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How to Become a TSP

A full set of instructions can be found here that details the process of becoming an NRCS Technical Service Provider.

How to Become a TSP

A full set of instructions can be found here: 

Becoming a TSP (472.06 KB)

Step 1: Make a Plan

Before you apply to become a TSP, you must determine the services you want to offer NRCS program participants and whether you have the necessary skills, abilities, licenses, certifications, and other qualifications to provide services based on Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) standards and specifications as well as certification criteria.  You will also need to investigate any state laws which may apply to the activities and practices for which you wish to become certified.

It is highly encouraged to contact your regional TSP coordinator to gain an understanding of what types of assistance their program participants need to help address the resource concerns on their property.  The regional coordinators have a wealth of knowledge to help you along this journey to becoming a TSP.  A map of regional coordinators can be found here: 

FY24 Criteria 2.12.24.xlsx (92.15 KB)

Once you have evaluated your own qualifications to become a TSP, you must follow the steps outlined here.  The TSP certification process includes required training and verification of education, knowledge, skills and abilities. Visit the Additional Resources page for links to NRCS Registry User Guides and Videos. 

Step 2: Create Your USDA Verified Login.gov Account

To get started becoming a TSP, individuals will need to sign up for a verified USDA Login.gov account (formerly eAuthentication account or Level 2).

For a set of detailed instructions, please visit this document:  

Becoming a TSP (472.06 KB)

If you are already a USDA customer (a Technical Service Provider, for example), linking your eAuth account to the new Login.gov account is necessary.  Instructions may be found in the attached document under “Linking Your Account”.

Step 3: Verify your Identity – Authentication Methods

Login.gov requires a one-time multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all accounts. Account holders must set-up a secondary authentication method in addition to your password. For example, a one-time code can be sent to your phone or authentication app at each login.

For a set of detailed instructions, please visit this document:

Becoming a TSP (472.06 KB)

Step 4: Logging into NRCS Registry

NRCS uses an online system called NRCS Registry to accept, approve and manage TSP applications and certifications.  This system will track a TSPs Licenses, trainings, work experience, and all other items required for certification.

For a set of detailed instructions, please visit this document:

Becoming a TSP (472.06 KB)

Contact the NRCS Registry Help Desk if you have problems accessing the NRCS Registry.

Step 5: TSP Training Requirements – Requesting an AgLearn Account

Training is a critical component of the TSP certification process. NRCS offers an expansive list of training opportunities for new TSP applicants and certified TSPs. NRCS offers courses through the Agricultural Learning Service (AgLearn) and the USDA Science and Technology Library.

To register for an AgLearn account:

  1. Obtain a Verified Login.gov account.
  2. Log into NRCS Registry and start an application to obtain a TSP number.
  3. Complete the required "AgLearn Account Request Form" found here.

AgLearn Account Request Form 2024 (126.27 KB)

  1. Email required forms to  to request an AgLearn account.TSP.Aglearn.Requests@usda.gov
  2. Once you have been notified your AgLearn account has been created, you may log into AgLearn and enroll in courses required for certification.

Visit the AgLearn website.

All TSP applicants seeking TSP certification to provide technical services to eligible NRCS program participants must also complete the TSP Orientation and Conservation Planning Course (Course ID#NRCS-NEDC-000191) and the Introduction to Field Office Technical Guide (Course ID# NRCS-NEDC-000149).

STEP 6: Obtaining TSP Certification

Upon submission of your application NRCS has 60 days to review the information provided, verify your credentials and samples of work and make a decision on your application.  Upon approval you will be certified for a period of three years and your information will be added to the NRCS Registry Find a TSP look up. 

If your application is deferred, you will receive a notice detailing the issues that caused the deferment and the steps needed to address the issues. You will have the option to resubmit the application for review after you address the issues.  Samples of work may be reviewed up to three times before deferment.  If there are noted deficiencies with your sample of work it is important to work with the state discipline experts to resolve any issues prior to resubmitting your application for further consideration.