Complaints procedure

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

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
S80 9FG

Tel: 03000 200 301

For the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS):

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

Tel: 0345 050 1234
Welsh language tel: 0345 050 3456

For Trader schemes:

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

Tel: 0191 226 5176

When you contact us, please give us the following information.

  • 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), County Parish Holding (CPH) number or project reference number.

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

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.

We’ll try to settle your complaint within 15 working days of receiving it. If we can’t, we’ll explain why and work with you to settle it or agree what else can be done.

If you tell us you aren’t satisfied with the decision, our Complaints Resolution Team will look at your case. They’ll make a decision within 15 working days or if this isn’t possible, they’ll contact you to discuss what can be done.

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 Resolution Team gives you, we’ll look at your case again. You can ask us to pass your case to our Complaints Review Team. This team won’t have seen your case before. They’ll make an independent decision within 30 working days.

If you’re not satisfied with the decision of the Complaints Review Team, what happens next will depend on whether you’ve complained about our service, or you’ve 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.
  • If it’s about a decision we’ve made, you can appeal.

How to appeal

You can appeal if you’re not satisfied with the decision from the Complaints Review Team. In the case of Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) socio-economic schemes you can only appeal against a funding decision we have made, if you think that we have:

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

For appeals about RDPE socio-economic schemes you need to appeal within 60 working days of receiving our decision letter and you must set out the reason for your appeal under the criteria above.

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

Rural Payments Agency
Sterling House
Dixs Field

Tel: 03300 416 509


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 appeal is less than £2,000; £250 if it’s between £2,000 and £10,000; and £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.

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

Send your form and cheque to our Appeals Team in Exeter. The address is shown on the form. We’ll acknowledge your appeal within 5 working days.

If the Appeals Team agrees with our decision, they’ll refer your appeal to the Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel who will make a recommendation to the Minister. The Minister’s decision is final.

If your appeal is about a Rural Development socio-economic scheme, you don’t need to pay a fee.

Send your form to:

Socio-Economic Scheme Office
Foss house
Kings Pool
1-2 Peasholme Green

Rural Development 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.

Judicial Review

If you disagree with the minister’s decision, you can take your own legal advice to challenge the decision through the courts.