BPS 2018

Everything rural businesses need to know about the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in 2018

Latest news

How to check and change your hedge information

This guidance explains how to check the information RPA holds about hedges on your land and what to do if you need to make changes.

Apply for BPS 2018

You can now apply for BPS 2018. Apply before midnight on 15 May 2018 – but why wait? Sign in at and start now.

Scheme rules and guidance

You can find the scheme rules and everything you need below – including guidance about how to apply online. If you applied using a paper application form for BPS in 2016 and 2017, RPA will post your application pack soon.

Countryside Stewardship

Apply for the Countryside Stewardship (CS) Arable Offer. If you apply after you’ve submitted your BPS 2018 application, your BPS online receipt will contain information about the CS Arable Offer. Find out more about the Arable Offer or request a pre-application pack on GOV.UK.

Rural Payments service - view your hedges

You can see information about any hedges that have been mapped on your land parcels in the Rural Payments service. For more information click the Help link in the ‘Parcel details’ screen.

Add land by email

You can add land to your business by sending an email to RPA. For more information read Add land to your business section below.

What’s changed for BPS 2018

There are changes to the following rules:

  • Active farmer
  • Young farmer
  • Greening

For more information read page 1 in the Basic Payment Scheme: rules for 2018 below.

Scheme rules and other guidance

Other guidance and forms you may need:

Check your digital land maps

Read how to check and change your hedge information.

Read how to check your digital land maps before you request any changes.

If you do need to make changes, read the RLE1 guidance to find out when to use the RLE1 form to make changes to your land or transfer entitlements, if you can’t use the Rural Payments service to do this.

Guidance to help you apply for BPS

Continuation booklets (for paper applications):

Add land to your business

You can add land (that is already registered with RPA) to your business in the Rural Payments service by sending an email to Please use the subject heading ‘BPS 2018 Add land’. The email must be sent from an email address registered to the business in the Rural Payments service. Include in the email:

  • the SBI and ‘Business name’ the land is to be added to
  • the land parcel reference numbers (OS Sheet reference numbers and parcel IDs) for the land you want to add
  • your name and contact number in case more information is needed

RPA must receive your request by 5 May 2018 to make sure the land parcels are added before the 15 May BPS application deadline. You’ll receive confirmation by email when the land has been added, and shortly after that you’ll be able to see the land parcels in the ‘View land’ and ‘Land use’ screens.

Payment queries from previous years

If you have a query about a previous BPS payment that you’ve received, please fill in a BPS payment query form and send it to RPA. Then carry on with your 2018 application, declaring your land as it is on 15 May 2018.

Rural Payments service

You can use the Rural Payments service to:

  • register for rural payments
  • update your personal and business details
  • give someone else (like an agent) permission to act on your behalf
  • view your BPS 2018 application summary
  • apply for BPS 2018
  • view your BPS entitlements
  • transfer entitlements to use in the BPS 2018 scheme year
  • view and print digital maps of your land parcels
  • transfer or remove land
  • change land use
  • update rights for common land
  • view your previous year’s claim
  • apply for Countryside Stewardship, including the Arable Offer.

Forgotten your online password?

If you’re logging in with a Customer Reference Number (CRN) and have forgotten your password, you can create a new one from the sign-in page.

Click ‘Having trouble signing in?’ then ‘create a new one’.

If you can’t remember your CRN, call RPA on 03000 200 301.

How to use the Rural Payments service – help is available

Onscreen ‘Help’ in the service to guide you if you get stuck. Or you can read and print a copy of all the onscreen Help (PDF, 2.39MB, 52 pages)

Our videos also show you how to use the service.

Planned maintenance of the Rural Payments service

There are times when the Rural Payments service is unavailable because of essential planned maintenance and updates. Check Rural Payments: registering and updating your details to keep up to date about availability of the Rural Payments service.

Drop-in centres

The centres will open on 1 May and close on 15 May. They will accept fully completed BPS application forms and supporting documents, and provide receipts for them. The centres are at the main RPA sites:


Eden Bridge House
Lowther Street


Sterling House
Dix's Field


Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne


North Gate House
21 - 23 Valpy Street


Curwen Road
CA14 2DD


Foss House
Kings Pool
1 - 2, Peasholme Green

Opening times are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Contact RPA

Published 9 August 2017
Last updated 6 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. How to apply online - trouble shooting questions v2.0 published, includes updates about checking ‘activate less BPS area’ screen on the Rural Payments service, and Original date and time shown when submitting an updated application.
  2. Scheme Rules update to the entry for 31 May on the Key dates diagram on page 2; update to the ‘Managing fallow land during the EFA fallow period’ section on page 54; update to the example on page 64; update to the ‘Looking after EFA hedges or trees in a line’ section on page 56.
  3. Update latest news to include a link to new guidance 'How to check and change your hedge information'.
  4. New guidance published 'How to check and change your hedge information'
  5. 22 March 2018: V3.0 of BPS 2018 Scheme rules published to update entitlements usage examples 2, 3 and 4 on pages 30 and 31
  6. V3.0 of BPS 2018 Scheme rules published
  7. Update for BPS paper applicants (BP5 forms will be issued to those who applied on paper in 2016 and 2017). Publish version 2.0 of the BPS scheme rules clarifying EFA, including updated diagrams.
  8. Customers can now apply for BPS 2018 in the Rural Payments and all BPS guidance is now available on GOV.UK.
  9. Key Dates added
  10. Added link to BPS2018 land use code
  11. Latest updates for BPS 2018
  12. Further updates made the greening requirements.
  13. Entitlement and land transfers now available for BPS 2018
  14. First published.