Information for farmers about inspections the Rural Payments Agency carries out on Basic Payment Scheme and agri-environment scheme claims.
Who gets inspected
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) chooses which Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and agri-environment scheme claims it checks for cross compliance. It bases the choice on a risk assessment based on:
- the size of claim
- the time since last inspection
- previous BPS, Single Payment Scheme (SPS) or cross-compliance inspection results
- applicable statutory management requirements (SMR) and good agriculture and environmental condition (GAEC) features
RPA will not usually warn you about an inspection but in some cases you might get up to 48 hours’ notice.
What gets inspected
RPA will check, and where necessary measure, land area and parcel boundaries and will also look at:
- landscape features
- dairy facilities
- food and feed storage facilities
- pesticides storage facilities
- egg production areas
- livestock, land and records associated with groundwater, sewage sludge, nitrates and water abstraction licences
RPA inspectors will check records, calculations, risk maps and other documentary evidence.
Time and Length
Inspections can take place at any time during the year. The length of the inspection depends on the scale of the inspection, and what RPA find when they visit you.
The inspector should give you more information about the likely length of a visit once they arrive on your farm. Inspection lengths vary from a few hours to several days.
What happens next
The inspector will:
- explain all findings to you
- complete a Control Report Form to decide if any BPS reductions or penalties will be applied
- make any mapping updates required on the Rural Payments system
- send you a report to explain any breaches