The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has a compliance monitoring system to evaluate, assess, and audit industries to measure compliance with the reliability standards. These rules and guidelines sometimes come with confusion on how they apply. These common misconceptions about NERC compliance and standards will tell you what you should know for a correct process.
What Is NERC’s Role in the Industry?
NERC’s mission is to improve the reliability and use of the bulk-power system in the United States, Canada, and part of Mexico. These standards aim for a positive change with reliable processes for the benefit of everyone. NERC keeps every industry on the same level and helps when a system is weak.
By monitoring the bulk-power system, this corporation assesses adequacy by preparing owners, operators, and industry personnel. Individual industries can report any perceived inconsistency in the methods, practices, or tools. All bulk power system owners must comply with the standards. If you are a power system owner and need registration, go to the appropriate regional entity.
Who Runs NERC?
A board of independent trustees comprised of between 10 and 12 people runs NERC. The president and chief executive officer govern this corporation’s board. They all know and are familiar with the regional system operation issues.
The trustees are independent of the industry, and they all serve the public interest and represent concerns of the entire North American electric system. The board of trustees has people from these three countries to ensure that the requirements are fair, legal, and doable. NERC is a non-profit organization.
Just like NERC monitors security measures in the physical workplace, they also do online. Cyberattacks are common, and every industry needs cyberattack protection rules and guidelines. The NERC CIP compliance requirements are put in place so that you know and learn what these guidelines are for everyone’s protection.
Industries must identify critical assets and constantly perform a risk analysis to ensure no dangerous situations occur. A firewall is necessary to block vulnerable ports. This is a serious compliance every industry uses.
One of the common misconceptions about NERC compliance and standards is that different countries have different sets of rules, which is not the case. These regulations apply the same way, with the same guidelines and standards. Every country has its own work ethics, processes, and developments, but it must comply with the law.
Every country implements these laws in their jurisdictions to make sure they apply—failure to comply results in monetary fines, sanctions, and other actions. Penalties are different from country to country since NERC is a transnational organization.