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General FAQ

Welcome Guest 

Where can I find the Field Office Technical Guide?


The NRCS electronic Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG) is now available online

How do I certify my business?


A business must have at least one certified individual in order for the business to be certified. Business certifications consist of the union of the individual certifications for the individuals attached to the business. Each individual must qualify for all the criteria to become certified as a Technical Service Provider (TSP).

Only certified individuals can be attached to a business. However, the official contact for the business does not necessarily have to be a certified TSP.

What is the reimbursement procedure for Technical Service Providers?


For program participant acquisition of technical services, provisions for the use of TSPs must be included in the program participant's conservation program contract. The program participant then selects a TSP off the approved list, hires the TSP, and pays the TSP. The program participant is then reimbursed for the technical services obtained, not to exceed the National TSP Payment Rates. The TSP can be paid directly if the program participant requests a payment assignment for that payment to be made directly to the TSP.

What are ‘Technical Service Payment Rates’?


TSPR, Technical Service Payment Rates used to be called Not-To-Exceed (NTE) rates.

TSPR, Technical Service Payment Rates, as specified in an NRCS contract, are the maximum dollar amount that the producer will be reimbursed for utilizing the services of a certified Technical Service Provider. The rates are based on NRCS costs incurred during the planning, design, installation, and checkout of conservation practices.

Why can't I login to TechReg?

  1. Access to TechReg requires the USDA Level 2 eAuthentication Account.
  2. Verify that you are using the correct user ID and password. If you think you might have forgotten your user ID or password, then email the USDA eAuthentication help desk at Never provide your password.
  3. If you have tried unsuccessfully to login three times or more, your user ID will temporarily lock as a security feature. It is supposed to unlock itself after a period of inactivity. Wait for a few hours and try again. If you still can't login, then send email to the USDA eAuthentication help desk at Make sure you provide detailed information regarding your request (e.g., user ID, description of the problem, etc.) NEVER provide your password with your support request.

Where do I get help for TechReg?


Use the FAQ section or click the online help button. Use the Contact Us button to send questions. You can contact us by email at There are also step-by-step guides with detailed instructions located under “I want to…” in the upper right hand corner of the TechReg home page.

If you need help obtaining a USDA eAuthentication account, visit the USDA eAuthentication web site at for instructions or contact the USDA eAuthentication help desk at

Who are technical service providers?


Technical service providers are individuals, entities, or public agencies certified by NRCS and placed on the approved list to provide technical services to program participants or the Department.

How will the quality of technical service provider's work be checked?


Quality assurance of completed conservation practices and services will be carried out annually in accordance with USDA quality assurance policy.

When technical service providers are used by a conservation program participant who is responsible for maintaining the practice, follow-up, and status reviews for the duration of the contract?


The participant is responsible for maintaining the practice. The participant may use technical service providers for follow-up. NRCS is responsible for the status reviews for the duration of the contract.

What happens if a technical service provider declares bankruptcy or terminates technical service before a contract is completed for a conservation program participant?


The participant may utilize the services of another technical service provider or request NRCS to provide those services.

How will technical service providers become certified?


After you register in TechReg and select the technical services you wish to provide, then a list of criteria that must be met in order to be certified will be listed. You will indicate how you meet the qualification criteria.

How will USDA's civil rights responsibilities be addressed with technical service providers?


Technical service providers sign the certification agreement which contains a clause stating they are aware of their civil rights responsibilities. Civil rights information sources will be hot-linked to the TechReg site.

Can technical service providers provide technical services for existing program contracts?


Technical service providers can provide technical services for existing contracts. A contract modification will need to be made to include the technical service component.

When can technical service providers begin to provide technical services to conservation program participants and receive payment from USDA?


When States have conservation program funds for financial and technical service providers available and the conservation program participant has received approval through their program contract.

Can Employees of Conservation Districts become TSP?


Conservation Districts will be able to apply for certification as a public agency. They will need to have at least one individual within the District certified in accordance with the TSP rule. In order to be certified for a particular category of technical services, they must meet all of the certification criteria associated with that certification - this includes any licensing or similar qualification standards established by Federal, State, or Tribal law. If a State license is required in the State for the technical services for which they are seeking certification, then they must have that license in order to be certified and to provide technical services under the Technical Service Provider Assistance umbrella.

Are Public Agencies that are functioning as TSPs directly supervised by NRCS?


Any public agency, in order to operate within the Technical Service Provider Assistance Interim Final Rule, must be certified in order to carry technical services and receive payments for those technical services. When they are certified and engaged in technical service provider assistance they are not operating under NRCS technical supervision - they are operating in accordance with the Certification Agreement that they sign in order to be certified. That means that they must carry out the terms and conditions of that Certification Agreement, including the warranting of their work, etc. They are also subject to the terms and conditions of the Departmental acquisition of their services through contracts, cooperative agreements, and contribution agreements.

Does the experience required by a Technical Service category have to be done within the state you are applying for, or can the work have been done in another state or location?


The important point is to have the experience and knowledge. It does not have to be gained specifically in the State for which you are seeking certification. It would be beneficial to have that local experience; however, it can be gained fairly rapidly as you work in new areas – item B of the certification agreement addresses the need to become familiar with local criteria at the county level.

Updated August 27, 2010