Professional Certificate of Competency in Practical IEC 61850 for Substation Automation for Engineers and Technicians


  • The basic scope and outline of IEC 61850
  • Substation automation functions and architectures
  • Identify the most appropriate networking components for substation automation
  • Using the IEC 61850 data model to specify a substation automation system
  • Using 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

Next intake is scheduled for August 4 and places are filling fast– register now here




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

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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 one of our programs, read more about our In Company Online Training HERE and contact us to assist you further.


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Course Fees

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  6. Professional Certificate of Competency in Hazardous Areas and Intrinsic Safety for Engineers & Technicians
  7. Professional Certificate of Competency in Instrumentation, Automation and Process Control
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  9. Professional Certificate of Competency in Safety Instrumentation Systems for Process Industries
  10. Professional Certificate of Competency in Control Valve Sizing, Selection and Maintenance
  11. Professional Certificate of Competency in Process Control Incorporating Loop Tuning and Advanced Control Strategies
  12. Professional Certificate of Competency in Machine Vision Applications in Industry
  13. Professional Certificate of Competency in Best Practice in Process, Electrical & Instrumentation Drawings and Documentation


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 advanced training and diplomas in Instrumentation and Control.

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 ISA organisation 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 doesn't just cater to a generic student body, instead all of our instrumentation courses online are specific to industry, for example mining engineering.

Students in the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) School of Automation 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. 

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