NRCS Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planner Designation

NRCS Technical Service Provider (TSP)

Click HERE for the criteria for application for the NRCS CNMP TSP

CNMP Plan Criteria: Practice Activity Code 102

For the most recent version of the NRCS CNMP plan requirements, see the eFOTG: eFOTG > Washington > Section III > Conservation Activity Plans (CAP) > 102 Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP)

NRCS WA 409.10 Criteria to Achieve an NRCS Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planner Designation

A. Prerequisites

(1) Individual must be one of the following:
(i) An existing NRCS or partner employee
(ii) A third-party vendor, including a TSP or an individual seeking TSP certification
(iii) A volunteer
(2) See 190-GM, Part 405, Section 405.11, for CNMP approval and signature requirements.
(3) CNMP planners may not approve the overall conservation plan unless also designated as certified planner or master certified planner.

B. Policy Reference

190-GM, Part 405

C. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

(1) At a minimum, CNMP planners designated by NRCS in each State to develop and implement CNMPs must understand and know the following:
(i) How the FOTG relates to specific elements of the CNMP for which expertise is being provided
(ii) How to apply the technical criteria associated with the various elements of a CNMP as contained in the NRCS FOTG
(iii) How local, State, territorial, Tribal, and Federal laws and regulations affect the elements of a CNMP
(2) The State Conservationist may develop a list of additional qualifications (knowledge, skills, and abilities) required for the CNMP planner designation. TSPs are required to meet only the knowledge, skills, and abilities identified in section 409.10C(1).

D. Certification Requirements

(1) The State Conservationist will establish a State certification process and criteria to certify CNMP planners. Prospective CNMP planners will complete Part 2 (CNMP Plan Development) of the Comprehensive Nutrient Management Classroom Course and have an additional plan reviewed, approval that the plan meets all the criteria in 190-GM, Part 405 and reference provided by a current CNMP planner designated within the associated area, to document appropriate experience and proficiency of all components required in a CNMP. See WA409.15 Exhibit 3.
(2) The State Conservationist will ensure that all pertinent State certification and licensing requirements (e.g., engineering license, engineering approval authority, and certified nutrient management consultant or specialist) are met as part of any program established. Where the assistance of a licensed engineer is required for inventory, assessments, plans, etc. the plan or additional Implementation Requirements/Specifications will be signed by the respective licensed engineer or NRCS employee with appropriate engineering approval authority.
(3) The State Conservationist will establish a procedure for reviewing and approving CNMP planner designations for individuals relocating to their State.
(4) CNMP planner designation for individuals relocating to Washington State will be granted after all prerequisites and training certifications have been verified and a CNMP plan completed in the last 3 years submitted for review. Out of state CNMP courses will be accepted with reference from CNMP designating authority in previous state to verify class content was comprehensive.
(5) Training
(iv) CNMP planner designation candidates will complete the following:
  • Two part Comprehensive Nutrient Management Classroom Course with a minimum of 32 hours classroom (part 1) and follow up CNMP plan development (part 2) is required.
  • CNMP planner candidates will complete modules 6-9 of the “NRCS Conservation Planning Course,” offered nationally or by any State, or an equivalent course requested through the Director, CPTAD.
(v) CNMP planner candidates will complete the following additional training. Anyone who have previously completed any of the following courses are not required to take the course again if proof of course completion is provided, unless required for recertification due to poor performance.
  • “Introduction to the Field Office Technical Guide Course” (AgLearn)
  • Current wind and water erosion technologies training coordinated through a State NRCS office or an equivalent course approved by the Director, CPTAD
  • “NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Systems Course, A Primer” (AgLearn)
  • “NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Systems Course, Level 2” (AgLearn)
  • “Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy Course” (AgLearn)
  • “Air Quality Resource Concerns Course” (AgLearn)
  • “Air Quality Assessment Tool Webinar – Dairy, Swine or Poultry” (S&T Training Library)
  • “Introduction to Water Quality Course” (AgLearn)
  • “Nutrient Management Course, Part 1, Modules 1-6” (AgLearn)
  • “Nutrient Management Course, Part 2, Classroom Course”
  • “Nutrient Management Course, Part 3, Plan Development”
E. Maintaining Certification

(1) State Conservationist will determine the type and minimum hours of training necessary to maintain certification. 180-GM, Part 409, Section 409.10E(1) does not apply to TSPs. For national requirements for TSPs to maintain conservation planning certification, see 180-GM, Part 409, Section 409.10E(3).
(2)The State Conservationist’s review will include a review of records produced by the planner during the current designation period to determine if the planner has completed all of the following:
(i) Demonstrated they have maintained or improved upon the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to earn their designation.
(ii) Completed a minimum of 40 contact hours of continuing education during the 3-year cycle that are related to waste storage, transfer or treatment, nutrient management, and/or water, soil, or air quality as related to animal agriculture. These contact hours may be obtained anytime during the applicable designation period.
(3)The State Conservationist’s review of each planner designation will conclude with a determination of whether the planner’s designation will be—
(i) Renewed.
(ii) Suspended. Findings, corrective actions and instructions for completion will be documented in writing.
(4)Upon completion of a designation review, the State Conservationist or their designee must update the planner’s record in the national planner database to reflect the outcome of the designation review.
(i) Planners are responsible for maintaining their individual planner designation. Maintaining planner designation includes keeping track of completed trainings and reviewing and updating their individual development plan annually with their supervisor.
(ii) Training progress and knowledge, skills, and abilities must be reviewed with supervisors during annual performance reviews