The annual recurrent on-the-spot inspections should generally be unannounced and cover all the agricultural parcels and obligations covered by the beneficiary's agreements.
These general procedures should be followed for all annual recurrent inspections carried out by inspecting officers:
- Explanation/Introduction - The Inspecting Officer will provide the scheme(s) participant (if available) with a clear explanation of why he/she is there, the format of the inspection, the undertakings to be checked and what supporting documentation will be required.
- Length of time of the inspection - The inspecting officer will give an indication of how long the inspection will take, although this will to some degree be dependent on his/her findings.
- Biosecurity and Health and Safety aspects - inspectors should ensure that all disinfection, biosecurity (check for isolation areas) and Health and Safety procedures are properly observed throughout the farm visit.
- The inspector will check the requirements of each Option are being met (as detailed under 'what you can do') by a visual assessment on the day of the inspection. For example: grazing dates, correct areas sown/managed.
- All managed areas will be measured by GPS.
- Capital compliance inspections - The inspector will ensure the work has been completed to any specified standards, the item appears to be technically sound, the claimed costs are justified and the item is being used for the purpose for which it was funded. Invoices and documents proving payment will be checked. For example - Manure/slurry storage and treatment - the inspector will look at the new slurry store and ensure it meets the Control of Pollution, Silage, Slurry and Agricultural fuel Oil (SSAFO) regulations 2003.
- On the spot admin checks - The inspector will ensure the work has been completed and the item is being used for the purposes for which it was funded.
On completion of the inspection the beneficiary will be given a summary of the main inspection findings and any potential implications for payments. He/she will also be given the opportunity to provide written comments and to sign the inspection report form.
If a problem is identified, it may not always be possible on the day of the inspection to work out the precise implications of all findings. In such cases, the scheme(s) beneficiary will be sent a detailed explanation in writing as soon as possible - outlining Scheme breach procedures and remedial actions to be undertaken.