Professional Certificate of Competency in IEC 61850 based Substation Automation

Course at a Glance

Course Name - Professional Certificate of Competency in IEC 61850 based Substation Automation

Course Code - CSZ

Qualification - Professional Development

Duration - 3 Months

CEU/CPD* - on enquiry

*CEU/CPD hours vary according to your professional body.

Contact a Course Advisor




EIT Professional Certificate of Competency in IEC 61850 based Substation Automation endorsed by the International Society of Automation (ISA)


  • The basic scope and outline of IEC 61850
  • Substation automation functions and architectures
  • To identify the most appropriate networking components for substation automation
  • About using the IEC 61850 data model to specify a substation automation system
  • To use the IEC 61850 model as a data integration platform
  • IEC 61850 communication mapping, configuration and testing
  • Practical: Server/Client setup; simulate/capture GOOSE messages and SV

Contact us for more information and future start dates.





Older (‘legacy’) substation automation protocols and hardware/software architectures provided basic functionality for power system automation, and were designed to accommodate the technical limitations of the technologies available at the time. However, in recent years there have been vast improvements in technology, especially on the networking side. This has opened the door for dramatic improvements in the approach to power system automation in substations. The latest developments in networking such as high-speed, deterministic, redundant Ethernet, as well as other technologies including TCP/IP, high-speed Wide Area Networks and high-performance embedded processors, are providing capabilities that could hardly be imagined when most legacy substation automation protocols were designed.

IEC 61850 is a part of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 57 (TC57) architecture for electric power systems. It is an important international standard for substation automation, and it is having a significant impact on how electric power systems are designed and built for the future. The model-driven approach of IEC 61850 is an innovative approach and requires a new way of thinking about substation automation. This will result in significant improvements in the costs and performance of electric power systems.

This program covers core components of IEC 61850 and will provide you with the tools and knowledge to tackle your next substation automation project with confidence. The program commences with a review of the fundamentals of substation automation, IEC 61850 elements and core substation architectures. The communication interface hardware and standards are reviewed, along with Ethernet and TCP/IP protocols. A detailed explanation of IEC 61850 is given, where the features, message structure, practical benefits and applications are discussed. Furthermore, the program will cover the configuration of IEC 61850 systems, including conformance testing, migration, implementation issues and recent developments.

This program is designed for personnel with a need to understand the techniques required to use and apply IEC 61850 to substation automation, hydro power plants, wind turbines and distributed energy resources as productively and economically as possible.

The program will be suitable for:

  • Power utility engineers (Generation, Transmission & Distribution)
  • Substation Engineers (Substation Design Engineers)
  • Process Engineers
  • Technologists
  • I&C and Automation Specialists

The content is intended to be product independent but examples will be taken from existing products to ensure that all aspects of the IEC 61850 protocols are covered.


MODULE 1: Introduction

Network topologies
Client/server & publish/subscribe concept
DNP3 and IEC 60870
Utility Communication Architecture (UCA)
Key features of IEC 61850

MODULE 2: Substation Automation Functions

Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)
PLC and Protection Relays
Intelligent Electronic Device (IED)

MODULE 3: Power System Automation Architectures

General structure
Types of automation architectures
Architecture of HV substation automation systems
Automation of MV substations
HV bay control
Current and future trends

MODULE 4: Basic IEC 61850 Substation Architecture

IEC61850 Architecture
Merging Units (MUs)
Station Bus
Process Bus

MODULE 5: Communication Basics

Physical Interfaces (10/100/1000 Mbps)
Media (copper, multi-mode fibre, single-mode fibre)
Media access (full duplex vs. CSMA /CD)
Network redundancy

MODULE 6: TCP/IP and Related Concepts

IP addressing: IPv4 vs. IPv6
Subnet masks and default gateways
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)

MODULE 7: IEC 61850 Data Modelling Approach

The information model
The Abstract Communication Service Interface (ACSI)
Logical devices
Logical nodes
Data objects

MODULE 8: IEC 61850 Data Modelling & Communication Models

Common data class
Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS)
Generic Object Oriented Substation Event (GOOSE)
GOOSE messaging
Sampled Values (SV) multicast

MODULE 9: Time Sync, Configuration Language & Tools

Time Synchronisation (SNTP)
IEC 61850-6 Substation Configuration Language (SCL)
Software tools

MODULE 10: Practical & Conformance Testing

Documentation and process
Assessment process
Testing methods
Practical example and exercise (SCL, Client/Server, GOOSE and SV)

MODULE 11: Migration & Implementation Issues

Migration issues
Benefits of IEC 61850
Implementation issues

MODULE 12: Review of Automation Products & Recent Developments

Product review
IEC 61850 Edition 2
Object models for hydro power plants, wind turbines and Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
Mapping of IEC 61850 on DN P3 and IEC 60870-5-101/-104
The use of IEC 61499 (Distributed Function Blocks) in conjunction with IEC 61850
Exchanging synchrophasor data between PMUs, PDCs, WAM PAC and control centre applications: IEC/TR 618-90-5:2012(E)
Communication with the control centre based on IEC 61850 and Harmonisation with CIM

Learning and Teaching

Benefits of eLearning to Students

  • Cost effective: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Interactive: live, interactive sessions let you communicate with your instructor and fellow students
  • Flexible: short interactive sessions over the Internet which you can attend from your home or office. Learn while you earn!
  • Practical: perform exercises by remotely accessing our labs and simulation software
  • Expert instructors: instructors have extensive industry experience; they are not just 'academics'
  • No geographical limits: learn from any location, all you need is an Internet connection
  • Constant support: from your instructor(s) and a dedicated Course Coordinator for the complete duration of the course
  • International insight: interact and network with participants from around the globe and gain valuable insight into international practice 

Benefits of eLearning to Employers

  • Lower training costs: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Less downtime: short webinars (60-90 minutes) and flexible training methods means less time away from work
  • Retain employees: keep staff who may be considering a qualification as full time study
  • Increase efficiency: improve your engineering or technical employees’ skills and knowledge
  • International insight: students will have access to internationally based professional instructors and students


How Does it Work?

EIT eLearning courses involve a combination of live, interactive sessions over the Internet with a professional instructor, set readings, and assignments. The courses include simulation software and remote laboratory applications to let you put theory to practice, and provide you with constant support from a dedicated Course Coordinator.

Practical Exercises and Remote Laboratories

As part of the groundbreaking new way of teaching, our online engineering courses use a series of remote laboratories (labs) and simulation software, to facilitate your learning and to test the knowledge you gain during your course. These involve complete working labs set up at various locations of the world into which you will be able to log to and proceed through the various practical sessions.

These will be supplemented by simulation software, running either remotely or on your computer, to ensure you gain the requisite hands-on experience. No one can learn much solely from lectures, the labs and simulation software are designed to increase the absorption of the materials and to give you a practical orientation of the learning experience. All this will give you a solid, practical exposure to the key principles covered and will ensure that you obtain maximum benefit from your course.


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In Company Online Training Solutions

Special class groups can be arranged on request to match your own schedule. If you have a large number of staff who should complete any of our programs, read more about EIT's In Company Online Training HERE and contact us to assist you further.



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EIT Course in IEC 61850 Substation Automation

Fee Information

Course Fees

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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) provides distance education to students located all around the world – it is one of the very few truly global training institutes. Course fees are paid in a currency that is determined by the student’s location. We aim to give you a rapid response regarding course fees that are relevant to your individual circumstances.

We understand that cost is a major consideration before a student begins to study. For a rapid reply to your query regarding courses fees and payment options, please contact a Course Advisor in your region via the below button and we will respond within two (2) business days.

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Please contact us with your location for certificate fees in the relevant currency. Full payment is required between two (2) and four (4) weeks before the course starts.

Certificate fees include:

  • All live webinars with a professional instructor
  • Four (4) technical manuals (as searchable eBooks)
  • Course materials
  • Software
  • Assignments, and
  • Ongoing support from a dedicated Course Coordinator

All you need to participate is an Internet connection, a computer, speakers and, if possible, a microphone.


Fee concessions may apply for multiple bookings on our certificate courses.

For a rapid reply to your query regarding courses fees and payment options, please contact us and we will respond within two (2) business days.

Enquire abut our online engineering course fees 

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In order to meet the exacting demands of the oil and gas, mining, manufacturing and downstream processing industries, modern plants are equipped with systems and devices which are needed to measure and regulate variables such as temperature, pressure, flow, humidity, liquid level, velocity and density. Industrial Automation provides the technology to control and monitor a process plant using such concepts as feedback, cascade, feedforward and advanced process control. Here at the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT), we have developed industry-focused programs in the form of vocational diplomas, advanced diplomas and graduate certificates, all the way up to Masters level in the higher education sector.

There is a critical shortage of automation, instrumentation and control engineers, technicians and technologists around the world now due to the retirement, restructuring and rapid growth in new technologies and industries. The respected International Society of Automation (ISA) organization estimated that at least 15,000 new automation engineers are needed annually in the USA alone.

In keeping with the philosophy of EIT, students in this school are exposed to the practical, up-to-the-minute knowledge and skills demanded by leading industries worldwide, with online instrumentation courses. EIT does not just cater to a generic student body, instead all of our online instrumentation courses are specific to industry. The programs cover a large range of topics and are suited to anyone needing an intensive and practical look at all facets of industrial automation, instrumentation and process control.

The short courses that form part of EIT's professional development series are designed to provide students with critical knowledge and practical tools that can be immediately applied to the workplace. They are ideal to up-skill and/or cross-skill in a particular area or technology and are not accredited programs.

Students in EIT's School of Industrial Automation, Instrumentation and Process Control study subjects which include: process control, instrumentation, control valves, process plant layout and piping design, tuning of process loops, SCADA, PLCs, advanced process control (APC), boiler control, hazardous areas, safety instrumentation (IEC 61511 and IEC 61508), HAZOPs, industrial data communications, networking, deviceNet and Fieldbus, industrial wireless, radio telemetry systems, shielding/EMC/EMI, and noise reduction. 


I: Vocational Education & Training (VET) program

II: Higher Education program

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is what some of our past students have said about this course:

"The whole system is excellent and flexible. The instructor was approachable and had knowledge" Y. Ali (Australia)

"Good overview of a complex area" S. Sommerville (United Kingdom)

"For me, as I am working in HV commissionaing, I am involved in testing numerical relays. As the relays were IEC 61850 configured, the course was really helpful in understanding the concept of IEC 61850" S. Sthapit (Australia)

"I liked most the material content and modern standards" A.A. Raheem (Iraq)

"I like the module 11, Migration and Implementation Issues; it changed the way I want to implement my (small) current substation automation project. Thanks a lot" A. Rubio (New Zealand)

"I liked most being able to playback webinars - an excellent learning tool. The instructor presents webinars very well and effectively explains complex material very concisely and clearly. With the instructor's help I managed to achieve very good results" V. Cilia (Australia)

"The practical exercise was interesting and was useful to what we were taught in the theory" J. Ramasamy (Australia)

Read more amazing student stories here.

You can also click here to view our Frequently Asked Questions.