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Resume and Interview Preparation Guide for Technical Service Provider Applicants

TechReg - the NRCS Web site for prospective and certified Technical Service Providers (TSPs) - lists the minimum required training, education, and experience requirements to qualify for various categories of technical services. This guide is intended to help prospective TSPs fulfill additional requirements to earn certification in the categories they desire.

Resume

TSP applicants need to fill out each section of their TechReg on-line resume completely. Following are some suggestions to avoid common deficiencies.

Section D Education and Training:

List formal education such as a Bachelor's degree in agronomy. If you have completed informal training, list it and explain it. NRCS needs to know what you learned from it. For example, do not simply list attendance at a water quality seminar; explain what subjects were covered and how many hours were devoted to each subject. In this section, list each NRCS module training course you have completed, i.e., name of modular training course, module numbers, and date completed.

Section E Relevant Work Experience:

Provide detailed information about your work experience with conservation practices. For each practice, include the following:

  • Number or amount of each practice you designed
  • Number or amount of each practice you installed or supervised installation for
  • Description of typical or unique features of the practices you worked on
  • Location and dates of the practices you worked on
  • Who the services were provided for (It may be more convenient to list them here and put a note in Section E1- References, see Section E for references.

You may be asked to submit copies of some practices you designed and installed to NRCS. If your experience does not include specifically designing or installing NRCS practices, say so in Section E and explain related experience.

Section E1 References:

Identify which conservation practices, if any, each of your personal references can vouch for. You may be asked to mail or fax copies of reference letters to NRCS.

Section F - Familiarity with NRCS Guidelines, Criteria, Standards, and Specifications:

This section is crucial. If you lack experience in designing and installing NRCS practices, you need to do some homework! Use the NRCS electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG) to study the documents pertaining to the conservation practices you intend to provide service for. Go to the North Dakota eFOTG and select a county where you intend to provide services. Next, open Section IV and click on the Conservation Practices subfolder. For each specific conservation practice you are interested in, open its subfolder to find the instructions for design, installation, checkout, and documentation.

Interview

NRCS may require an interview with each TSP applicant. The interview will usually be done by telephone. The purpose of the interview is to confirm that you know how to successfully design, install, check out, and document the practices you are applying to provide service for.

Typical interview questions will be directed toward the conservation practices you intend to provide services for:

  1. Which conservation practices do you intend to provide technical assistance for?
  2. What are the allowable purposes for installing those practices? Where is that information found?
  3. What inventory data is needed to design those practices?
  4. Where can you find the requirements for design, installation, and check out of those practices?
  5. Please describe your knowledge of NRCS standards and requirements for designing and installing those practices.
  6. Where are the documentation requirements for those practices found?
  7. What do you consider to be the key points to successfully design or apply those practices?
  8. What are some potential difficulties in designing or effectively applying those practices?
  9. If you encounter a problem or question that is not answered or addressed in the Field Office Technical Guide, what will you do?

North Dakota TSP Contact:

Jay Cobb
SD State Conservation Engineer
Phone: 605-352-1260
E-mail: jay.cobb@sd.usda.gov

Other Resources: