BECOME A TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDER
A Technical Service Provider (TSP) is a private forestry consultant who is verified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). TSPs have technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of activities and are hired by forest owners to provide these services on behalf of NRCS.
TSPs can also assist landowners in implementing practices funded by the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is a cost-share program that can fund the development of forest management plans, wildlife habitat enhancement activities, and other resource enhancement practices. Landowners use EQIP and other NRCS cost-share programs as a resource to achieve their conservation and management goals.
the resources below will provide you with information to become a Technical Services Provider. Keep in mind, this is a multi-step process. Expect the authentication process, materials review, and training modules to take you 3-4 days to complete and additional time to coordinate with NRCS for each phase of review and approval.
Here’s an overview of the process to help you get started.
Step 1: Obtain an NRCS eAuthentication account
The eAuthentication Account allows you to do business with the government online. The account allows you to access to authenticated sites (those that require passwords) that track contracts, programs, and services that involve you as a customer or technical service provider.
Go to http://www.eauth.egov.usda.gov/eauthCreateAccount.html to complete your online application for a USDA eAuthentication account.
- Select Level II Access.
- Complete the registration page by making up your own User ID, Password, & 4-digit PIN.
- PASSWORD PRO TIP: Your password needs to be at least 12 characters long, include 1 number, 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 special character (! # $ – % + = : ? *), and it CANNOT include any words recognized by a dictionary. For example: Fore$T$rul3!
- Complete your security questions and answers. Then click CONTINUE.
- Verify that all your information is correct. Submit your registration.
- Check your email. An email containing the link to your account information is automatically sent to the email address you provided. Click the link in the email.
IMPORTANT: You will need to visit your local USDA Service Center to present a form of identification. Local USDA Service Centers can be located at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app
- Bring your official Government Photo ID (state driver’s license or US passport to verify your identity). Note: Your first and last name in your eAuthentication Account record MUST match the name on your Photo ID. Once you’ve presented your ID to the USDA office AND you have been verified in the system, you will be able to complete your TSP Tech Reg Profile.
Step 2: Complete a TSP TechReg Profile
Complete Part 1 (Background), Sections A through F1. At a minimum complete these sections by providing specific information that documents how you are meeting certification criteria for each of the categories/Conservation Activity Plan(s) (CAP) you are applying for in Sections G1, G2 and H in Part 2 of your profile. The following list includes materials that are helpful to complete your TSP TechReg Profile:
- Name and contact information for your business or agency
- List any licenses, accreditations or certifications
- Name of licenses, accreditations or certifications
- License, accreditation or certification number
- Expiration date
- Education & training history
- Institution Name
- Area of study
- Completion date
- Relevant work experience
- Description of work
- Work start date
- Work end date
- Professional references
- Description of references
- Contact information for references
- Electronic copy of forest management plans that your have prepared – preferably one that meets the minimum NRCS requirements for a Conservation Activity Plan (see resources below)
Step 3: Complete online training modules on AgLearn using your TechReg profile
The required training modules in AgLearn will be listed in your TechReg profile.
Step 4: Sign a TSP Certification Agreement issued by NRCS
NRCS will issue you a TSP agreement. You will need to coordinate with them upon receipt and will need to keep track of the updates and be proactive about renewing your TSP qualifications every 3 years.
- TSP Program Overview – A presentation that provides general information on the TSP program and how a TSP interacts with NRCS.
- EQIP Program Overview – A presentation that focuses on the TSP’s role in EQIP as well as general information on the responsibilities and duties of a TSP
- CAP Program Overview – A presentation that discusses the process of developing CAPs for clients and managing EQIP projects.
For questions or assistance with the TSP application process, contact your state’s TSP coordinator.
- Ronald Smith – 503/414-3252, email@example.com
- Bonda Habets – 509/323-2961, firstname.lastname@example.org – or –
- Linda Willand – 509/323-2913, Linda.Willand@wa.usda.gov
- TSP Fact Sheet for Providers – NRCS fact sheet that contains information on what a TSP is and how to become one.
- TSP Factsheet for Producers – NRCS fact sheet that contains information on what a TSP is and how to obtain assistance from one.
- TSP Factsheet – Additional information – Information on the responsibilities of both producer and provider.
- Getting Started – eAuthentication Instructions – How to sign up for AgLearn and setting up your profile and registration
- Completing your TSP profile – Instructions – Instructions for completing your TSP profile
- TSP Program Overview – TSP fact sheet that provides an overview of the process of becoming a TSP and the benefits associated with it.
Conservation Activity Plans (CAP)
- Sample CAP Reimbursement Rates – 2014 reimbursement rates for developing CAPs based on the size of the land parcel – rates can vary year to year.
- Forest Management Plan Criteria – Detailed information on criteria for developing management plans.
- Guide for Foresters – Management Plan Template – Comprehensive guide on created CAPs for landowners
- Guide for Landowners – Management Plan – A companion to the guide for foresters. This can be given to future clients to aid in their understanding of the management plan.
- TSP Document Certification – Practice approval form, to be signed by client and TSP
- WA FMP Guidelines – Washington state guidelines for all forest management plans
Sample Field Forms for EQIP Projects
- Quick Reference Field Sheet – A field sheet that can be filled out while assessing the property.
- Forest Resource Concern Checklist – Used when assessing the condition of the forest.
- Habitat Evaluation Guide – “This Habitat Evaluation Guide is designed to provide the NRCS planner with a relatively simple and objective method of determining the value of aquatic and terrestrial habitat in any Evaluation Area.”
- Plot Summary Card – Used as a quick reference for basic information about individual plots.
- EQIP Tracking Spreadsheet – Spreadsheet used to keep track of practices executed and cost of such practices.
- Forest Inventory Sheet – EQIP inventory sheet that speaks to the condition and of the land and concerns for it.
For your clients
- Landowner Useful Web Tools – A good selection of resources available for landowners. This can be given to your clients to help them in making future decisions and implementing projects.
- EQIP for Forest Owners – Quick guide providing basic information on the EQIP program and why it might be useful for a landowner.
- Landowner EQIP Flyer – Up-to-date brochure advertising the EQIP program.
- CAP Application – 2014/2015 CAP application form landowners submit to NRCS.