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Electric Power and Distribution

Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:


Maintain a Safe Work Environment

  • Demonstrate safe work procedures and responsibilities, including complying with safety procedures and participating in safety meetings  
  • Perform inspection and maintenance of equipment and vehicles
  • Demonstrate appropriate use of tools


Perform Job Site Planning Activities

  • Determine job site requirements
  • Perform job site protection activities for worker and public safety


Climbing Skills

  • Demonstrate proper use and inspection of climbing gear  
  • Perform basic climbing skills of poles and towers, including pole-top rescue
  • Demonstrate proper use and maintenance of climbing tools and equipment


Pole Framing and Construction Specifications

  • Recognize, load, transport, and use pole hardware and materials
  • Demonstrate pole framing on the ground
  • Demonstrate installing pole and equipment grounds
  • Perform installation of guy assemblies, cross arms, and insulators
  • Demonstrate proper application of attaching a tying-in conductor


Equipment Operation  

  • Safely perform traffic control and emergency procedures  
  • Safety operate digger-derrick vehicle
  • Demonstrate safe working operation of an aerial platform


Setting and Replacing Poles

  • Demonstrate worksite recognition and safe work practices  
  • Perform proper vehicle placement and grounding methods
  • Perform proper rigging and setting of poles
  • Utilize temporary pole supports


Transformer Installation

  • Install and properly wire transformers  
  • Maintain and troubleshoot transformers and transformer connections
  • Demonstrate proper transformer and sizing applications


Service Installation and Metering

  • Perform grounding and safe work procedures
  • Explain meter application and proper meter reading

Conductor Installation and Repair

  • Perform splicing, stringing conductors, dead-ending, and operate hoists
  • Safely tie in conductor, carry out hot line re-conductoring, and complete sag charts and tables
  • Safely perform grounding practices
  • Demonstrate safe work practices for conductor installation and repair


Robber Gloving Methods

  • Demonstrate proper use and care of rubber gloves and sleeves
  • Demonstrate proper bucket truck operation while working on energized lines

Underground Distribution

  • Identify and demonstrate knowledge of underground distribution equipment and safe practices while trenching
  • Identify underground safety hazards
  • Demonstrate knowledge of UD systems and installation
  • Demonstrate installation of a padmount transformer, troubleshooting, and fault location


Substations and Voltage Regulation

  • Demonstrate knowledge of substation components and their functions (e.g., voltage regulators, capacitors)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of substation design for various applications
  • Follow safe practices when performing work in substations (including use of proper PPE)

Fusing and System Coordination

  • Demonstrate knowledge of system/fault surges and over-current/over-voltage protection
  • Demonstrate knowledge of oil-circuit reclosers
  • Demonstrate knowledge of system application and fusing coordination


Maintain Line Equipment and Tools

  • Inspect and maintain tools (including hand tools and hot tools)
  • Inspect and maintain equipment components (e.g., regulators, reclosers, capacitors, conductors)


Maintain Records and Documentation

  • Maintain daily vehicle inspection records
  • Maintain personal protective equipment (PPE) inspection records
  • Maintain special equipment and accident reports


Problem Solving and Troubleshooting

  • Analyze situations and information, consider alternate solutions
  • Apply rules and principles to a process to draw conclusions

Written Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours
Number of Questions: 183

Areas Covered: 

Maintain Safe Work Environment: 7%

Perform Job Site Planning Activities: 3%

Climbing Skills: 5%

Pole Framing and Construction Specifications: 10%

Equipment Operation: 7%

Setting and Replacing Poles: 8%

Transformer Installation: 7%

Service Installation and Metering: 5%

Conductor Installation and Repair: 8%

Rubber Gloving Methods: 7%

Underground Distribution: 6%

Substations and Voltage Regulation: 7%

Fusing and System Coordination: 6%

Maintain Line Equipment and Tools: 5%

Maintain Records and Documentation: 5%

Problem Solving and Troubleshooting: 4%

Sample Questions:

After restoring power to a transformer, what should be done before closing the customer’s disconnect?  

  1. check the voltage
  2. call the dispatcher
  3. notify the customer
  4. check the load  


Using Ohm’s Law, what is the formula for calculating watts?    

  1. R x I = watts  
  2. I x E = watts
  3. E x P = watts  
  4. R2 x I = watts


A load-break elbow is identified by  

  1. a red band
  2. a blue band
  3. a white band
  4. D no band


Live line tools carried on utility vehicles should be stored

  1. upright  
  2. in a dry tube and/or tool bag  
  3. laying flat   
  4. attached to the boom   


Use a _____ grip to pull a 3/8-inch guy strand.

  1. Kellom
  2. bulldog
  3. smooth
  4. hot


When a conductor is down in a storm, the first step is to

  1. ground the line
  2. create a visible open
  3. repair the conductor
  4. patrol remaining line


When dead-ending energized conductors, the best equipment to use is a _____ hoist.  

  1. chain
  2. rope
  3. strap
  4. snatch

According to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) specification book, the regulator platform is required to be _____ above ground level

  1. 10 feet
  2. 12 feet
  3. 15 feet
  4. 21-1/2 feet


Why is it important to report near-miss accidents?  

  1. to make supervisor aware of unsafe work habits of coworkers
  2. to prevent a similar mistake from happening again
  3. it is an OSHA requirement
  4. it is only important if the incident was life-threatening


What would be the most important procedure before climbing a pole?

  1. lay out the handline
  2. ready equipment
  3. sound the pole
  4. roll down sleeves


Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 1 hour and 32 minutes 
Number of Jobs: 7

Areas Covered:

17% Hurtman Rescue Using a Handline 
Participant will demonstrate climbing skills, use of handline, knot tying skills, positioning of the victim, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.   

14% Transformer Connections  
Participant will demonstrate transformer connections, use neatness, identification of voltages, wild leg connection, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.    

8% Material and Tool Identification
Participant will demonstrate accuracy identifying materials, accuracy identifying tools, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.  

8% Tool Identification and Use
Participate will demonstrate accuracy of matching four groups of tools, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.   

5% Knot Tying
Participant will demonstrate knot tying, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.     

36% Truck Operation
Participant will demonstrate truck grounding, use of controls, location of boom, awareness of surroundings at three separate stations, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.   

12% Meter Installation
Participant will perform a voltage check; use source side, customer’s breakers, perform source-load side check, perform voltage check; use load side, use safety equipment and safe performance, and ability to complete the job in the time allotted.  

Sample Job: Hurtman Rescue Using a Handline 
Maximum Time: 5 minutes
Participant Activity: The participant will put on his or her climbing gear, ascend the pole, safety off and, using the handline with three (3) half hitches, will safely and gently lower the victim to the ground.