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Technical Training Individual Development Plan: 2019 Results

In 2019 the Individual Development Plan Tool (IDP) became available in the current electronic format. This updated tool, using eLINK, allows local managers to identify priority resource concerns and practices, local technical staff to enter training needs and record training history, and incorporates information from the NRCS Job Approval Authority database.

During the data entry timeframe 223 SWCD and 66 NRCS employees submitted 1,677 requests for training. These training requests included practices, basic and advanced skills, core competencies, and certifications.

The Technical Training and Certification Program (TTCP) has launched a tool to help Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), and Technical Service Area (TSA) staff create Individual Development Plans (IDP). The IDP tool will enable conservation staff to share their technical training needs, document credentials and certifications, find others with conservation skills for peer-to-peer assistance/on the job training and more.

Conservation Practices

Most conservation practices follow the NRCS practice code, standards, and specifications found in the Minnesota Field Office Technical Guide. Job Approval Authority may be granted to employees who have gained knowledge, developed skills, and demonstrated their competency for a specific practice.

Some practices, such as rain gardens, do not have a corresponding NRCS practice. These practices are planned, designed, and installed by conservation staff, and are included in the IDP training needs assessment. The list below contains the practices with more than 10 requests in IDPs.

Basic Technical Skills

Basic technical skills provide a foundation for technical employees working on conservation activities. There is no NRCS Job Approval Authority associated with these skills, rather they aid in the planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of conservation practices.

Advanced Technical Skills

Advanced technical skills are essential for comprehensive conservation planning and complex engineering work. Generally these skills are required for technical employees to achieve higher levels of Job Approval Authority and credentials such as Certified Conservation Planner.

What does TTCP do with IDP results?

In October 2019, after the IDP data entry had closed, technical trainers from BWSR and NRCS met to review the results. The Minnesota Technical Training Committee met, and the partnership set the training priorities on a state level. Locally, Area Technical Training Teams met to review the information and set their training priorities.

The end result is a planning calendar of trainings that will be offered in 2020. Starting late in 2019 trainers began the process of developing training curriculum, reserving locations, and scheduling offered trainings. This dynamic process will continue throughout 2020, and the cycle will repeat starting with a training needs inventory of the 2020 IDP results.

A listing of current and upcoming TTCP training opportunities can be found on the Training Calendar.

In addition, self-paced trainings are continually added to Online Learning, which can be found in the Online Learning.

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