About TechReg and the TSP Program
What is TechReg?
TechReg is the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Internet site for the Technical Service Provider (TSP) Program. Individuals interested in providing conservation technical assistance to farmers and ranchers on behalf of NRCS use this site to register and become certified. The site also provides NRCS customers information about how to find certified TSPs. TechReg supports the NRCS commitment to citizen-centered electronic government and for serving the public more effectively and efficiently through electronic means.
Who are Technical Service Providers and what can they do?
Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals, private businesses, nonprofit organizations and public agencies certified to work with NRCS to help agricultural producers plan and apply conservation practices on the land. TSPs:
- Develop conservation plans including Conservation Activity Plans
- Plan, design, lay out, and install conservation practices
- Inspect completed practices for certification, as applicable
TSPs can assist producers with nutrient management, energy use, forestry, grazing, irrigation, organic agriculture and/or wildlife habitat and other practices. They provide a variety of conservation planning services and the appropriate supporting documentation. TSPs maintain confidentiality and also help farmers, ranchers and forest land owners comply with federal, state, tribal and local laws and requirements and to meet commitments made under NRCS conservation program contracts.
While TSPs work primarily with individuals, the NRCS State Conservationist has the option to authorize the use of a TSP to deliver conservation planning with groups – for example, those in a given watershed or drainage district.
Producers can chose to have a TSP provide technical assistance for the planning, design or installation of conservation practices. TSPs negotiate payment for services directly with the producer. Once technical services are completed, the TSP provides documentation and an invoice to the producer. The producer provides documentation and an invoice to NRCS. NRCS reimburses the producer at a contracted rate established by the program. The maximum rates for technical services are listed on the TSP website under “Payment Rates.”
The 2014 Farm Bill was enacted on February 7, 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill contained only minor changes to the TSP Program.
The 2008 Farm Bill authorized NRCS to use TSPs. The public’s interest to do conservation work and the government’s financial commitment to conservation are both at historic levels. The TSP Program extends the reach of conservation to help meet these demands. NRCS and conservation partners are committed to providing technical and financial conservation service to customers more quickly and efficiently. TSPs represent a new industry of certified professionals from the private sector, non-profit organizations, and public agencies that can provide direct technical assistance and deliver conservation activities in support of this commitment.
Technical assistance includes conservation planning and design, layout, installation, and checkout of approved conservation practices. NRCS and conservation districts have traditionally provided these technical services, and will continue to do so. Now, the NRCS has the ability to provide financial assistance to producers for technical assistance provided by certified TSPs. For details on current Conservation Activity Plans' (CAP) Certification Options and Criteria click here. For details on technical service categories' Certification options and criteria, click here.
Interested in becoming a Technical Service Provider?
Find out how to become a Technical Service Provider by checking out the TechReg-Step by Step Guide with instructions on how to obtain a user ID and password.
The TSP Program allows farmers and ranchers to select from a number of TSPs to help meet their conservation needs. NRCS is committed to ensuring quality conservation technical assistance from the TSP Program for all its customers.
TSP Assistance Final Rule (last amended August 1, 2014) -The final rule is the regulation detailing the policies, procedures and requirements related to delivery of technical assistance by individual and entities other than the Department, referred to as Technical Service Providers or TSPs. The Rule is published in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Subtitle B, Chapter IV, Subchapter F, Part 652 (7 CFR 652)
TSP Policy (as of September, 2014) — The TSP policy is now online. It provides guidance to NRCS employees on how to conduct the Technical Service Provider process. To view the TSP Policy, go to eDirectives, General Manual, Title 180-Conservation Planning and Application, Part 411-Technical Service Provider Assistance Policy.
TSP Manual (as of September, 2014)-The TSP Manual provides policy and procedures that NRCS uses to utilize Technical Service Providers. To view the TSP Manual, go to eDirectives, Manuals, Title 440-Programs, Part 504-Technical Service Provider Assistance.