BPS blog: A clear head is needed in the coming weeks


With the 2016 BPS application deadline of 16 May getting closer, now is the time to concentrate on making the most accurate claim you can.

At the same time, it’s important to protect your position if you still have not been paid for BPS 2015, have concerns over the payment you have received or you consider your 2016 claim data is wrong.  

Senior NFU BPS adviser, Richard Wordsworth, writes:

Given the current situation, many members have expressed their concerns to be me via email or at our recent BPS member meetings about how they should approach the completion of their 2016 application form.

I totally understand that you want to close down all the outstanding issues around your 2015 claim, receive payment, understand how it is calculated and why the payment is different to what you believed it would be and receive any top up payments that may be due. But the reality is that these concerns over the 2015 payments will not be addressed until after the 16 May – the deadline to complete the 2016 form. 

As we have said before, if you have issues with the 2015 claim, then you need to raise those concerns with the RPA and then ‘park’ them to a large degree and move onto completing this year’s claim. 

We have provided you support over recent months with the 2015 issues you have come across via a range of briefings on 2015 issues, these can be found on our dedicated BPS section. The NFU will continue to push RPA to sort out all the outstanding issues for BPS 2015 in the coming weeks.

So how do I approach the 2016 application when I cannot close down my 2015 issues?

The NFU has lobbied the RPA over many months now to have the support in place to help you complete your 2016 forms with confidence, even where payments have not been received or appear to be wrong.

It is vital not to forget that when you submit the 2016 claim, you sign up to a number of declarations and undertakings. This includes reading and following the rules in place for 2016. There have been some changes, so please do read the RPA guidance found here. There is a lot of information highlighted, but I would pick out the 2016 BPS Handbook as a key document to refer to. It states, for example, that you need to put all the land required by the RPA on this year’s form.

Where you have issues with your 2015 claim or the data presented to you for BPS 2016 is not right, we would urge you to look at the ‘help to apply section’ within the RPA’s BPS 2016 homepage. Here you can find extra information on how to apply via the BPS 2016: Hints and tips on making your application document. This short 15-page guide will help if you are experiencing any issues. In addition we’ve put together some information to assist you, here.

The key point is that the 2016 BPS form is the annual declaration of land, common rights and a number of other declarations; following the rules around land and how the claim is completed will help you be in the best position to avoid a 2015 problem compounding into 2016.

If you were unsure of the BPS rules last time out, then seek help this year so ensure that you submit a correct claim. NFU CallFirst will help you if you have any queries, they are there between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday on 0370 845 8458.

  • Posted by: andy patonPosted on: 13/04/2016 14:10:00

    Comment: Thanks for the useful reply to my recent email coving 2015 issues and the advice here.
    It is extremely hard to sort out 2016 claim forms when so much is wrong from 2015. In our case they have had well over 12 months to process an RLE1 form to register new land and despite numerous promises this has not happened. We therefore dont know what the accepted claim area is and having lost some more land we are in the position of not knowing if we should sell some entitlements or if the area will cover what we have, At least it isn't use or lose this year, but we might potentially have had some confiscated from last year to doubly mix things up.

    We have no claim statement, incorrect mapping on an RLE 1 they did process and various other issues to boot. if there is a problem we are the ones who risk being fined when we arnt in posession of the deteils they accept as being correct to work from. For instance last year, having had a recent inspection our land was remapped by the inspector team yet the claim statement area was different on the preprinted form, I was told to claim on the inspection area but now the live mapping is there, the area is the same as on last years form, so are they saying their own inspection team was wrong?

    The whole system is useless and a complete and total shambles, how we are supposed to have confidence in anything they do or say is completely beyond me, I have had to revert back to a paper form having done online since the earliest opportunity simply because it is far easier to try and present the details I think are correct via the paper route. Things are hard enough without having to deal with issues like this, its 2005 all over again and that took me two and a half years to sort out!
  • Posted by: EdithPosted on: 27/04/2016 10:13:53

    Comment: We are in a similar position. Not sure which way to go. Or even where to start.
  • Posted by: Bill LloydPosted on: 27/04/2016 23:45:30

    Comment: Thanks for these notes which are helpful. I have emailed you directly to report two problems with the BPS 2016 Online Application system, which are not addressed by the Hints and Tips document, and which BPS Helpline is unable to resolve. The issues are (1) wildly incorrect Common Land areas and Land Use codes, and (2) the failure of the online application system to apply the procedure for recording Dual Use land, as set out in the BPS Guidance Notes and Land Use Guidance Notes. Because I am unable to amend the pre-populated data correctly, my claim will not tally with my entitlements, which are in any case unclear as I have not yet had a claim statement, or a payment, in repect of 2015.