Top Energy Training

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is funding the program?

The initial training program development was funded by a gift from ExxonMobil and General Electric to Colorado School of Mines, The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Ongoing development and implementation funding is provided by gifts from ExxonMobil, General Electric, and the Environmental Defense Fund to the three universities. The three universities designate a ‘gift’ when there are no specific required deliverables, no memoranda of agreement, nor any contracts as part of the funds transferred to the university.

Who selects the curriculum and ensures the content is balanced in approach?

The curriculum is chosen by university faculty and researchers at the three different universities, including those with expertise in environmental sciences, groundwater and surface water management, hydrogeology, structural geology, geomechanics, petroleum geology, reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, geophysics, and technical communications. Through a nationwide survey of oil and gas regulatory agency personnel and intensive evaluation of pilot classes, we have been able to focus on the information most needed by new state oil and gas regulators.

What role do funding corporations or other entities have in setting the detailed curriculum content?

None, the detailed curriculum is at the sole discretion of the three universities (principal investigators and instructors).

Who oversees the program?

The program is led by a principal investigator at each of the three universities:

  • Jim Ladlee (Penn State)
  • Dr. Hilary Olson (The University of Texas at Austin )
  • Dr. Azra Tutuncu (Colorado School of Mines)

What other groups, agencies or companies are working with you on this project?

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is working with us to ensure our training meets the needs of state regulatory agencies who oversee oil and gas operations throughout the United States. By partnering with the IOGCC we are moving towards a nationwide best-practice standard in oil and gas regulatory performance.

What do I need to do to qualify for the field/lab experience?

Successful completion of the final course assessment is required to attend the field/lab experience. Once you answer all of the questions correctly, you will be able to print a course completion certificate verifying your mastery of the online materials.

What do I need to know about the final course assessment?

The final course assessment will test your knowledge of the material covered in Courses I and II. You will need to answer all of the questions on the final assessment correctly to pass the course. You will be able to make several attempts to complete the final assessment.

At the end of each lesson, there will be a few ungraded self-check questions to help you gauge your understanding of the content. These self-check questions will prepare you for the final assessment.

What’s the difference between a “Course” and a “Lesson”?

TOP Energy Training courses are comprised of comprehensive lessons designed by our faculty experts. Each course is filled with robust industry information, interactive tools, high-quality videos, and final assessment test to earn a certificate of completion. While an entire course gives you access to our full award-winning curriculum, you might prefer a single lesson in some cases. Individual lessons are shorter, topic-specific modules designed for knowledge boosting, and self-check quizzes. Though the self-check quizzes are designed to reinforce and assess your learning, upon completion you will not receive a certificate.

How often are courses updated?

TOP Energy Training courses are continuously updated as the technology evolves and new lessons are added to stay current.

Can we see a demo or get a trial account before purchasing?

Contact us today if you would like a demo. You can also access our free webinars here (

How can TOP Energy courses help me advance my career?

TOP Energy courses have been designed by leading Oil & Gas experts from The University of Texas at Austin, Penn State University, and the Colorado School of Mines. Our faculty experts have thousands of hours of industry experience that will give you the knowledge, skills, and expertise to advance your career. Both career professionals and career hopefuls will gain new insight and information from Top Energy Training. 

How much time does it take to complete?

Each TOP Energy Training course requires approximately fifteen hours to complete. Individual Lessons will vary.

How long do I have access to course(s)/lessons?

You’ll have access to the courses or lessons for six months from the date of purchase.

Are the courses mobile/tablet friendly?

Yes, all Top Energy courses are mobile and tablet friendly. They work on what we call a “responsive web platform”; therefore they scale based on your specific device. This also means that TOPEnergy Training utilizes Single Sign On (SSO) technology, which means you can access your account anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Can the lessons be downloaded for offline viewing?

No. At this time the only way to access TOP Energy courses is through your online account. 

If I have a question or issue with a course, is there someone I can contact?

Yes. We are happy to help. Visit our Contact page or email us at [email protected].

Are there assessment tools/quizzes?

At the end of each lesson, there is a short, self-check quiz to help you assess your understanding of the content. These self-check questions will prepare you for the final assessment at the end of the course. Both the self-checks and the final assessment are optional.

Is there a certification upon completion of the online course?

Yes. Any user who completes the end of lesson course assessments (self-quizzes) and passes the final assessment exam will obtain a certificate of completion. Our program managers will monitor your progress, and upon course completion, you will receive your certificate. If you have completed your courses and not received a certificate, you may contact us here (link to email or contact us page). 

Can I share my account with my co-worker, friend, or family member? 

No. Each person has their account profile and unique login username and password.

What is your refund policy?

Due to TOP Energy Training’s online course content, once payment is processed and the course accessed, there is no refund.  TOP Energy training will resolve other refund scenarios on a case-by-case basis.

What are the necessary technical or browser requirements?

Click here to see system requirements.

How long will it take to get access?

Once you have purchased our course, you will have immediate access.

Can I start this course at any time?

Yes, You can begin the course immediately or wait and start the course at any time. The content will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.