Compliance Assessments

A Compliance Assessment (CA) is used to determine if a failure to comply with a NERC Reliability Standard precipitated or exacerbated an Event.[1] Events are defined in two categories:

  • Qualifying Events are categorized in the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) Events Analysis Procedure (EAP).
  • Non-Qualifying Events are not categorized in the EAP (i.e., Category 0).

The CA is designed to be commensurate with the Event’s impact on the Bulk Electric System (BES). 

SERC usually receives notice of an Event when a SERC registered entity submits documentation. Occasionally, SERC receives reports from other sources. For example, SERC is the Compliance Enforcement Authority for some registered entities outside SERC’s footprint. If an Event occurs within these registered entities’ footprints, SERC must rely on inter-regional communications to be informed.

SERC Events Analysis determines the what, why, and how of an Event without consideration of compliance. The SERC Events Analysis group collaborates with the registered entity to determine the probable (or root) cause of the Event and develops any final documentation. If this documentation provides sufficient detail, the CA may be able to determine if the Event involved a noncompliance of NERC Reliability Standards.

If additional information is required, SERC contacts the registered entity directly. Regardless of whether a registered entity performs an internal CA (self-assessment), the SERC CA team reviews all Events for compliance with NERC Reliability Standards. If a valid basis exists, and the CA team suspects that a noncompliance occurred, the team notifies SERC’s Compliance Monitoring team. If appropriate, Compliance Monitoring initiates another means consistent with the NERC Rules of Procedure to evaluate any possible noncompliance.

[1] For the purpose of this article, “Event” means “something noteworthy or out of the ordinary.”