Complaints procedure

We’re committed to giving good customer service and we welcome your feedback because it helps us to improve.

We’ve responded to feedback that we should try to reduce the time that it takes for complaints to be finally resolved. The shorter procedure is set out below. We will review it during the rest of 2017 and update if necessary.

How to complain

If you’re unhappy with a decision or service you’ve had from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), you can call us, email or write.

For Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and Rural Development Schemes:

Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 352
Worksop
S80 9FG

Tel: 03000 200 301
Email: ruralpayments@defra.gsi.gov.uk

For the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS):

British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS)
Rural Payments Agency
Curwen Road
Workington
CA14 2DD

Tel: 0345 050 1234
Welsh language tel: 0345 050 3456
Email: bcms-enquiries@bcms.rpa.gsi.gov.uk

For Trader schemes:

Trader Schemes
Rural Payments Agency
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE4 7YH

Tel: 020 776 43836
Email: Trader@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

When you contact us, please tell us:

  • your full name, address and telephone number
  • details of what happened and when
  • how your business was affected
  • who you dealt with at RPA
  • how you’d like us to settle your complaint
  • any reference(s) you may have, for example your Single Business Identifier (SBI), Personal Identifier (PI), or County Parish Holding (CPH) number

You may find it helpful to use our ‘Complaint form’ CA4 form (MS Word Document, 352KB) , although you don’t have to use this.

What happens when we receive your complaint

We’ll call you shortly after we receive your complaint. If we can’t speak with you, we’ll write or email instead. If we can immediately resolve your complaint we will, and we’ll let you know what we have done.

Where we need to investigate further, we’ll ask our Complaints Team to consider your complaint. They’ll let you know that they have your complaint and try to settle it quickly. If they can’t, they will explain why not and give a timescale for settling the complaint.

For complaints about the conduct of our people, our Human Resources section will arrange for a full investigation by an appropriate manager.

If you’re still unhappy with our decision

If you’re not satisfied with the decision our Complaints Team gives you, what happens next will depend on whether you’ve complained about our service, or challenged a decision we’ve made.

  • If it’s about our service, you can ask your MP to raise your case with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You must do this within 12 months of your initial complaint. (They would only investigate a case after this deadline in special circumstances.)
  • If it’s about a decision we’ve made, you can appeal.

How to appeal

If you’re not satisfied with the decision from the Complaints Team you can appeal.

For any appeal against an RPA decision, you need to fill in the CA1 form (MS Word Document, 379KB)

Basic Payment Scheme, Single Payment Scheme, BCMS and Trader appeals

If your appeal is about the Basic Payment Scheme, you’ll have to pay:

  • £100 towards the appeal panel costs if the amount of the dispute is less than £2,000
  • £250 if it’s between £2,000 and £10,000
  • £450 if it’s more than £10,000

If your appeal is about the Single Payment Scheme, our refusal to issue a cattle passport on the grounds the appeal was late, or about a Trader Scheme, you’ll have to pay £100 towards the appeal panel costs.

Send your completed CA1 form and cheque to:

Appeals Team
Rural Payments Agency
Sterling House
Dix’s Field
Exeter
EX1 1QA
Tel: 03300 416 509
Email: reviewappealsteam@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

We’ll acknowledge your appeal within 5 working days.

The Appeals Team will refer your appeal to the Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel. They will hold a hearing at which you may present your case before they make a recommendation to the Minister. The Minister’s decision is final.

If your appeal is successful, we’ll refund the appeal fee.

If you disagree with the Minister’s decision, you can take your own legal advice to challenge the decision through the courts (a judicial review).

RDPE socio-economic scheme appeals

For Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) socio-economic schemes you can only appeal against our funding decision if you think that we have:

  • made a mistake with your application
  • made a processing error
  • got the law wrong

You must set out the reason for your appeal under one(or more) of these three criteria.

For appeals about RDPE socio-economic schemes you need to appeal within 60 working days of receiving our decision letter.

There is no fee for appeals about RDPE socio-economic schemes.

Send your completed CA1 form to:

Socio-Economic Scheme Office
RPA/Defra
Room301
Foss House
Kings Pool
1-2 Peasholme Green
York
YO1 7PX

RDPE socio-economic scheme appeals will be referred for an internal review. If you disagree with the outcome of this review, you can request that your appeal is sent to a panel of senior officials.

Contact RPA