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Get ready to begin your application for the new Basic Payment Scheme

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: CAP Reform

Later this autumn and into 2015, we’ll be inviting customers wanting to claim the new Basic Payment Scheme to register for and start using the CAP Information Service, the new application and payment service for CAP schemes.   When it’s time to register, you’ll receive a ‘Get started’ Registration Pack from us.

Here we tell you what you’ll need to use this service, which will be only available on the internet, via GOV.UK, so you can get ready before you receive your Registration Pack.

You can view the CAP Information Service on most devices.  However, we recommend that you use a PC running a modern web browser.  You ideally need a PC or tablet with:

  • an up-to-date operating system – such as Windows (preferably Windows 7, 8 or 8.1), Apple OSX/iOS, Linux or Android
  • a modern web-browser – such as Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE8 or above), or the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari
  • a broadband internet connection with a download speed of 1Mbps or more – if you’ve got a slower connection, the service won’t work as well. There are lots of websites which can tell you what your internet connection speed is.
  • a screen with a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels or more.

Older versions of operating systems may still work if you have a modern web browser, an internet connection and the screen resolution shown above.

Some customers might not have used online services before, so there will be extra help available for those who need it.  We’ll be writing to all customers who haven’t applied online before to offer them help.

Making the new application and payment service for the new CAP schemes only available online is part of the Government’s ‘digital by default’ approach, where more and more Government services are moving online.

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  1. Comment by Louise Perkins posted on

    It is inappropriate for the government to make it obligatory to apply for the Basic Payment Scheme via the internet when only approx 67% of England is covered with internet services. Those in rural areas, where farms (oddly enough) are often located, may have no internet or poor internet connections.
    First provide full internet access across England and the UK and only then require access via the internet. You are tangibly demonstrating how out of touch you are with rural communities.
    This is prior to the discussion on rural poverty and smaller farmers not having the equipment and rental required to enable online access.
    To offer positive ideas could the BBC offer internet access through their TV License system?

    • Replies to Louise Perkins>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      We appreciate your concerns and would like to reassure you that we have carefully thought through, practical and effective solutions to help people overcome the barriers they may have to getting online. We are also on track to deliver superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

      For those that need extra help to use online services, help will be available. We have been contacting 13,000 customers whom our research has shown are most likely to be in need of help to get online. The aim is to find out what stops them getting online and what help they may require. Customers who respond to the letter will get a telephone call from a specially trained Rural Payments Agency (RPA) agent to talk them through the options open to them. This could be as simple as enlisting the help of a family member, friend or business contact. Alternatively, the RPA advisor will use their knowledge of what help is available to steer customers to other local sources of support such as charities offering technical help, or towards free or cheap IT training. This ‘triage’ process will also identify those most in need of extra help who will be offered face-to-face sessions with an RPA representative at a local Digital Support Centre. More information is available on our website at

  2. Comment by Richard Giles posted on

    We would like to start using the CAP information service. We are a large farming concern with 2 farms each of over 4,000 acres and 2 separate ELS schemes (1 pre, the other post, 1st January 2012) with all the greening complications that go with it. We understand that greening options will be enterable on the new system which we are keen to do as trying to calculate by others means is proving difficult. Can you tell us the criteria for how access is being rolled out and whether we can request early access.

    • Replies to Richard Giles>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      You will be able to use the CAP Information Service to tell us about how you plan to meet the greening rules of the new Basic Payment Scheme. When it's time for you to register for and begin using the service, we'll send you a Registration Pack, so don't worry that you haven't received it yet.

      • Replies to Alice Hammond>

        Comment by Richard Giles posted on

        We are not worried we haven't received a registration pack yet. However being aware of the potential work that will be involved in entering greening options onto the system and the physical work that maybe needed in the fields to comply with the requirements before 31st December (with all the limitations of manpower, weather etc) together with it's impact on cropping options and contracts we would like to start asap.
        When will roll-out start and how do we find out where we might be in the roll-out process?

  3. Comment by Helen P posted on

    How and when will agents be contacted and invited to register for the BPS on-line service? Will all 'customers' with a government gateway ID be contacted?

    • Replies to Helen P>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      Over the coming months we will be writing to all agents who are known to us to invite them to register for the CAP Information Service, which is the new online application and payment service for CAP schemes (not just the Basic Payment Scheme). Soon we will also begin to invite greater numbers of customers to register as well; Registration Packs will go to all customers who have previously claimed.

  4. Comment by JC&S posted on

    JC&S - The sooner Agents can get registered, the sooner they can register the clients. As yet, no information has been forthcoming and it will not be a two minute job getting farmer clients into the office to register them and to explain the cropping rules/greening to them on a one to one basis.The RPA does need to register Agents as soon as possible.

    • Replies to JC&S>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      Our priority is to register agents as soon as possible and ahead of inviting the majority of customers to register. We will be writing to all agents who are known to us to invite them to register for the CAP Information Service, which is the new online application and payment service for CAP schemes (not just the Basic Payment Scheme). Current SPS customers will receive a separate invitation to register.

  5. Comment by GBL posted on

    It's a little late for farmers to work out their 2015 field distribution on December 31st when most will have made decisions on their fields in the autumn of 2014 if not earlier. Of course, we have all read the guidelines sent so far so we understand the approach, however we need the latest data too and the way the process will work. Hurry up RPA and get the registration information out faster !

    • Replies to GBL>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      The gradual introduction of the service to customers has already started. You will receive your Registration Pack in good time before the BPS claim window opens.
      We will also be providing more guidance on the Basic Payment Scheme policies in our next customer leaflet, due for publication on GOV.UK in late October (and sent to customers during November). Keep checking this blog for further updates.

  6. Comment by Kieran Murphy posted on

    In our free market Capitalist system can Landowners in 2015 let their land anywhere in the UK if neither the Landowner claims entitlement to Basic payment

    In Northern Ireland is 704 euros divided by 5 and include the exchange rate and divide by 2.5 is a acre payment of £40 and under the reforms the Landowner would lose the decision making power to Tenant and neither he or she or members of family could apply for entitlements

    Renting out is much easier to tenant and no red tape and neither claim Basic payment and Landowners could be more actively involved even with their land rented that would reduce taxes and other taxes due to unearned income

  7. Comment by Miss Palmer posted on

    How do we go about making sure that we are on the register to receive the information pack?

    • Replies to Miss Palmer>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      All current CAP customers will receive a Registration Pack in good time before the BPS claim window opens. If you are a new customer you will be able to register from early 2015.

  8. Comment by Richard posted on

    lo and behold experian can't verify us, i wouldn't have used them at all if i had the choice, spent many many wasted hours arguing over our credit rating a few years ago and that was just to get a mobile phone contract! its a case of your life in their hands!

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience. GOV.UK Verify are continuing to test and develop the beta service. The list of certified companies available for you to choose from will be increasing shortly.

      There will be an alternative way to access the CAP Information Service for people who for some reason are not able to verify their identity, and we will be publishing more information about that soon here.

      • Replies to emilyball>

        Comment by Charles Guest posted on

        I have found it impossible to register online, even though we have been receiving payments via SPS since the system started. Neither Digidentity, Experian nor Post Office can verify my information as being correct, even though we have our Government gateway identity! I have had no help from the help line. Please pull your fingers out and get your IT systems working. The time has long passed when you can waste hundreds of millions of pounds on throw away systems that never work.

  9. Comment by Margaret Jackman posted on

    What happens to those who have not been part of the previous scheme but wish to apply when the new scheme begins?

    • Replies to Margaret Jackman>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      If you’ve not received CAP payments before, you can register to use the CAP Information Service early in 2015.

  10. Comment by Juliet posted on

    Our broadband speed is half the recommended minimum requirement for BPS online. Having completed SPS online for the last 3 years, we are comfortable with e-transactions but are now worried - particularly as there will be no paper option from 2015 onwards.

    Superfast Cornwall (having done a line test) has informed me that we fall into the 5% of the population that are beyond reach for fibre optic and they advise we invest in satellite broadband.

    The different packages available are goggle-de-gook to me. What is clear though is that we'd have to sign-in to a contract & need a large dish on a picturesque dwelling (would this need planning permission I wonder?)

    We will obviously need to employ an IT professional to get us though the process. Is there any grant available or designated satellite company (paid direct by RDP) to - literally - get us up to speed?

    • Replies to Juliet>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      Hi Juliet, thanks for your comment. If you’ve got a slower connection then 1Mbps, the service will still work – we’ve found this in trials on farms in the south west – it just won’t work as well. Help will be available to access the CAP Information Service for those who can’t get online, perhaps due to lack of broadband like yourself. When you receive your Registration Pack there will be advice in there on who to contact.

  11. Comment by Beee posted on

    Why do I need to invent a username - presumably you think there is some reason why I should want to use something other than my real name or that of my business - what is that reason; who will see usernames ? I try to keep my personal affairs separate from my business concerns - which email (private or business) should I use for this latest scheme ? If I grant staff access to CAPIS will they be able to access my personal affairs as and when such things as Income Tax are added to GOV.UK ? I think you need to explain a lot more about the scope and intentiosn for GOV.UK.

    • Replies to Beee>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      Hello, thanks for your questions. You need to invent a username for the GOV.UK Verify process, so that it’s personal to you and you can keep it safe. Only you and the certified company – Experian – will know your username. The GOV.UK Verify log-in and the CAP Information Service are two separate, though linked, services. Your GOV.UK Verify log-in is personal and unique to you; your staff won’t have access to it. Your staff will need to complete the GOV.UK Verify process themselves to be able to access your business on the CAP Information Service, and you will then be able to give them the appropriate permission on the service. That way, you can keep your personal and business details completely separate whilst ensuring that your staff can do what you`d like them to.
      If you would like more information about GOV.UK Verify see

  12. Comment by Chris Bailward posted on

    Please explain why the verification service is necessary when we have the Government Gateway that seems to work OK. We are now expected to share personal information with an organisation outside Government and I won't be surprised to receive a lot of unsolicited phone calls and emails on other matters, as a result. What's wrong with the current system?

  13. Comment by E M Wilson posted on

    I have just had a phone call about the fact the system cannot verify my identity. The gentleman was very helpful and confirmed that there was a system error and they are trying to fix it. He will ring me back early next week to help me to complete the process. Watch this space !!!

  14. Comment by Mike C posted on

    I spent ages trying to verify my identity - Experian couldn't do it ,the help desk just cancelled my account. Now I try again I cannot get the link to open from your email. The amount of info required by Experian is intrusive and the qusetions were ambiguous.

  15. Comment by David H Smith posted on

    After a very long time trying to verify my identity this was at last resolved after many many hours. The questions were ambiguous and I really struggled to understand the need for why we were being asked so many intrusive questions. The level of questioning was beyond anything I have encountered before - even getting security clearance to meet royalty is easier than this!

    And having now got the security clearance where exactly do we go to verify the information. I got thrown out of the system and now there is no information about where to log back in again. The original link sent by email no longer works...

  16. Comment by T J Lobb &Son posted on

    I was one of the very first people to use the IACS online application method but i still have not been invited to registry for the new BPS and now we only have weeks to go with Christmas almost upon us, Will i be expected to work all through Christmas to get my head around the new system.?

  17. Comment by Lizzy NO posted on

    I am an agent with about 50 businesses to deal with, most of them are partnerships. We still don't know how complicated it is going to be to get them registered. We are entering the 2nd week in November which leaves just 7 weeks until Christmas - outside farming, retailing and the medical profession, everything will close down for two weeks until after 1 January 2015. Isn't it a bit rich to keep telling us that the new scheme will be rolled out over the next few weeks? We will obviously be entering another nightmare situation just like we did at the start of SPS. The difference is that this time everyone will need to register before the forms can be completed. Just using the new system with a small number of "Guinea Pigs" will prove nothing - of course the system will crash when everyone gets onto it - just like every other system has that been "invented" by Civil Servants.

    • Replies to Lizzy NO>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      We will begin to invite agents who are known to the Rural Payments Agency to register on the new digital service from next week.

  18. Comment by John Wilson posted on

    As agents who have in excess of 250 clients for whom we act for in respect of SPS we have written to them all to make them aware of the Basic Payment Scheme and the issue of Registration in readiness of them receiving their packs and advising them of the anticipated information which will be required for registration as we know they will require assistance.What concerns us is that we are not aware of any of our clients having been contacted by the RPA and neither have ourselves as Agents been contacted to register.If registration is not rolled out more quickly the problems of 2005 will be put in the shade even though there are some 15000 less claimants under BPS!

    • Replies to John Wilson>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      We will begin to invite agents who are known to RPA to register on the new digital service from next week. We’ll shortly be posting up further information on the agents’ registration campaign on this blog.

  19. Comment by Martin (an Agent) posted on

    WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO GIVE/RECORD ALL THIS IRRELEVANT INFORMATION TO A THIRD PARTY JUST TO BE ABLE TO ENTER AN APPLICATION PROCESS - WE WILL ALL END UP WITH POTENTIALLY SPURIOUS & FLAWED CREDIT REFERENCES, which could undermine future negotiations with our bank managers (and others) just like a good number of perfectly honourable and financially sound domestic households have found out to their detriment in recent times.

    What relevance does
    * Other residents who live at the same address
    * How long you’ve lived at that address and previous addresses
    * When you moved in to your current and previous homes
    all have on our eligibility to claim agricultural support based upon the management of land used to grow crops and fodder?

    There are sufficiently stringent penalty regimes already in place (and frequently used) to deal with anyone who wrongly claims or misappropriates these public funds, whether innocently or MALICIOUSLY. It is already the case that, more often than not the full monies claimed and properly due to an eligible claimant are partially withheld NOW because the civil servants can't get the present computer to satisfactorily amend errant mismatched data.

    Is it not every persons right, at least in a democratic country (whether carrying out a business activity or privately), to be able to conduct oneself unbridled by surveillance (which surveillance includes being registered/having unconnected data stored on a un-associated computer) otherwise an individual's HUMAN RIGHTS come into play ?

    Surely THE ONLY NECESSARY On-LINE ID NEEDED to prove anyone's actual existence and eligibility for public funds IS their DATE of BIRTH together with their NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER - it is simple for any Gov. Dept. to check these against their database - especially as we are already applying using the Gov.UK website portal - it should be INSTANTANEOUS - UNLESS OF COURSE THIS NEW ONE-STOP GOV. SHOP DOESN'T DO WHAT IT HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO DO. (If anything flags up as out of place - such as being involved in the management of, or receiving payment for multiple businesses/claims, then further enquiries/investigations/visits can be conducted as has always happened.

    There is absolutely NO NEED to seek the following:
    * If you use your passport as an identity document, this will need to have at least six months of validity left,
    * If you use your driver’s licence, only photocard versions will be accepted, not paper licences, OR have the problems associated with guessing the answers to security questions and then finding that if you answer wrongly, you won’t be able to continue.

    The majority of the 100,000+ claimants are ageing self-employed farmers who don't have a passport, nor a photo-ID driving licence.

    Please will someone explain the practical (not bureaucratic) need for changing the system, as the new GOV.UK website is nowhere near as user friendly as the previous RPA one and I haven't yet found the page(s) setting out the reasoning.

    • Replies to Martin (an Agent)>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      Hello. Using GOV.UK Verify to confirm your identity so you can access government service safely, does not affect your credit references. GOV.UK Verify is the new way for people to prove who they are when using digital services and is done entirely online.

      GOV.UK Verify is linked to the new digital application and payment service for rural payments but is a separate process. Once you have confirmed your identity with a certified company, you can use your log-in details for a growing number of other government services, not just rural payments. The GOV.UK Verify process is not linked to your farming businesses or rural payment claims.

      You might find our page on GOV.UK Verify useful to read. and there is more information here:

  20. Comment by david rhodes posted on

    When are we going to get the registration pack? We have a complex ELS and HLS agreement so it is going to take time, i assume to fill everything in, but i have met no one who has had the registration pack.

    • Replies to david rhodes>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      We are building the new digital service for rural payments in stages and next year will update it to allow customers to make applications for the new Countryside Stewardship schemes. Customers wanting to claim the Basic Payment Scheme will be invited onto the service over the coming months.

  21. Comment by Robert posted on

    When do you hope to have all registration packs for BPS sent out by? Asking this so we know how long we have to register and get used to new IT before making online application.

    • Replies to Robert>

      Comment by emilyball posted on

      We are currently inviting farmers’ agents to register on the new rural payments service and will continue to invite farmers to register between now and the claim window opening in 2015. We expect to invite the majority of customers to start their claim for rural payments in the new year.

  22. Comment by Lynn Corbett posted on

    I attempted to verify myself with much trepidation after reading everyone's problems here, but I chose not to use Experian but the other company and everything went through without a hitch. I was a bit worried as I had less than 6 months validity left on my passport, but it wasn't a problem.

  23. Comment by Thomas Robinson posted on

    I have registered with Experian, apparently successfully and have been able to login to the new payment scheme. However when I tried to confirm my email address with Experian I was told they were unable to confirm my email address, even though they have sent me 3 emails in total. When I rang Experian about this they were not much help. I am now worried I may not be able to continue logging in to the payment scheme.

  24. Comment by Ellie posted on

    I have not previously received SFP but would like to apply for the new BPS. How do I make sure I am eligible (I haven't yet come across a proper document detailing how someone like me knows whether or not I can apply for it or how to prove I am eligible). Also how and when will I be able to apply?

  25. Comment by Michael posted on

    Hi,I have tried to use the Experian and digidentity verification service,experian refused some bank statements even though I had them right in front of me , also I tried digi and managed to get verification, alas when redirected back to was refused. I have spoken to digi as this seemed rather odd, they say because of the 2007 privacy act they cannot actually use the very details they have asked for to verify me!! They all but admitted the system is unlikely to work for many people and are looking to make changes in the future, it beggars belief that something with such enormous gravity appears not to work.

    • Replies to Michael>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      We recognise that not everyone will be able to use GOV.UK to register for Rural Payments, so you can also call the Rural Payments Agency to register over the phone, on 03000 200 301. GOV.UK Verify is constantly being improved on the basis of feedback received.

  26. Comment by Frances Buckle posted on

    When are we going to be able to apply to transfer BPS entitlements and what it the new procedure for this? The only references to this that I can see say that this service will be available mid-January but I cannot see that this has happened.

  27. Comment by Paula Maginess posted on

    Have we missed something here? does BPS replace SPS? Do we have to apply for the BPS if we already receive SPS?

  28. Comment by Lisa G posted on

    This verify thing is nothing but a pain and it doesn't work to verify the information I am giving it from the information I have in front of me, why it cant be linked to the government gateway which we all use to file our VAT returns - HMRC's secure service I do not know!!!

    Also I have not seen anything that tells us when we have to register by besides "as soon as possible"????

    • Replies to Lisa G>

      Comment by Caroline posted on

      Hello, you can’t use Government Gateway to access Rural Payments but you can register either by using GOV.UK Verify or by calling the Rural Payments Agency on 03000 200 301. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with Verify; please do call to register instead. There is no deadline by which to register but the claim deadline is 15 May 2015 for the Basic Payment Scheme and there's more to do this year due to the new CAP policy so we're advising farmers to register and complete the required actions as early as possible.

  29. Comment by P.Harvey-Bennett posted on

    What an unholy mess. Has the RPA learnt nothing from the past? Several complaints above about the silly 'verify' system,particularly with Experian were just ignored. Please provide answers.Just saying we cannot use the Govt Gateway doesn't say why??? The verify system has obviously caused the waste of countless hours of stressful work on the part of farmers who have better things to do. RPA has no care for this. Likewise it does not explain why on earth so much private information is being hoovered up by commercial companies and what protection is being provided for this data. Frankly the lunatics have taken over the asylum. And here we are in mid March and we till do not know when we can start our applications for BPS. When will we be told and how??????????

    • Replies to P.Harvey-Bennett>

      Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

      Thank you for your comment. GOV.UK Verify allows people to choose from a range of certified certified companies when proving who they are online. Each company has user support in place and feedback is passed on and complaints handled direct.

      Government Gateway does not verify an individual to the required level of assurance for modern digital by default services such as the Rural Payments service, and users can’t register entirely online - it relies on codes and other documents being sent through the post. GOV.UK Verify offers an entirely digital service that is faster and more secure for users and is re-usable across a range of government services. If you do not wish to use GOV.UK Verify, you can call the RPA to register on 03000 200 301.

      The certified companies have to ask you for some information and check a range of evidence to establish that it’s really you. All data must be kept secure: the companies have appropriate information security arrangements in place according to international standards and hold this information in compliance with data protection law.

      You will be able to submit your BPS applications on the Rural Payments service from April.

      • Replies to Alice Hammond>

        Comment by P.Harvey-Bennett posted on

        Notably you have ignored the waste of time which I and many others have suffered via 'Verify'. In my experience the system doesn't work yet it still retains all the data which has to be given. Complaints remain unanswered and requests for explanation likewise. Just who is responsible for this shambles? Googling 'Verify' or Experian gets nowhere as does attempts to telephone the labyrithine company. Typically RPA have no heed for the need to get applications in soonest. April is very late for 15th May deadline. It will be easy to forget about it until it is too late. Why cannot applications start straightaway?

  30. Comment by Mrs D Wragg posted on

    We tried to verify on-line as per the letter. We applied via Experian, but now have to enter a code which we receive via text every time, which is not ideal going to my husband to then inform me so I can gain access on-line. The letter/instructions were not clear enough, cause after 4 phone calls to Rural Payments, we have not been informed they cannot see we have registered on-line cause we didn't register via Rural Payments or phone up asking them to set up on our behalf!!!!!!!! We can view our account 0n-line, just a pain having to gain this code via Experian first. The only other alternative we have now been told is to "break the link with Experian" and try registering again via Rural Payments!!!!!! Does anyone at Rural Payments know what they are doing, cause every time we phone we get a different answer!!!!!! Also I cannot be added to our business unless I have a PI number, we have returned the necessary forms several weeks ago, but now been told the systems are down from the old system to the new, so will have to keep checking our account in a few weeks to see if I have been added!!! Surely, Rural Payments should advise/instruct farmers to register on-line ONLY WHEN THE SYSTEM IS UP AND RUNNING AND WORKING SUFFICIENTLY!