission or other public or nonprofit organization, but can be completed without regard to employment status.
  • For public sector employees, there will be no additional cost to participate in the CCRE program beyond fees required for participating in recognized programs.
  • Enrollment is automatic for all eligible IPU program attendees.
  • IPU will reach out to program attendees to invite them to seek a CCRE.
  • Certification tiers are based on participation in recognized continuing education programs and additional criteria, as specified.
  • Certificate recipients will be appropriately recognized at IPU educational events.
  • Earned credits and certificates will not expire and do not require renewal.
  • Certification recognizes completion of program requirements but does not warrant proficiency.
  • The CCRE Advisory Committee will advise IPU regarding certification policies and requirements.
  • IPU-MSU will receive ongoing input from the NARUC Education and Research Subcommittee and submit to NARUC an Annual Assessment Report.
  • Participation in the certification program by state employees may be subject to state commission or other approval processes.  IPU-MSU will provide information to facilitate that process as necessary.

 

Benefits of certification:

  • Certification will further the goal of continuing professional education in the field of public utility regulation, as well as recognize the cumulative educational efforts and accomplishments of public-sector regulatory professionals.
  • Certification builds valuable regulatory knowledge and professional networks.
  • Certification will recognize and complement existing degree and non-degree educational programs.
  • Certification will demonstrate the regulatory professional’s commitment to continuing education.
  • Certification will be recognized as an indicator of professional development by both current and prospective employers in the regulatory policy community.
  • Certification will be rigorous and meaningful, and credits may be earned exclusively for programs sponsored or recognized by IPU-MSU for meeting standards for curricula and content.
  • Standards will be established by an IPU-MSU CCRE Advisory Committee and ongoing input will also be provided by NARUC, commission executive managers, and senior professional staff.
  • Certification will be provided by the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University, which has long been recognized as an international leader in providing exceptional continuing education opportunities to the regulatory policy community.


Earning credits

  • Educational programs sponsored by or endorsed by NARUC will be emphasized and automatically eligible for credit. Coursework relevant to the regulatory professions offered by accredited universities and professional organizations will also be eligible, subject to review by the CCRE Advisory Committee
  • Credits for program participation will be earned at the rate of approximately one per hour of instruction.
  • Qualifying IPU programs include the Annual Regulatory Studies Program, the Advanced Regulatory Studies Program, the Annual Regulatory Policy Conference, the NARUC Utility Rate School, special schools and workshops (such as IPU’s Grid School), and online modules.
  • IPU will provide credits toward the CCRE for participation in programs sponsored by other university centers or NARUC-affiliated professional organizations.
  • The certification process will be self-directed and self-paced but participants are generally expected to achieve first-tier certification (CCRE I) within a five-year timeframe beginning in calendar year 2014. Petitions for exceptions will be considered.
  • Applicants seeking certification may receive credit for attendance at IPU and NARUC-endorsed programs beginning in 2008 (the five-year timeframe does not apply). Petitions for exceptions will be considered.
  • Credits may be allowed for repeat attendance at non-basic training programs, as specified (examples of basics programs include the Fundamentals week of the Annual Regulatory Studies Program –“Camp NARUC”– and the NARUC Utility Rate School).
  • Credits may be earned for completing pertinent post-graduate coursework and participating in other qualified educational activities, including teaching and research, upon applicable proof of accomplishment and IPU approval.
  • Proof of accomplishment will vary with the activity. For courses taken, a transcript, certificate, or letter will be required. For courses taught, a syllabus and institutional attestation will be required. A published article in a peer-reviewed journal also will be accepted.
  • IPU will continue to provide program participation certificates, as well as arrange continuing education credits for attorneys, accountants, and other regulatory

 

Certificate tier and credits 

Three tiers of certificates will be offered:

  • CCRE I: 240 credits
  • CCRE II: 360 cumulative credits
  • CCRE III: 480 cumulative credits

Each professional development program specifies the number of credits that may be earned. Credits also may be awarded for past participation in eligible programs.


CCRE advisory committee 

Drawing from research and education affiliates in the regulatory policy community, the CCRE Advisory Committee serves in a peer-based advisory capacity to IPU-MSU and operates on an academic consensus model. The CCRE Advisory Committee provides ongoing input to IPU regarding program design and opportunities for earning credits. IPU-MSU and the CCRE Advisory Committee actively seek input from NARUC and NARUC members with regard to evaluation criteria used in granting credits toward certification and inform NARUC about educational opportunities.

Initial members of the CCRE Advisory Committee will include:

  • Dr. Janice A. Beecher, Michigan State University (Chair)
  • Commissioner John Betkoski, Connecticut PURA
  • Dr. David Dismukes, Louisiana State University
  • Dr. Douglas Gegax, New Mexico State University
  • Dr. Mark Jamison, University of Florida
  • Dr. Karl McDermott, University of Illinois
  • Mr. Don Smith, University of Denver
  • Dr. Raj Barua, National Regulatory Research Institute

The NARUC staff contact for the CCRE program is Ms. Erin Hammel, ehammel@naruc.org.

Additional members may be invited to participate by IPU with the advice and consent of the CCRE Advisory Committee


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  • What is the Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (CCRE)?  The CCRE is designed to recognize the dedication and efforts of lifelong learners. Public utility regulation is an intellectually demanding and transdisciplinary field of practice. Applied post-graduate education, professional development, and networking with peers are regarded as essential. Effective regulation relies fundamentally on technical and analytical skills, as well as an understanding of structural dynamics and contemporary issues.
  • Why is IPU offering a Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education (CCRE)?  IPU designed the CCRE program to recognize the sustained commitment of regulatory personnel to their continuing education and professional development.  IPU’s sponsorship of the CCRE is in keeping with our mission as well as the growing interest in certification as a complement to traditional academic degree programs.
  • Does NARUC endorse the CCRE?  The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) endorses and promotes the CCRE as part of its commitment to regulatory education.  In fact, certificates are signed both by the IPU Director and a NARUC official.  What’s more, the NARUC Subcommittee on Education and Research appoints a member to sit on the CCRE Advisory Committee.
  • Is CCRE for me?  If you regularly attend professional education programs related to regulation, a CCRE will give you an added credential that you have earned but at no additional cost to you.
  • Is there a fee to enroll?  There is no cost to enroll in the CCRE beyond regular program fees and many of the programs you already attend count towards completion of the certificate.  IPU generally does not charge additional fees for other types of continuing education credits (CLEs and CPEs).
  • Do I have to complete a special enrollment form?  If you attend an IPU educational program, you will automatically be enrolled in the CCRE program.  An application form will be available to record credits from non-IPU programs.
  • What is the difference between the different certificate tiers?  The three certificate tiers recognize continued achievement based on the cumulative number of credits earned over time.  Earning a CCRE I is a prerequisite to earning a CCRE II or III.  Credits for the CCRE I are based on participation in educational programs.  Credits for CCRE II and III are based on additional forms of academic engagement (teaching and research).
  • How are educational credits earned?  Each program syllabus specifies the number of credits that will be earned toward the CCRE I.  Credits also will be awarded for past participation (since 2008) in eligible programs.
  • How do I know which programs are eligible for CCRE I credits?  IPU provides a web-based clearinghouse with links to programs that are eligible for CCRE I credits.  In general, all IPU programs and all university-based programs with a current NARUC endorsement are eligible.  Programs sponsored by NARUC professional staff subcommittees also are eligible. So too are programs sponsored by NARUC professional staff subcommittees.  Other programs may be reviewed for eligibility by IPU in consultation with the CCRE Advisory Committee.  However, meetings and conferences, including those sponsored by NARUC and industry organizations, generally are ineligible.
  • Can I get credits for non-IPU programs?  Generally yes, as long as they have an educational focus. Please fax or email to IPU a certificate of attendance or a letter confirming your attendance from the sponsoring organization.  All IPU programs and all university-based programs with a current NARUC endorsement are eligible.  Programs sponsored by NARUC professional staff subcommittees also are eligible.  Other programs will be reviewed for eligibility by IPU in consultation with the CCRE Advisory Committee.
  • Will I need to take a test?  The certification program does not include additional formal testing.  However, some programs may include some form of knowledge evaluation or self-evaluation (self-testing) in keeping with the educational purposes of the CCRE.
  • Does my previous academic work count toward additional credits?  Academic work completed prior to regulatory employment generally will not be considered.
  • What types of academic coursework count toward credits?  Academic coursework should be directly related to regulatory practice with consideration of the broad range of interdisciplinary skills demanded by the field.  Examples include graduate-level course related to economics, public policy, accounting, finance, or law.  Credit will be granted on a case-by-case basis upon application to IPU.
  • What types of peer-reviewed papers and publications are acceptable?  A wide variety of publications across different disciplines will be considered.  An emphasis on applied research is expected and encouraged.
  • What are examples of instructional activities?  Instructional activities include major teaching responsibility for a university course or a NARUC-recognized program as well as international outreach through NARUC and affiliated organizations, subject to review and approval by the CCRE Advisory Committee of an application for credit.
  • How much of the instructional or research activity must deal with regulation?  Both instructional and research activities should have a substantial focus on economic regulation or public utility policy.
  • Will I still be able to earn continuing education credits in addition to CCRE?  Yes. The CCRE is offered in addition to continuing education credits (CLE, CPE, and others) offered through IPU and other programs to attorneys, accountants, and other professionals through applicable certifying organizations.
  • Will I be able to complete the requirements given the demands of my job?  The CCRE program is designed to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of busy regulatory professionals.  Program requirements are meant to reflect a substantial but achievable level of effort on the part of participants.
  • Can I receive assistance to participate in educational programs?   As a non-profit unit of MSU, IPU does not offer assistance to attend programs.  Group discounts are offered and fee waivers are available in cases of extreme hardship.   Special stipends may be available at times from NARUC or other funding organizations.
  • Will I be able to earn credits online?  Credit will be offered for approved online educational programs offered by the university-based centers.   Online programs must have substantial educational content.
  • Will my certificate expire?  Certificates are dated when they are earned.  Earned credits and certificates do not expire and there are no requirements to maintain or renew them.  Keep in mind, however, that participants are generally expected to achieve first-tier certification (CCRE I) within a five-year timeframe beginning in calendar year 2014.  Petitions for exceptions will be considered.
  • How do I apply for credits based on my participation in other programs or coursework?  IPU will post a credit application form.  Credits will be awarded case-by-case, based on the criteria specified for eligibility and proof of participation.


Additional Materials

CCRE Programs Calendar 2016
CCRE Flyer

Credit Application Form
CCRE Press Release
Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education- Prezi


Testimonials 

“The CCRE provides encouragement for and recognition of the efforts of individuals in the highly specialized field of utility regulation to continually pursue additional knowledge and expertise to apply to their careers.”