This course introduces you to NRCS planning criteria and their role in each phase of the Nine Steps of Conservation Planning. You will learn about their relation to field and automated assessment tools and about how they are used in identifying resource concerns and evaluating conservation alternatives for clients.

Course Objectives:

Understand that the overarching purpose of planning criteria is to help planners identify and address resource concerns.
Access planning criteria in the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG), Section III.

Use planning criteria in the conservation planning process to drive the resource inventory process (Phase I), to formulate and evaluate alternatives (Phase II), and to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented plans (Phase III).

Explain when and how experienced and new conservation planners should incorporate automated and field assessment tools into the conservation planning process.

Determine when it is appropriate to ask for support from a technical specialist or other expert during each of the three phases of conservation planning.

Apply effective communication strategies to communicate to clients about resource concerns and alternatives during each of the three phases of conservation planning.

Core Competency (Matrix)
Conservation Planning
Online Course


Training Type
Online Learning

United States


Participants will need an AgLearn account to take this training. Instructions on how to register are here: AgLearn Instructions