Key Accounts Certificate Program

Today’s quickly evolving electric industry requires key accounts front-line employees to have specific skills, technical knowledge and training. Coursework is offered either in a classroom or through a self-paced online course.

Location Dates  Schedule Registration


On Demand
 At your own pace
3 courses comprised
of  20 modules


Program Description

Discover how to support and grow businesses in your community to enhance your reputation and revenue. Your commercial and industrial key accounts need special attention—the Key Accounts Certificate Program is designed to show you how to nurture strategic relationships and build trust and loyalty. Whether you plan to start a utility key accounts program or want to take your current program to the next level, this curriculum provides the skills, knowledge and tools for success. Join the program to learn from real-world examples, get tools and templates, practice skills, and network with public power peers from across the nation.

Program Brochure

Download the Key Accounts Certificate Program brochure [PDF].

Supplemental Resources

Attendees in the Key Accounts Certificate Program will receive a copy of APPA's Key Accounts Field Manual.

The online course features 20 video modules, downloadable course workbooks, a check in with the course instructor and unlimited e-mail access during the program dates, and bonus materials and videos.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for public power key account managers and representatives. Other utility staff involved in key accounts, or those looking for professional development credentials, will also benefit.

Program Requirements

To earn this certificate, participants must complete all requirements within a year of attending their last course in the certificate program curriculum.

1. Complete the required coursework:

Attending the Winter Institute Taking the Online Course

Coursework includes four courses.

  • Electric Utility Industry Overview* (Monday)
  • Implementing a Customer-Focused Key Accounts Program (Tuesday)
  • Developing Your Key Accounts Representative (Wednesday)
  • The Effective Key Accounts Toolbox
    (Thursday - Friday at noon)

Coursework includes three sections, comprised of 20 modules in total.

  • Engage in course materials at your own pace 
  • Access course and materials for one year


2. Pass an online exam

  • Consists of multiple choice questions, based on the required coursework.
  • Participants can take the exam at their convenience, after finishing the coursework requirement. In the online version, participants complete the exam as they move through the material. 
  • You must score at least a 75% to pass the exam. You’ll have two opportunities to pass the test.

3. Submit a customer action plan

  • Participants must demonstrate how their utility plans to address the needs of a selected account.
  • Participants will receive plan guidelines that outline what is expected in each section.
  • The customer action plan is due within a year of completing the program. 

*Participants who can demonstrate knowledge of the utility industry, through work experience or coursework, may opt-out of this course. Alternatively, participants can take a webinar series in place of the in-person course. Contact [email protected] for more information.


Please contact our Education Department at 202-467-2965 or [email protected].

About the Instructors

Erick RheamErick Rheam, President, Team Rheam Productions, Inc. (Institute and online)
Erick is a consultant, speaker and author on key accounts and human dynamics. He co-authored APPA’s Key Accounts Field Manual: A Guide for Public Power Professionals. He has been involved in public power for 15 years. He worked as a key accounts manager and customer relations division manager for public power utilities in Indiana and Colorado, managing industrial pretreatment, key accounts, mid-market, conservation, and marketing programs. In partnership with Automated Energy, Inc., Erick offers key accounts consulting and education across the country.

Steve VanderMeerSteve VanderMeer, Senior Vice President of Planning and Marketing, Hometown Connections (Institute only)
Steve joined Hometown in 1998 and provides consulting, training and facilitation support to public power utilities and their governing boards. He has worked with a wide range of municipal governments and non-profit organizations on strategic planning, governance, organiza­tional assessments, public participation, market research and customer service issues. He is the author of Customer Service: Building a Strong Infrastructure for Your Utility. Previously, Steve worked at Fort Collins Utilities where he was the Director of Marketing and Energy Services.

Enrollment Fees*

In-Person or Online

Early Rate**: $2,800
Standard Rate: $2,950

Early Rate**: $5,600
Standard Rate: $5,750

The enrollment fee includes the courses, cost of study material, exam grading and review of the customer action plan.

*For more information and pricing for the in-person Electric Utility Industry Overview course opt-out option, contact [email protected]

How Can I Participate?

Take the Courses Online

It’s our goal to provide an online resource to utility professionals who desire to pursue key accounts training and cannot attend an in-person class.

The online program includes 20 modules, an online workbook, and progressive testing. It’s designed to replicate the in-person program experience as much as possible and allow flexibility so that the user can work through the course materials at his/her own pace. Register now.

Attend an Education Institute

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

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. Check out In-house training options.

This option if also available virtually. 

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 the Education Department at 202-467-2921 or [email protected].