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Technical Service Providers

Technical Service Providers

Welcome!

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers, forest owners and other land managers improve natural resource conditions on privately held working lands. NRCS may provide technical assistance services directly to an eligible USDA program participant or through an agreement with a third-party vendor or through a payment to the program participant for technical services provided by a Technical Service Provider (TSP). 

Technical Service Providers (TSP's) are individuals or businesses that have been certified by NRCS as having the technical expertise in planning and design, installation, and checkout of a variety of conservation activities. Each TSP is registered on the NRCS’s Web-based TSP Registry, TechReg in each category of services they are certified to provide.  Certified TSP’s have met the required credentials including training and verification of essential education, knowledge, skills and abilities needed to provide conservation technical services.

The information on this page refers to TSP work through individual Farm Bill conservation contract items. For more information on the TSP program, contact your local Service Center or the Pennsylvania State TSP Coordinator at 717-237-2256.

WHAT IS A TSP?

TSP's provide conservation technical services directly to participants in USDA Conservation Programs.  The TSP program expands the availability of technical services to carry out NRCS Conservation Programs.  To find a TSP in your state or county, use the TSP Locator by clicking here.  

Who can become a Technical Service Provider?  Any individual, business, non-profit organization, or public agency that is certified and performs the service specified by categories on the Web-based registry, TechReg for USDA Clients has become a TSP. TechReg is the portal for certified TSPs to register their credentials, and manage their TSP profiles. It also provides public access to the list so USDA Clients may find certified TSPs. (NRCS employees are not eligible, and employees of public agencies must only practice under the auspices of their employing agency). TSPs can only provide services for which they have been specifically certified by NRCS in TechReg. For more information what kind of work a TSP can do click here.

Who can hire a Technical Service Provider and be reimbursed by USDAAnyone who is eligible and subsequently receives funding through an NRCS conservation program may hire a TSP certified for the needed services and available for the geographic area where needed.

HOW TO BECOME A CERTIFIED TSP

The TSP program utilizes an online application process. Potential TSPs must obtain a Level 2 e-Government account (login and password) from the USDA e-Authentication web site at http://www.eauth.egov.usda.gov/. A government-issued photo ID must be presented at the nearest USDA service center to complete the account process.  To find a nearby Service Center, click here.

Once an e-Government login and password have been set up, applicants can become certified by registering and completing the certification process through TechReg.

NRCS will review your application and verify that it meets NRCS requirements for certification within 60 days. If there is a problem, we will advise you and allow time for you to make corrections. If NRCS approves your application, you will electronically sign a Certification Agreement with NRCS. This grants you certification and places you on the list of approved TSPs located on TechReg


WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED TSP! 

Technical Service Provider RegistryThe services a TSP can provide are limited by the technical service categories that the consultant is certified to perform in the state of Pennsylvania. Certification in different states and counties is optional for the consultant. The demand for services will depend, among other things, on the availability of assistance provided by NRCS and partners, the willingness of the producer to hire a TSP and program funds allocated for this purpose.  Categories of services commonly needed in Pennsylvania include Conservation Activity Plans such as Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs), Forest Management Plans, Ag Energy Management Plans, and Conservation Plans Supporting Organic Transition.  Many conservation practices need specialized plans or assistance with their application.  Practice plans, design, installation or checkout assistance may be needed for nutrient management, feed management, grazing management, land treatment, channel and streambank stabilization, manure and wastewater handling and storage, waste utilization, prescribed burning, IPM, herbicide resistance weed control, irrigation water management, drainage water management, wetland restoration, pollinator habitat, fish and wildlife habitat management, and other categories.


SERVICES THAT CAN BE PROVIDED BY TSP'S

The services a TSP can provide are limited by the technical service categories that the consultant is certified to perform in the state of Pennsylvania. Certification in different states and counties is optional for the consultant. The demand for services will depend, among other things, on the availability of assistance provided by NRCS and partners, the willingness of the producer to hire a TSP and program funds allocated for this purpose.

Technical Service Provider Registry

All technical services provided must meet NRCS Technical Standards and Specifications that are located in the electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG). 

In addition, TSPs are required to follow NRCS and Departmental policies and guidelines as well as meet program requirements for the USDA program serviced. Policy, guidelines, program manuals, and handbooks can be found in the Online Resources on TechReg.

State and local information not available online can be obtained by contacting your local Service Center or Pennsylvania’s State NRCS TSP Program Coordinator at 717-237-2256.

HOW A TSP GETS WORK

When an eligible program participant agrees to a contract that includes a Conservation Activity Plan or if TSP funds are approved for practice design, installation, or checkout, NRCS directs the person to the TechReg webpage to find TSP certified in the needed category of services. NRCS does not promote any particular TSP. The participant is free to choose any TSP that will meet his/her expectations. Due to this, it is in the best interest of the TSP to promote and market their services.

TRAINING

Certification for some categories of service requires the completion of national NRCS training courses (i.e., Conservation Planning Training Modules 1-5). National training opportunities can be accessed through AgLearn by requesting access during set up of the TSP profile in TechReg (see Online Resources).
 

OPPORTUNITIES

Currently no opportunities are listed. Please Check Back Soon or check for TSP opportunities in Pennsylvania advertised on FedBixOpps!
 

PROGRAM INFORMATION

TSP Hiring Process

  1. When program participants agree to a contract for a Conservation Activity Plan, they should immediately contact a TSP to hire them and begin work so as to complete it on schedule.
  2. When TSP services are needed to design, install, or check out practices, program participants request assistance from the NRCS District Conservationist.
  3. If the request is approved, the program contract will be modified to add the funds that will be used to pay the TSP. The funds are calculated based on what it will cost NRCS to do the work and are determined to be a not-to-exceed rate (NTE). Any cost above the rate approved will be the responsibility of the participant.
  4. Knowing the amount approved, the participant “shops” for a TSP.
  5. When a TSP is selected, the contract terms are established between the participant and the TSP. All work must be done during the same federal fiscal year the TSP funds were approved. Participants have until August 31 to certify practice completion.
  6. At completion, the TSP will certify and sign form CCC-1245 (boxes 15 and 16) that was previously provided by the participant. The TSP will also provide to the participant an invoice for services rendered.
  7. The participant will complete form CCC-1245 by answering questions 18 & 19 and signing and dating at the bottom of the form. The participant is responsible for returning the CCC-1245 form and the invoice to NRCS.
  8. With these documents NRCS will process payment to the participant. If the participant authorizes NRCS to pay directly to the TSP, he/she will need to fill out form CCC-36 (“Assignment of Payment” form).
     

CONTACT US:

Pennsylvania State TSP Contact:

Daniel Dostie

359 East Park Drive, Suite 2

Harrisburg, PA 17111

(717) 237-2256