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Update on Rural Payments service availability tomorrow (17 March)

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

The Rural Payments service will be available tomorrow but you will not be able to view or edit land.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.  This is to allow us to continue to make technical updates.  Please keep checking our blog for the latest information.

Registration is available and customers can check and update their personal details, check business details and give permissions.


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  1. Comment by Paul posted on

    Yet another day with no land checking.
    The days are ticking away and the ability to check business details is hardly a consolation.
    The system has also been in this state all afternoon, I can't comment on this morning as thankfully I had other work to do.
    Will now have to rearrange tomorrows client meeting.

    • Replies to Paul>

      Comment by Paul H posted on

      As an agent or helper we need to know at least the evening before if the website will not be available the next day so we can avoid wasted visits to farmers.

  2. Comment by Tyke posted on

    RPA speak for "if you have registered then you can do absolutely beggar all yet again despite the fact that the 15th May draws ever closer" Do these bureaucrats not realise the stress they are causing? Plan B should have been implemented weeks ago as it has been obvious to all that this system is doomed to fail.

    • Replies to Tyke>

      Comment by rich posted on

      what a mess this bps is i cant check my land maps because of technical updates, will defra give me more time after 15 may when i will be busy doing technical updates on my crops, i dont think so.

  3. Comment by Craig posted on

    Please can we be informed with what will be available in the next update??? I need to arrange appointments with clients to transfer land and entitlements and I have had to delay them on an almost daily basis for the last 2 - 3 weeks. They are now starting lambing and will not be in the mood to talk about paperwork, especially when the system doesn't work!

  4. Comment by Andy posted on

    Time has all but run out if this system cant be fully up and running by the weekend then 75% of the total number of claimants(those who use Agents) are going to miss the May 15th deadline. The majority of Agents are 1 man bands no account has been taken by the computer geeks of this fact despite the RPA "coalface" team know this full well. Why try to introduce a system that cannot cope with the expected workload.

  5. Comment by Helen posted on

    I totally agree with the above two comments! Couldn't get on it all day yesterday and now again today! Its hard enough trying to learn how to use this new system but then to be told you cannot access the land information to try and do the checking, changing and updating for your clients is ridiculous! This seems to be happening way too often and the 15th May submission deadline is looming!

  6. Comment by Colin posted on

    The whole thing's nearly as ridiculous as having to use this blog to find out what's (not) happening...whatever happened to emails. Surely emails could at least be sent to those who have registered telling them what's available/what's going on!

  7. Comment by James Black posted on

    This blog message purports to state that the system will be available today, but if you cannot edit or even see land parcel sizes and details, access to the system is next to useless! We have all had plenty of time to register and change our business details. What will take the time is dealing with the land parcel data. At a recent meeting an RPA official pointed out that we need to allow 15 minutes per land parcel. The RPA need to at least allow us to see what data is currently in the system even if we cannot edit it. In the absence of any access we are losing valuable time. PLEASE PLEASE let us just see the data and preferably present it in a form that allows us to copy the list to a spreadsheet or somewhere that we can work on it "off-line".

  8. Comment by Carolyn Hodgkin posted on

    PS Farmers with livestock are rather (very) busy at this time of year, so sorry we are unable to keep checking your Blog for further details

  9. Comment by Rob posted on

    How many updates are there going to be?
    Why do they have to be in the daytime?
    A few spare hours, I log on and find the land service unavailable..
    Poor management !

  10. Comment by Paul posted on

    RPA chief executive Mark Grimshaw

    “I would be confident, by the end of the application window, we will have a service which will allow claimants to submit their application form. It may not be as neat and tidy with all the smooth service you have come to expect with SPS, but we will get through this and we will build on it for the future,”
    I quite believe a service will probably be available by 15th May, however we need it to be available before then so we can actually compile and check our data!!!!

  11. Comment by Martin posted on

    Suggest the RPA or DEFRA for go any penalties this year due to the introduction of the Beta BPS system. Following the land checking, when will the Entitlements be ready for checking as the New Forest area are still discussing areas?

  12. Comment by Alasdair posted on

    I totally agree with the above comments; the 15th May deadline is looking less and less achievable by the day! The RPA has not taken into account the increasing farm workload & activities for the time of year. (an agent speaking!)

  13. Comment by Dick posted on

    The time for someone in the RPA hierarchy to realise that the longer they spend trying to get a quart into a pint pot does not mean that it will go!! I hope that someone there has done some very serious analysis of the amount of work that this system will have to do before 15 May and made a sound judgement as to whether it is ever going to be able manage this. This needs to take into account the number of claims to be done, the average size of each claim, an average working day (18+ hours looking like!!) and allowance for more foul ups. Those of us Agents trying to do this for others are getting seriously worried. We need to know that there is a back up plan in place - PLEASE !!

  14. Comment by Kevin posted on

    Having had a visit from a representative of the Rural Land Register last year which led to an updated set of RLR maps for my farm being issued to accurately reflect my fencing I am disappointed that those on the BPS system have different boundaries that don't reflect any physical features on the ground. This will mean that I will have to update field boundaries to put them back to what was already on the RLR. I don't really understand why this has occurred - I was involved in a beta test of the map editing and measuring tool and at that point the system had the correct boundaries from the RLR.
    I don't wish to join in some of the negative language a few others have used, but it's a fairly simple rule of project management that if a date slips in making a fully functional system available you have to slip the subsequent dates, rather than hoping that everything can be recovered by 15th May.
    There is real work to be done by farmers like myself (let alone agents) to ensure all the information is accurate, which will take some time. My aim was to get this out of the way before lambing starts in a week or so - my chance of getting on the system much during April isn't very high.
    I agree with those who are calling for a plan B - but for me I don't want to have to switch to a paper based system - I'd rather see a day slippage in deadlines for applicants for every day slippage in full system availability - as long as the RPA can still meet their payment targets for 2015.

  15. Comment by Tim posted on

    A total fiasco, when will the RPA and particularly Mark Grimshaw wake up and smell the coffee, we need a plan B and we need to know that you have one. It is looking increasingly likely that the whole system could crash with the volume of traffic that will go on it once the problems or updates (whichever you believe !) are fixed/completed. No one has any confidence in the product and are getting more and more anxious by the day !

  16. Comment by Paul posted on

    0k its the 18th and still not available... come on RPA give us a clue

  17. Comment by David Hughes posted on

    Thank you for this latest bit of useless information. The system has now been off line for four days. I have 140 claims to prepare and to date have dozens of cancelled appointments due to the total mismanagement by the RPA of the new system. We don’t need you to tell us that the system is offline, as we already know. What we DO need to know is when it will a) be available and b) function in any meaningful way.

    I am sick to death of hearing about the so called “improvements”. It should have been fully functional on day one. As I write there are just 40 "working days" before the 15th May deadline. Mark Grimshaw’s reassurances are disingenuous and misleading. Your blind faith an arrogance in the ability of the RPA to deliver is breathtaking. We are asked continually to put up with problems due to late development of the IT system yet to date we are given no relief whatever in relation to the 15th May deadline. The stress you are causing is unbelievable. This is the busiest time of year for both farmers and agents. Do you think we have nothing better to do?

    I trust Mark Grimshaw is ready to “fall on his sword” when the fiasco that we in the real world have all been predicting for weeks finally comes to pass. At the very least RPA should IMMEDIATELY announce a substantial extension to the deadline to give agents and farmers a realistic chance of doing the job properly.

  18. Comment by Sarah posted on

    Wow, I'm getting to the stage where I could absolutely cry about this. The state Dairy farming is in at the minute is stressful enough without this ridiculous system not working. Just don't know what to do.

  19. Comment by Amanda posted on

    Today we have requested paper copy of maps 1:2500 scale from the RPA in order that we can start to amend the incorrect maps rather than wait for a system that is behind schedule and can not cope. Phone RPA on 0345 603 7777 option 5 for maps.

    • Replies to Amanda>

      Comment by Edmund posted on

      we are not even aware you can obtain maps from the current system from RPA and even if they were able to provide them i presume they will have difficulty accessing the system too!!!
      this is a complete fiasco and I agree with all the comments made above and i am sure this system will fail to allow us to meet the deadline. we have 78 parcels of land x 15 mins per parcel (RPA Comment) this is 20+hours solid work!!! without the time spent to learn the new system.

  20. Comment by David posted on

    Just tried Amandas ploy, Rpa are sending clients maps by email, should at least be able to make a start compiling any changes! Thanks for the idea!
    Could you get a job with the RPA - it needs someone to sort this mess out!!

  21. Comment by Jim posted on

    Previously on the new series BPS: (to be said in a whisper)
    Norman could not access the RPA computer to operate "the system".
    To increase the suspense the scriptwriters had thought it best not to tell anyone when "the system" might go on line again. They obviously thought that it would help the sense of drama.

    Norman got the RPA to email his maps so that he could get ready for the exciting day "the system" actually worked.
    He phoned the help line and after 10 minutes of pressing option buttons, managed to speak to a very pretty RPA secretary. She told him that "the system" wasn't working which did not actually surprise Norman. She explained that while she understood Norman's frustration, there was nothing she could do.
    Norman said that he didn't understand why Mr. Grimsdale had decided to have no plan B.
    Norman knew that Mr. Grimsdale had been sold an I.T. pup. Anyone who thought he could successfully merge the infamous RPA mapping system with an untried and untested RPA Farm Payment System, was clearly delusional.

    Mr.Grimsdale knows that extending the application date is a good idea but when you're delusional, you stick to the badly designed plot - even though your ratings are falling.

    Norman leaves the scene shouting: "Mr. Grimsdale...Mr.Grimsdale.............Mr.Grimsdale"

    You waste my time, I'll waste yours but I'll be back. What choice have I got?

  22. Comment by Graham posted on

    Why are we waiting? Always so frustrating etc etc

  23. Comment by Lesley Booker posted on

    Or email with your SBI (and PI no if you are an agent). It seldom takes more than an hour to get the maps by email.

    • Replies to Lesley Booker>

      Comment by Angela posted on

      What email address should we use for getting maps emailed please?
      I've had a reply saying they'll respond within 10 days (that could be 10 weeks), so wondering if there is one I could use for a quicker response.

  24. Comment by George posted on

    We need a system that works tommorrow. Mark Grimshaw this is not good enough.

  25. Comment by Tim posted on

    Another day goes by and the silence from the Top Brass is incredible. I assume there is some leadership taking place, however you would never know from the information or total lack of it being made available. It is obvious that something has gone badly wrong with the system, so bad in fact that perhaps they don't wish to worry us all !. Time to come clean, tell us what is going on and while you are at it perhaps you could let your Help line staff know as well !!

  26. Comment by HOWARD sMITH posted on

    Why has the heading on this page not been updated since 16th March . This shows the contempt in which the RPA hold their customers as if you direct people to this page the most updated information needs to be available yet this is now three days out of date. Why ?

  27. Comment by Siobhan Stainton posted on

    23 comments from frustrated agents/farmers like myself & not one reply from RPA.......... I was given a glimmer of hope yesterday from a helpline worker who suggested the deadline might be extended. Is this just a vicious rumour or the answer to our prayers? A reply would be very gratefully received!

  28. Comment by Tim posted on

    Latest offering from the help line is that it may be down until Monday but this is not based on anything remotely factual. Farmers Weekly website has an interesting article posted at 11.20 apparently Mark Grimshaw is briefing the press today re the fiasco and what they are going to do about it, paper copies are being mentioned. Interesting that he is more prepared to enlighten the press rather than his own staff, no doubt trying to put a positive spin on the whole experience so nothing sticks !!!

  29. Comment by Primrose posted on

    I had a go at registering etc a month ago, but, as I was unaware that the code to set everything up expired after 12 hours, couldn't sort out the internet connection required in time. Since then there's been first half of lambing and family matters that demand attention away from the screen, and also further trouble with the internet connection itself. Today, I'd made time to register and make first checks of field parcels to find that the maps are unavailable. The helpline worker had had no briefing as to when that essential part of the process will be up and running. Second half of flock lambing soon. The last thing I want is to be poring over important information in an unfamiliar format when tired and likely to make mistakes, and even before then, I cannot be going back and forth to this blog on the offchance everything's working.

  30. Comment by Alasdair posted on

    "Check in a few hours" - it's at least 72 hours now (12.45pm 19th March) is that "a few hours"?
    Sorry, getting very frustrated with the system and lack of communication about when it may be up and running again.

  31. Comment by Stephen posted on

    i have got approximately 700 land parcels i need to check, when last logged on it took me nearly 2 hours to do a single one, At that rate even if i worked non stop for 24 hours a day i wont be meeting the deadline.

  32. Comment by Paul Stephens posted on

    If the deadline is pushed back, then will the payment date be pushed back?!?!

  33. Comment by Dr Mike posted on

    I found Amanda's tip really useful. The chap on the helpline knew nothing about when the system would be "fixed" and go live again BUT he was really helpful and understanding of our massive problems. He is emailing the maps to me today and sending an amendments form by post. This way I will at least be able to get my Higher Level Stewardship claim form in by post to Natural England who require a signature to state that we have checked both land parcels and the maps for accuracy on the Rural Payments website! May 15th looms ever nearer and logging in every day to see if it is working is very time wasteful (and boring!).

  34. Comment by Dean posted on

    Unbelievable! We have three large holdings and normally spend 2 months at the best of times sorting out all the data to meet the deadline, how on earth are we supposed to meet it this year? The RPA constantly change the systems, I have been submitting the IACS, then SFP for 17 years for this company and can write a book about the issues and problems over the years caused by the RPA, mapping, lack of communication, constant RPA errors and confusing information. I heard there may be an extension past the 15th May deadline? Is this true? Please advise, ASAP. Thank you.

  35. Comment by CPR posted on

    60 claims of 20 fields each at 15 minutes a claim. 18,000 minutes, 300 hours, 37.5 x hour days.
    Not looking good!

  36. Comment by Sally posted on

    I am not sure who (if anyone) will foot the bill for all the extra out of hours work I will have to do in order to ensure that client farmer's claims are completed to whatever RPA's deadline turns out to be, but I am sure it won't be the RPA will it? I have taken hours worth of details on paper so far and each day the 'to be mapped' stack grows. I like to be organised and plan the team's workload. It was always going to be tight, but we were up for the challenge of the new scheme and simultaneous new IT. All the goodwill is slipping away now, partly due to the silence from RPA. We are representatives of a big important industry and it is about time Government trusted farmers and agents with the information they need to get this job done. If you are listening RPA, let us know what is going on and what the plan is?? At least update this page and respond to comments?!

  37. Comment by chris posted on

    It is obvious that there will not be time now to get the system functional to cope with the input within the deadline to 15th May 2015 Easter and crop managment is now a priority. What is your plan B??

  38. Comment by Colin posted on

    Well, I've been waiting for over 24 hours for my maps by email and still not here so yet another phone call to RPA.

    Has nobody from RPA got the temerity to reply to any of the comments posted on here?

  39. Comment by Stephen Pattison posted on

    Totally agree with the above comments, any IT system introduced by a government department is doomed to fail. This system should have been tested for at least a year before going live.

  40. Comment by HOWARD sMITH posted on

    Just a word of warning to David and Amanda check your plans very carefully as having had a disc from the RPA with clients maps . I have been checking for one client to find four land parcels declared in 2014 and in previous years are missing although they appeared on RLR plans dated April 2014.
    Can the RPA explain this please

  41. Comment by Office girl posted on

    CLA sent me advice that RPA are preparing paper copies of the application forms and the following link:-

    Don't know whether to laugh or cry - as an agent who has applied for 40 odd clients electronically for the past three years I dread the paper form filing as long winded and more risky of making errors!

  42. Comment by David posted on

    Glad to see this Blog has kept us all up to date with the latest developments at the RPA....

    Would hate to be in a situation where a client had to tell me the latest news, wouldn't that be embarrassing?

  43. Comment by JC&S posted on

    Glad to see that the RPA have come to their senses at this late hour, at least we can get on and help farmers claim their money, even if we do have to wait for paperwork, maps, forms etc. The 'time lag' will give the computer boffins a chance to set up a decent system, fit for purpose, and to be able to transfer existing RLR maps without us having to do the mapping again. Don't forget farmers are dying all the time and the paperwork needs to be sorted accordingly.

  44. Comment by Office girl posted on

    Still no mention of it on this site as far as I can see!

  45. Comment by Gillian posted on

    yes it has been a nightmare have not slept properly for weeks. Got up at four in the morning just to get a bit more done now it has all been a waste of time. Having said that I would like to say the people on the phone line have been wonderful, patient and extremely helpful in explaining to someone who does not "do" computers how to fill in forms.

  46. Comment by Amanda posted on

    With another hat on and I have a few, I have today had a booking cancelled for our local parish hall by a company organising a workshop in the locality, entitled "Get to Grips with the Basic Payment Scheme and they are designed to help farmers learn about the new basic payment system that is being introduced." The email said "this afternoon we have heard that the RPA have decided to scrap the payment system, so I think it is best that we cancel this booking". This is seriously worrying. Do make sure you request PAPER copies of maps, I requested them on the 18th March and they have arrived today, for five holdings. Phone RPA on 0345 603 7777, option 5 for maps. Good luck

  47. Comment by Alice Hammond posted on

    Thank you for all of your feedback over the last week. To respond to recent comments received on this blog post about the Rural Payments service, we’d like to draw your attention to an announcement the Rural Payments Agency made on 19 March. We are going to offer farmers and agents the use of established forms and processes to complete their Basic Payment Scheme claims. You can find out more about the announcement here: If your comment above was not about the availability of the Rural Payments service, we will respond to your questions directly.