Customer Service Management Certificate Program

Because public power systems place a high priority on their relationship with their customers, the performance expectation for employees who manage customer service centers is more intense than ever. In an effort to provide these individuals with a training program that meets their unique needs, APPA is pleased to offer its Customer Service Management Certificate Program®.

Customer service representatives, managers and supervisors who complete the program's five required courses, pass an online exam, and successfully file a service department assessment/business plan within two years of completing the coursework will earn a Public Power Customer Service Manager certificate.

Those who wish to maintain their designation must complete 20 hours of additional approved continuing education training (not limited to APPA offerings) every two years.

These courses are designed for individuals employed as customer service representatives, managers and supervisors. Those who would benefit from a credential for professional development may also find this program worthwhile. 

To earn this certificate, participants must complete the following requirements within two years:

 1. Complete the five required courses

  • Electric Utility Industry Overview*
  • The Management of Successful Customer Service Operations
  • The Leadership Development Process
  • Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems
  • Utility Collections: The Complete Process

* Participants who can demonstrate advanced knowledge of the utility industry, through work experience or coursework, may opt-out of this course. Contact for more information

2. Pass an online exam

3. Submit a service department assessment/business plan


Pass an online exam

  • The online exam, made up of 100 multiple choice questions,
    will assess the participant’s comprehension of the five required courses.
  • Participants can take the exam at their convenience, after finishing the coursework requirement.
  • An individual must score at least 75 out of 100 (75%) to pass
    the exam. Participants have two opportunities to pass the test, thereafter there will be a $50 fee assessed to retake the exam.

Submit a service department assessment/business plan

  • The plan will outline how the utility intends to utilize technology, labor, and processes to maximize the organization’s service effectiveness.
  • An individual must earn a 49 out of a possible 70 (70%) and may not score lower than a 5 on any section, even if his/her overall score is enough to earn a passing mark.
  • Participants will receive plan guidelines that outline what is expected in each section.

Participants must complete the program requirements within two years of attending their first course in the certificate program curriculum.

Wallace Barron has 40 years of experience in the electric energy industry. He is president of the Atlanta-based consulting firm, Barron & Associates Corporate Solutions, LLC, which serves the energy industry in the areas of management consulting, strategic planning, marketing, customer service, key accounts and competitive issues. He previously worked as the vice president of marketing, customer service & distribution technology at Florida Power Corp. in St. Petersburg, Fla. His responsibilities have included key accounts, competitive marketing, market research, customer service, economic development, demand-side management, load management, load research and distribution engineering. Wallace has also served as an expert witness on many of these topics.


APPA Members
Early Registration Date - $2,100
Late Registration Date - $2,350

Early Registration Date - $3,100
Late Registration Date - $3,350

The enrollment fee includes the cost of study material, exam grading, and review of the service department assessment/business plan.


Attend an APPA Education Institute

The Customer Service Management Certificate Program classes are held once a year, in conjunction with one of our seasonal education institutes (winter, spring or fall), and they provide a great opportunity to network with industry peers from across the nation.

2017 Schedule
The next offering will be in conjunction with our Winter Education Institute. Dates and location will be announced soon.

Let Us Come To You!
We can bring our courses to your location at any time—a convenient and cost-effective option for groups of eight or more. This format also allows you to customize course content to address the specific goals that are important to your organization.

Pool Your Resources
Partner with neighboring public power utilities, state and regional associations, or joint action agencies to bring the training to your area. This is a great way to share costs and to secure a location that is within driving distance (ideal for utilities facing strict travel guidelines or joint action agencies looking to add services to their members).

For more information, contact Heidi Lambert at 202/467-2921 or

Those who wish to maintain their designation must complete 20 hours of additional approved continuing education training (not limited to APPA offerings) every two years.

APPA will accept hours earned through participation in conferences and live or online courses that participants have attended or instructed. Candidates should submit via e-mail ( the following information for each event by Dec. 31 in the year that their 20 hours are due:

  • Sponsoring organization
  • Name of the event
  • Where it was held
  • Dates it took place
  • Number of contact hours

Contact Heidi Lambert, APPA’s Education Director, at 202/467-2921 or