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How to Become a Technical Service ProviderTechReg icon (TSP)

 TechReg icon

TechReg is the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Technical Service Provider Registry. Those interested in becoming certified Technical Service Providers or those interested in locating a certified Technical Service Provider will find the necessary information to do so on the TechReg website.  Links to the TechReg website can be found on the National Technical Service Provider Website.

Why Become a Certified Technical Service Provider?

NRCS administers several USDA Farm Bill programs, and often needs help from farmer hired certified TSPs to assist with the delivery of technical services.  The categories of technical services and technical qualifications to provide these services are listed on the TechReg website at http://techreg.usda.gov/RptCategory.aspx and http://techreg.usda.gov/RptActivityPlans.aspx.

If you are interested in becoming a TSP, check out the TechReg-Step by Step Guide on the TechReg website. To register as a Technical Service Provider you must have a USDA e-Government account (user ID and Password). Reporting technical services provided also requires an e-Government account.

Certification is required to be reimbursed for technical services provided to landowners and farmers under the 2002 Farm Bill conservation programs. NRCS staff, partner agencies, non-profit organizations, private contractors, and businesses may be certified to provide technical assistance through NRCS. Different tasks require different certifications. TSP's can only provide services for which they have been specifically certified by NRCS in TechReg.

How to Register as a TSP

Step 1.  Go to the TechReg home page and click on “Apply Online” in the Technical Service Providers section. A dialog box for "First-Time TechReg Users" will open.  This box provides instructions on how to set up your user account and password and provides a link to the e-Authentication site where you need to initially register for a Level 2 account.

Step 2. Obtain eAuthentication.  The procedure to obtain eAuthentication is available on this website at http://www.eauth.egov.usda.gov/.  Once this is done you will receive an email message stating that your account is ready for use with TechReg and you will be able to log-in using the user ID and password you created. You will then be able to go into the TechReg site and interact regarding TSP and other USDA business.

Training

TSP’s are required to obtain all necessary training at their own expense. Additional training and online courses are offered through the National Employee Development Center (NEDC).

Prospective TSP’s should check the TechReg website for a complete listing of organizations approved for certification assistance.

AgLearn is an on-line training resource available to TSPs.  A TSP must register for AgLearn before having access to the training materials.

Registering for AgLearn

  1. After you have your Level 2 eAuthentication account activated you log into the AgLearn Registration website and begin Step 2 by selecting "Complete Registration."

  2. At the User Registration screen validate the information in your account -- full name, address, email, and provide the name of the USDA agency and USDA point of contact sponsoring your account in AgLearn. When this is completed, you then get a pull down menu.

  3. Select NRCS-EXTERNAL-OH-TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDER as “Agency of Sponsoring Individual”

  4. Sign in as “Student”

  5. Enter “USDA Sponsor” – Shirley Yarbrough (HR Manager) shirley.yarbrough@oh.usda.gov, (614) 255-2509.

  6. Enter “Point of Contact” - Michael Monnin (Ohio TSP Coordinator) mike.monnin@oh.usda.gov (614) 255-2488.

  7. After completing all information on the User Registration screen, click “Submit Registration."

  8. The "Point of Contact" will receive an email requesting verification of the user's information.

  9. After reviewing the user's information, The “Point of Contact” contacts NRCS Training Coordinator stating the information is verified. 

  10. The NRCS Training Coordinator then activates your account.

  11. You will receive an e-mail that your account has been activated within 72 hours.

Step 3.  Complete and submit the TSP application in TechReg and to http://techreg.usda.gov/static/documents/Instructions_for_Profile_V1_6.pdf  for detailed instructions. 

Providing Technical Services following TSP Certification: Statements of Work

The Statement of Work is a document that details what is necessary to complete the technical services for each NRCS practice.

For example, if the "Grassed Waterway- 412" practice is to be completed, the Statement of Work will detail exactly what is expected of the TSP to satisfactorily complete the required technical services for each component (design, installation and checkout) of the practice.

Each Statement of Work provides information about how to complete a practice and has specific information about "deliverables" for each component which are required to meet  NRCS-Ohio Standards and Specifications.  The "deliverables" are the technical services required for each practice for which a client hires a TSP to provide.

How to Access the Statements of Work on the e-FOTG website:

  • Go to NRCS-Ohio's e-FOTG website
  • Select the Ohio county where the project is located
  • On the Main Menu on the left side of the opening screen, select Section IV of the e-FOTG, then select Sub-section A - Conservation Practices
  • Select (highlight) a conservation practice
  • Below the name of the highlighted conservation practice will be a selection which repeats the selected conservation practice name along with the words "Statement of Work"
  • Select the "Statement of Work" for the selected conservation practice.

Qualifications for Ohio TSP Certifications

In TechReg, you will find many different TSP certification categories and the criteria for each. You only need to meet the criteria for one option group to satisfy the certification requirements for a category.

Basic NRCS Resources for Technical Service Providers

e-FOTG

The Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (e-FOTG) is the resource for all Conservation Practice Standards and Specifications. Contact your local USDA Service Center for assistance with portions that have not been published to the e-FOTG website.

Technical References

Though much of the information needed to design and apply conservation practices is provided in the Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (e-FOTG), some may not be. Ohio's Technical References web page provides additional information not found in the e-FOTG.

Program Information

Program requirements are not found in the e-FOTG. In the Programs section you will find the program requirements, forms, and other information needed by a Technical Service Provider in advising landowners and farmers. To sign up for these programs, farmers and landowners should contact their local USDA Service Center.

Publications

Using a Technical Service Provider - Producer Options for Technical Assistance (PDF; 2.8 MB)
Technical Service Providers - Expanding Conservation Technical Assistance Capacity on Private Lands (PDF: 243 KB)

State TSP Coordinator

Mike Monnin
State Conservation Engineer
200 N. High St., Rmoo 522
Columbus, OH 43215
PH: (614) 255-2488