Farmers must allow us to inspect their holdings, at any reasonable time, to check that the scheme rules have been met. We are not required to provide advance notice of inspections.
If a farmer refuses to co-operate, if an inspecting officer is obstructed or if the farmer fails to give reasonable assistance we are within our rights not to pay the farmer and may commence a prosecution.
At the start of the visit, our inspector will explain:
- the purpose and reason of the inspection
- how the inspection will be carried out
- what they will need from you
- how long the inspection will take.
For some inspections, such as for forestry projects, the inspecting officer may contact you or your representative to explain the purpose of the inspection.
Our inspections can cover many areas, so our inspector may need to look at several different parts of your business. For example, if you've applied for money to construct a new building on your farm, we'll want to check it's in line with the proposals you submitted as part of your application. We may also inspect any animals you keep to check that welfare standards or identification and traceability regulations are being met. Our inspector may also need to look at your records to check the details of claims and applications.
To make sure your inspection is as smooth as possible; there are some things you can do to help:
- Make sure any claims and declarations are accurate.
- Keep copies of your applications and declarations for reference.
- Make sure your records and documents are up to date and close at hand.
- When requested, and where possible, accompany the inspecting officer during the inspection.
- Be prepared to present your animals and make sure handling facilities are suitable and well maintained. This will reduce any risk to people handling the stock, to the livestock and to the inspecting officers.