Cross compliance: inspections

Anyone claiming rural payments for the Basic Payment Scheme and some rural development schemes may be inspected to check that they're following the cross compliance rules.

Each scheme year, there are cross compliance inspections on:

  • 1% of claimants who claim Single Payment Scheme (SPS) or Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
  • 1% of claimants who have a rural development agreement
  • 1% of claimants who keep farmed animals

There are also cross compliance inspections to check that keepers of cattle and sheep are identifying and registering their animals correctly.

You won’t necessarily receive advance warning of an inspection and it could happen more than once in a year. If you do get advance warning, it’s likely to be less than 48 hours before the inspection.

If you refuse to allow an inspector on your land, or don’t co-operate, you could lose all your rural payment(s).

Who makes cross compliance inspections?

Depending on which rules apply to your holding, you can be inspected by one or more inspector from:

What happens at an inspection

When an inspector arrives they will explain to you what’s involved and what you need to do.

During the inspection, the inspector will fill in a report recording what they find.

After the inspection, they’ll tell you what they’ve found. If they find something wrong, RPA will send you a copy of the inspection report.

To find out more about what an inspector will look for, read pages 71-75 of the guide to cross compliance.

If an inspector finds something wrong

If the inspector finds something wrong, they use a set of standards (called ‘Verifiable Standards’) which helps them to assess how serious the breach is.

If you want a copy of these standards, email RPA.

Depending on the nature of the breach, you may get a penalty which means your payment(s) will be reduced.

Cross compliance penalties

If you receive a penalty, RPA will contact you after your inspection to explain why.

RPA may also reduce your payment(s) if they receive information from any of the following which shows that you aren’t following the cross compliance rules which apply to your holding:

  • Animal and Plant Health Agency
  • Environment Agency
  • Forestry Commission
  • Natural England
  • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

There is more information about penalties on page 11 of the guide to cross compliance.


Contact RPA