eLINK User Guidance Header

Purpose: The Technical Training module in eLINK is used to capture training requests, display credentials, and support the needs of the Technical Training Certification Program (TTCP).This document provides basic guidance on how to use the Technical Training module within eLINK, including the different permission levels available.

Components of the Technical Training Module

The Technical Training module in eLINK allows SWCD, TSA, and NRCS staff to:

  • View JAA and enter/track other credentials
  • Indicate organizational resource priorities, and the priority practices to address those needs
  • Request prioritized training needs
  • Generate an Individual Development Plan (IDP) report
  • View TTCP training history, and enter/track other trainings attended
  • Search for users who have specific credentials for peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities

All SWCD, TSA, or NRCS eLINK staff with an eLINK account can view their current JAA credentials, and update their own training needs, training history, and non-JAA/other credentials.

All eLINK users with a Manager role within an SWCD, TSA, or NRCS can view and edit Training Needs and Training History on behalf of their organization’s staff. While SWCD, TSA, or NRCS staff do not necessarily need to have an eLINK user account, they will need to have their contact information added into eLINK with the contact type of “Staff” so that the information can be entered on their behalf by their Manager.

Technical Training elements can be updated at any time, either throughout the year as JAA or other training is obtained or once each year in preparation for the posted reporting deadline. However, program deadlines will be communicated outside of eLINK, and only training needs entered prior to communicated deadlines can be considered as courses are planned for the forthcoming year.

I.    Add Staff Members to your Organization’s Contacts

Users with the Manager role are encouraged to confirm their Organization's contacts are up to date before getting started. To verify your Organization's contacts:

  1. Click on the Contacts and Organizations icon in the main menu. Click on Contacts, then Search Contact.
  2. Enter your organization's name in the Organization field, then click Search. All contacts for your organization should appear here. (Note: You will also see your BWSR Board Conservationist listed here.)
  3. If a staff member does not appear in the list of your organization’s contacts, click on Add New Contact, then enter the staff member’s contact information. Save the information you have entered to add the individual to your primary organization. Users with the Manager role can now enter Technical Training data on behalf of this contact.

To request changes to Contacts or Organizations, including requests to delete contacts who are no longer with your organization, please contact eLINKsupport@state.mn.us. Please consult the Managing Contacts guidance Document for more details.

II.    My Training History

My Training History allows the User or Manager to view any BWSR-entered TTCP trainings, and to enter other completed trainings they would like to account for. Data should only be entered here once a course has been completed.

The first grid, labeled TTCP Trainings, will display any BWSR-entered TTCP trainings, as well as any user-entered training for which the user has indicated the training was hosted by TTCP. The second grid, labeled Other Trainings, will display any user-entered trainings (not specified as TTCP).

  1. Click on My Training History tab to begin.
  2. Click on the Add a New Training button. The pop-up that appears will ask you to select Organization (for Manager role only), and the Employee.
  3. The Common Course field includes a number of common courses, including Conservation Planning courses. Begin typing the name of the course, then select it from the dropdown list that appears. Selecting a Common Course will automatically populated the Organization Providing Training field.
  4. If the course is not included in the Common Courses, you may enter it in the Enter Course Name field.
  5. If the course is a TTCP training, but was not entered by BWSR or NRCS, check the “Check here if this is a TTCP Training” box (this will show the course in the same grid as BWSR-entered TTCP courses on the main My Training History page).
  6. Select the Category, enter the number of Course Hours, and the Completed Date.
  7. Click Add, or Save and Add Another to continue adding more training records.
  8. When complete, click Return to My Training History or “X” to return to My Training History main page.
  9. Any user-entered Training records will now appear in the appropriate grid.

III.    My Training Needs

My Training Needs is used to capture prioritized training needs as entered by a User or Manager.

  1. For the Manager role: you will first need to select your Organization from “My Organization”, then click Go. Then, you will need to select the appropriate staffperson from the Select Staff list, and click Show.
  2. Click on “Add New Training Request”. A pop-up window will appear.
  3.  Select a category, referencing the TTCP Skills Matrix (available on BWSR’s website) as needed:
    1. Advanced Technical Skill
    2. Basic Technical Skill – Note that some skills within this category may ask for additional information
    3. Core Competency
    4. Other Certification – Use for conservation planning or non-TTCP
    5. Practice-Specific – Used for JAA or non-JAA practices
      • Engineering
      • Ecological Sciences
      • Non-JAA: Examples include Alternative Tile Intakes or Minnesota Stormwater Management practice certifications
  4. After completing all required fields for the practice, skill, or training you are requesting, click Save or Save and Add Another.
  5. Once you are finished, click Go Back to return to the My Training Needs grid. Skills request(s) will now appear in the My Training Needs grid.
  6. After one or more Training Needs have been entered, you may generate the Individual Development Plan report (IDP). Note: this report will be blank if no training has been requested.

IV.    My Credentials

My Credentials is used to view JAA from NRCS (“Last updated from NRCS” date will be shown), and to enter non-JAA or other credentials that a User or Manager would like to track.

Edit Non-JAA or Other Certifications

The default sub-tab is Non-JAA or Other Certifications, which is the only sub-tab where you can add or edit data. To add Non-JAA or Other Credentials:

  1. Click on the Add Credentials to add a new credential.
  2. In the pop-up window, select Type of Non-JAA or Other (use "Other" for planning credentials)
  3. Enter the Certification Title.
  4. Enter the Certifying Organization.
  5. Enter the date the certification was received.
  6. The record should reflect that is is succesfully saved; if any required fields are incomplete, they will need to be completed before the record is saved. You may make edits and click Save, or click on Create New Record to add another credential. You may cllck on the "X" or "Return to My Credentials" to return to the Non-JAA or Other Certifications sub-tab grid.

View Engineering or Ecological Sciences JAA

Click on the Engineering JAA or Ecological Sciences JAA sub-tab to view the most recent JAA records from NRCS. Our goal is to update these records twice per year, and the last updated date will appear at the bottom of each sub-tab. (No date information will appear if the user has no existing JAA.)

V.    Organizational Priorities (Manager Role only)

The Organizational Priorities is available to the Manager role only, and allows this user type to enter the Organization’s priority resource needs, and the priority practices used to address those needs. This allows the organization to prioritize individual training needs on behalf of their staff, and also allows the TTCP program to prioritize the trainings they will provide.

  1. Click on the Technical Training icon in the main header menu.
  2. Click on the Organizational Priorities tab (default view for Manager).
  3. Select the Organization, then click Go.
  4. Click on the Add a Priority Resource Concern button. A pop-up window will appear.
  5. Within the pop-up window, select a Priority Resource Concern, then click “Add” or “Save and Add Another”.
  6. Click Close or “X” to close out of the pop-up.
  7. Once you have entered all of the Priority Resource Concerns for your organization, Click the Add a New Priority Practice button. A pop-up window will appear.
  8. Select which Priority Resource Concern the practice will address (the dropdown will be limited to the Priority Resource Concerns you added in previous steps), and then select the Priority Practice. Click Add or “Save and Add Another”.
  9. Click Close or “X” to close out of the pop-up.

VI.    Profiles

The Profiles tab allows users to search for others who have specific credentials, are seeking specific skills, or have completed specific trainings.

  1. Enter any search criteria, e.g. Organization, County, etc. All search fields use “AND” operators, so using more than one search field will further limit results.
  2. Select Current Credentials, Desired Technical Skills, or Training History (this selection is required), and any subsequent fields (For example: Current Credentials>Category/Categories>Practice(s)), then click Search.
  3. The Technical Training Profiles grid will be populated.
  4. To export search results, select the appropriate report type from Generate Report, then click Search.