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TIPS Training Program

The TIPS Training Program is a collaborative effort between OSMRE, the States, and Tribes. All agencies funder under SMCRA are eligible to participate in this training program. 

The TIPS Training Program educates hundreds of students annually in the use of state-of-the-art scientific and engineering tools. The training provided can be found nowhere else and is considered a “one of a kind” opportunity. SMCRA application of those tools represents the most requested and widely supported component of the TIPS program.

Please email questions or comments to the TIPS Training Leader. All technical problems should be reported to OSM-TIPSweb@osmre.gov.

The Technical Innovation and Professional Services (TIPS) Training Program has a vision to create a continuous learning environment by providing innovative learning methods and expanding course offerings intended to develop individuals to their highest potential, both professionally and personally, with emphasis on outcomes vs. outputs. This will be achieved through the following initiatives:

Partnership Activities

Two technical training programs reside within the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE): TIPS and the National Technical Training Program. Together we collaborate on common training issues and incentives; share representatives on each other’s respective Steering Committees; coordinate course pre-requisites to best serve one another’s classes; and, share resources to address such issues as instructor succession planning. We use the Department of the Interior Learning Management System (DOI Talent) at https://www.doi.gov/doitalent, educating OSMRE employees, and state and tribal training contacts on how to register students for NTTP and TIPS classes.

Partnerships with Colleges and Universities are currently underway to gain knowledge of programs and processes within their institutions, and consider efficiencies that might be gained if implemented by the TIPS Training Program. Partnering with other government agencies is also in process to learn where we can share resources and streamline processes.

TIPS training classes are commonly delivered in small classrooms to allow students personal attention from the instructor while being able to immediately apply the software to actual mining cases. The classes occur in specialized training centers.

OSMRE Training Center Locations

Appalachian Region Office (AR)
3 Parkway Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Phone: (412) 937-2910 or (412) 937-2864

Mid-Continent Region (MCR)
501 Belle Street
Alton, IL 62002-6169
Voice: (618) 463-6460
Fax: (618) 463-6470

Western Region Office
P.O. Box 25065
Lakewood, CO 80225-0065
Voice: 303-236-2925

Non-OSMRE Training Center Locations

  • Albuquerque, NM: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
  • Anchorage, AK: State of Alaska Office (550 W. 7th Ave.)
  • Columbus, OH: Ohio Department of Natural Resources Central Office
  • Frankfort, KY: GIS computer lab at Kentucky State University
  • Huntington, WV: GIS computer lab of Marshall University 
  • New Philadelphia, OH: Ohio Department of Transportation

Thank you for your interest in the TIPS Training Program. If your office has a need for special training sessions, please contact Traci Tobergte, TIPS Training Program Team Lead at (303) 236-3412 or ttobergte@osmre.gov.

Use the Career Series Guide to help you identify your OSMRE career path.

Instructions below referring to "training contacts" submitting course registration forms for TIPS training classes are for State and Tribal employees only.

OSMRE employees are responsible for applying for training courses through DOI Talent. OSMRE employees wanting to take ESRI on-line courses should email jhalloran@osmre.gov stating the course they are interested in taking, after they seek supervisory approval to take the course.

Instructor-led Class Procedure

NOTE: TIPS no longer assigns slots for classes. Enrollment occurs on a first-come, first served basis, with waitlists created when a class becomes full. The TIPS schedule will be posted in the fall and training contacts will be advised to register employees who've identified a need, and are available to attend a class session based on dates published. NTTP will continue to assign slots for their classes.

  1. Employees indicate their interest in attending a TIPS class via the annual Training Needs Survey (May).
  2. The designated survey contact compiles training needs information and inputs data electronically into the survey (May/June).
  3. TIPS representatives decide the TIPS classes/location that will be offered for the next fiscal year (July/August) and coordinate with course managers and instructors.
  4. TIPS training contacts are notified one week in advance of when the TIPS class schedule will be released (October).
  5. TIPS training schedule is posted to the web and training contacts begin registering employees for upcoming TIPS courses. (October/November)
  6. If you are a state/tribal employee, your training contact will register you for TIPS classes via DOI Learn. Only training contacts should have a DOI Talent login and password. Employee will receive an email from DOI Learn indicating their registration in a class is being process.
  7. If you are an OSMRE employee, you will need to login to DOI Talent and apply for the class. Employee will receive an email from DOI Learn indicating your supervisor needs to approve your registration for the class.

Approximately 10 weeks prior to the TIPS class, students will receive an email from the National Training Coordinator advising them they are scheduled to attend the training course, the location, the dates/times the class will take place, and requesting information from the student regarding travel arrangements. The Class Coordinator (National or Local) will begin corresponding with the student and handle all travel paperwork for state/tribal students; OSMRE employees prepare their own travel paperwork.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Information

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) TIPS and NTTP training programs have an arrangement with George Mason University (GMU) Office of Continuing Professional Education Units, in Fairfax, Virginia to obtain CEU credits for our TIPS instructor-led courses. After completing a TIPS or NTTP class, students will be responsible for completing a form and sending in $20.00 for an official certificate.

Instructor-led courses are estimated to be equivalent to one Continuing Education Credit (CEU) per 10 contact hours - on this basis, a 2-1/2 day course would be worth 1.5 CEUs. Instructors will provide students CEU information at the end of each class.

Professional Development Hours (PDH) Information

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement TIPS training program is a registered provider with the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) to offer certified Professional Development Hours (PDH) for TIPS engineering courses. TIPS engineering courses were reviewed by ISPE and they determined the number of PDH’s each course would receive. When a student completes a TIPS engineering course, they receive a course certificate including the “ISPE registered provider” logo and the number of PDH’s earned for course completion. There is no cost to the student for this service.

One PDH is equal to 50 minutes of instruction, so on this basis a 2-1/2 day TIPS course would be worth between 21-25 PDHs.

It is our hope that PDHs certified by ISPE for TIPS courses are transferrable to all of our customer states for engineering re-certification purposes. Feedback on this program should be sent to dpacula@osmre.gov.