Guidance

Basic Payment Scheme inspection

Information for farmers about inspections the Rural Payments Agency carries out on land areas, parcel boundaries, crop types and environmental focus areas.

Who gets inspected

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) chooses which Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims it checks based on a risk assessment based on:

  • the size of claim
  • any changes in claimed area or land type
  • time since last inspection
  • previous BPS or Single Payment Scheme (SPS) or other scheme inspection results
  • late claim submission

You’ll get up to 14 days’ notice of inspections.

If there is a high level of non-compliances one year then there’ll be extra inspections the next year.

What gets inspected

RPA inspectors will check, and if necessary measure, items for which you’ve claimed the basic payment and greening payment, such as:

  • land area
  • parcel boundaries
  • crop types
  • environmental focus area (EFA) features

Inspectors may also look at documentary evidence to check Young farmer, Active farmer and National Reserve claims.

Most of these inspections take place via remote sensing, meaning inspectors may not need to visit your farm.

Time and length

Most inspections take place between April and November but inspectors may check cover crops up to January of the following year.

Inspections take on average between 1 and 3 days but larger farms can take up to several weeks.

Some inspections may involve more than one visit to your land during the year.

What happens next

The inspector will verbally explain all findings to you.

RPA completes a Control Report Form to decide if any BPS reductions or penalties will be applied and to report any other cross compliance issues. These may be followed up as a targeted or ad-hoc inspection.

RPA makes any mapping updates required on Rural Payments. RPA will send you a report to explain any breaches.

Published 12 January 2016