Professional Certificate of Competency in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) & SCADA Systems


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


In this interactive 3-month live online course, you will learn:

  • The fundamentals of SCADA systems
  • The essentials of SCADA software configuration
  • Tricks and tips in the installation of SCADA systems
  • The essentials of telecommunications links
  • The use of Industrial Ethernet in SCADA systems
  • OPC and SCADA systems
  • SCADA network security issues
  • How to troubleshoot SCADA systems
  • How to specify PLC hardware and installation criteria
  • How to describe PLC software structure
  • How to write medium level PLC programmes (using ladder logic)
  • How to troubleshoot a typical PLC system
  • About specifying PLC systems

Course Details

This comprehensive course covers the essentials of SCADA and PLC systems, which are often used in close association with each other. A selection of case studies is used to illustrate the key concepts with examples of real-world working SCADA and PLC systems in the water, electrical and processing industries.

This course will be an excellent opportunity to network with your peers, as well as to gain significant new information and techniques for your next SCADA / PLC project. Although the emphasis of the course will be on practical industry topics highlighting recent developments, using case studies, the latest application of SCADA, PLC technologies and fundamentals will be covered.

The inevitable question is which PLC is being used. We present this course focusing on the generic PLC and use the open programming IEC 61131-3 standard. For specific examples, we use the Allen Bradley range, but are not selling Allen Bradley or for that matter any other PLC!

This course is designed to benefit you with practical up-to-date information on the application of PLC systems to the automation and process control industries. It is suitable for people who have little or no exposure to PLCs but expect to become involved in some or all aspects of PLC installation. It aims to give practical advice from experts in the field, to assist you to correctly plan, programme and install a PLC with a shorter learning curve and more confidence. While the course is ideal for electricians, technicians and engineers who are new to PLCs, much of the material covered will be of value to those who already have some basic skills, but need a wider perspective for larger and more challenging tasks ahead. The information covered advances from the basics to challenge even the most experienced engineer in the industry today.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction

  • Introduction and a brief history of PLCs
  • Alternative control systems - where do PLCs fit in?
  • Why PLCs have become so widely accepted
  • Lingering concerns about PLCs

Fundamentals of PLC Hardware

  • Block diagram of typical PLC
  • PLC processor module - memory organisation
  • Input and output section - module types
  • Power supplies

Module 2: Background to SCADA

  • Fundamentals and definition of terms
  • Comparison of SCADA, DCS, PLC and
  • Smart instruments
  • Typical SCADA installations

SCADA SystemHardware

  • Comparison of SCADA, DCS, PLC and Smart instruments
  • Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) structure
  • Analog and digital input/output modules
  • Application programmes
  • PLCs used as RTUs
  • Master site structure
  • Communications architectures
  • Point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems
  • System reliability and availability
  • Configuration of a master station

Module 3: Fundamentals of PLC Software

  • Methods of representing Logic, Boolean Algebra, instruction code and graphical presentation
  • Fundamental ladder logic instruction set
  • Comparison of different manufacturers, memory and data representation and instruction code

Using Ladder Logic for Simple Digital Functions

  • The basic rules
  • Comparison of relay ladder diagrams
  • The concept of the 'scan' and how to apply it
  • Infinite fan-out
  • Contact 'normal' states
  • Positive and negative logic
  • Basic Boolean functions
  • The usefulness of DeMorgan's Law

Using Registers (WORDS)

Number systems, Timers, Types of register data, Counters, Bit shift and rotate, Table functions and Register (Matrix) logic functions

Module 4: SCADA Systems Software

  • Components of a SCADA system
  • Software - design of SCADA packages
  • Configuration of SCADA systems
  • Building the user interface
  • Connecting to PLCs and other hardware
  • SCADA system design
  • The Twelve Golden Rules

Module 5: Good Programming Habits

  • Keeping track of addresses and data used
  • Looking ahead - how will programmes be maintained?
  • Practical methods to improve quality: organisation of code, thorough documentation and simplifying changes

Good Installation Practice

  • Location of hardware
  • Good wiring practice
  • Cable spacing, power distribution and wire numbering
  • Reducing noise and interference
  • Screening and shielding

Module 6: Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs)

  • Human and ergonomic factors
  • HMI configuration
  • Design and layout
  • Alarming and reporting philosophies
  • Alarm system design

Good Installation Practice

  • Recommended installation practice
  • Ergonomic considerations

Module 7: Advanced Control with PLCs

  • The concept of reusable logic
  • Examples, drive logic and alarm handling
  • Use of advanced programming functions
  • Matrix logic
  • Table functions and indirect addressing
  • Example: simple display driver

Batch Processes and Sequential Control

  • Remembering the programme state
  • Creating a 'stepper'
  • Step advance
  • Fault detection and recovery
  • Operator intervention
  • Multiple recipes or alternative paths
  • Sequential function charts

PID Control

The importance of timing and scan time

When PID is not always appropriate:

  • Intermittent measurements
  • Long transport delays

Safety Programmable Systems

  • Why regular PLCs should not be used for safety functions
  • Programmable electronic logic solvers
  • Safety certification
  • Certified programming systems
  • Application examples
  • Growth of networked safety devices and certified networks
  • Integrated safety systems

Module 8: Landline Media

  • Background to cables
  • Noise and interference on cables
  • Twisted pair cables and fibre optic cables
  • The public network provided services

Wide Area Network (WAN) Technologies

  • Digital hierarchies, T1 and E1
  • Packet switching
  • Frame relay
  • ATM
  • SDH/sonnet

Local Area Networks (LANs)

  • Ethernet networks
  • Industrial Ethernet
  • TCP/IP
  • LAN connectivity: bridges, routers and switches
  • Redundancy options
  • Web-based Industrial SCADA
  • Wireless
  • OPC

Module 9: Introduction to IEC 61131-3

  • Concepts
  • Common elements
  • Programming languages: structured text
  • Function block diagrams

Module 10: SCADA Network Security

  • Introduction
  • Authentication and encryption
  • SCADA firewalls
  • Firewall architectures and guidelines

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

  • Troubleshooting SCADA systems
  • Maintenance tasks

Specification of Systems

Common pitfalls, Standards, Performance criteria, Testing, Documentation and Future trends

Module 11: Building a PLC Panel, as well as General Commissioning, Testing and Upgrading

  • Electrical Design and construction
  • Commissioning and installation
  • Simulation and testing
  • Problem isolation and faultfinding
  • Upgrading of control systems

Module 12: Industrial Communications Protocols

  • RS-232 interface standard
  • RS-485 interface standard
  • Fieldbus
  • Modbus
  • DNP3.0


  • Introduction and principles
  • Asynchronous/synchronous
  • Modulation techniques
  • Error detection and correction
  • Troubleshooting

Please note: Course content is subject to change. Due to rapidly changing technology and based on feedback from students and instructors, the Engineering Institute of Technology courses are continuously being updated and improved.

Benefits of Online Learning 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. 
  • 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 Learning Support Officer 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 Online Learning 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 a 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 Online Learning 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 Learning Support Officer.

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.


The instructor was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Ryan Atkinson, Australia

The theoretical material was very useful. Andreas Mpounovas, Greece

The course provides a good knowledge foundation for learning the concepts, principles and information regarding the subject of Industrial Automation. Alan Rushton, United Kingdom

Overall great course, definitely a start on the concepts of the PLC and will help me out at work greatly. Javier Cortes, United States

Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

The key objective of the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is to provide an outstanding practical engineering and technology education; from Diplomas through to Masters Degrees. The finest eng ... Read More

The key objective of the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is to provide an outstanding practical engineering and technology education; from Diplomas through to Masters Degrees. The finest engineering lecturers and instructors, with extensive real engineering experience in the industry, are drawn from around the world. The learning is gained through face-to-face classes as well as synchronous, online (eLearning) technologies. Read less
Perth , Melbourne , Bentley + 2 More Less