2016 Single Application online help

This page shows information and guidance to help you complete your 2016 Geo-Spatial Aid Application / Single Application online.

The Schemes

The Schemes that are covered by the Single Application Form are:

  • Basic Payment (including Regional Reserve) and Greening (BPS)
  • Young Farmers’ Payment
  • Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC)
  • Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS)
  • Organic Farming Scheme (OFS)
  • Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)
  • Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS)
  • Forest Expansion Scheme (Annual Premia) FES

Rules of the schemes

Further detailed information on the rules of the various Schemes can be found in the following booklets:

If you would like to complete your application online but haven't yet registered to access DARD online services you should visit the online services section of our website. Alternatively, you can contact 0300 200 7843 or text the word EASY to 67300.

You can access the online service on more than one visit and any information you have saved will be available when you log in again. We will shortly be adding videos show how to use various functions of the 2016 online Single Application.

Individual applicant

When you login to DARD’s online services you should select ‘Single Application and Maps’ from the list of available services. You will also see details of your LPIS maps etc – this will replace previous MAPS button.

Agent applying on behalf of a business

When you login to DARD’s online services you will see a list of your customers and should select a customer from your Single Application Form (SAF) service list. This list will be based on the Nomination of Authorised Person forms that you have previously submitted. If you need to add new customers to this list, you will need to complete a new authorisation for each business before you can access the Single Application or maps for that business.

Click ‘Go’ and then ‘Continue to Single Application and Maps (GSAA) to access the application for that business.

Welcome screen

The ‘Welcome’ screen shows information on the 4-step process in submitting your Single Application online. To start completing, click on Apply Now. 

Where 'Yes' and 'No' options are given to questions, you must select the appropriate answer; you cannot leave the question blank.

Step 1 - scheme selection

Scheme Selection – select the schemes you wish to apply for. The options to apply for Basic Payment and Greening and / or Areas of Natural Constraint will always be shown. However, if you have an agreement in place for any of the schemes NICMS, OFS, FWPS, FWS or FES, further questions will be shown to apply for the appropriate one(s).

Basic Payment and Greening (BPS) – you should tick ‘Yes’ if you wish to claim for Basic Payment and Greening. There may be further requirements in relation to Crop Diversification if more than 10 Hectares of your land is classified as Arable. The online application will let you know if you have a Greening requirement. Further information on Greening can be found in the booklet 2016 Guide to the Greening Payment.

Young Farmers’ Payment– if you answer ‘Yes’ to the Basic Payment and Greening question, the Young Farmers’ payment question will be presented and must be answered.

The Young Farmers’ Payment is an extra payment to Young Farmers who have completed a registration application and satisfy certain criteria. If you haven’t registered as a Young Farmer, you should contact your local DARD Direct Office for further information or download a registration form.

Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) – you should tick ‘Yes’ if you wish to claim payment for ANC. In order to qualify, you must claim for a minimum of 3.00 Hectares of suitable land and have at least the minimum stock levels. Further information on ANC can be found in the booklet Notes: 2016 Area-Based Schemes Single Application Form.

Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS) – you should tick ‘Yes’ if your NICMS agreement started on or after 1 January 2012 and you wish to make an NICMS claim for the period 1 January to 31 December 2016. Only a ‘Yes' response will result in the appropriate second stage form being provided to the agreement holder for completion.

Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) - you should tick ‘Yes’ if your NICMS agreement started on or after 1 January 2009 and you wish to make an OFS claim for the period 1 January to 31 December 2016. Only a ‘Yes response will result in the appropriate second stage form being provided to the agreement holder for completion.

Farm Woodland Premium Scheme – (FWPS) - you should tick ‘Yes’ if you have an agreement in place under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and wish to claim for payment.

Farm Woodland Scheme – (FWS) – you should tick ‘Yes’ if you have an agreement in place under the Farm Woodland Scheme and wish to claim for payment.

Forest Expansion Scheme (Annual Premia) – (FES) - you should tick ‘Yes’ if you have an agreement in place under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and wish to claim for payment.

Please note: If BPS and/or ANC are the only available schemes shown for you and you do not wish to claim for either, you do not need to complete application.

You should click ‘Next’ to proceed to 1Step 2 – Questions1. Any answers selected in Step 1 will be saved.

Step 2 - questions

This step contains questions relating to the various schemes. Answering 'Yes' to certain questions may mean you have to answer supplementary questions specific to that scheme.

Do you operate any of the following businesses: airport, railway service, waterworks, real estate service, permanent sport or recreational grounds?

If you tick ‘Yes’ to this question, you must submit by 16 May 2016 verifiable evidence that demonstrates any of the following:

  • you are farming at least 26 hectares of eligible land, or
  • your direct payment receipts are equivalent to at least 5% of your non agricultural receipts, or
  • your receipts from agricultural activities represent at least 40% of total receipts obtained in the most recent tax year for which information is available.

You should submit your evidence no later than 16 May 2016. If it is received between 17 May and 10 June you will be subject to a late claim penalty.

Providing you meet the relevant criteria do you want to apply to establish entitlements and/or to have the value of existing entitlements increased to the regional average value through the Regional Reserve in 2016 as a:

  • young farmer, or
  • new entrant

Read the scheme guidance (Guide to Young Famers’ Payment 2016 and/or Guide to the Regional Reserve 2016) to ensure you can meet the eligibility/evidence requirements.  If you are applying to either scheme for the first time in 2016, applied unsuccessfully in 2015, or were to provide further information in respect of your successful 2015 application (i.e. accounts / tax returns etc within 14 months of commencing your business) you should complete the Young Farmers’ Payment/Regional Reserve Registration Form and personally take it, with all the required supporting evidence, to your local DARD Direct office

This question relates to a crop diversification exemption which is mainly (although not exclusively) of interest to specialist potato and vegetable growers who meet both of the requirements stated below:

(i) More than 50% of the total arable land you declare in 2016 was not declared by you in 2015; and
(ii) All of the arable land you declare in 2016 must be cultivated with a different crop to that cultivated in 2015.

Do you want to apply for this exemption on the basis that you meet both these requirements?

Farming Organically – fields farmed organically are exempt from Greening requirements. If you farm fields organically and wish to avail of the exemption, please tick ‘Yes’. You should enter the name and registration number of your organic body.

Payment In Euro – we will pay Basic Payment, Greening and any associated Young Farmers’ Payment in Pounds Sterling unless you wish to be paid in Euro (€). If you prefer to be paid in Euro, please check the button. Please note that you must also have a UK Euro BACS account

Claim for ANC – you will only see this question if you have clicked at Step 1 that you wish to claim ANC. You should click to indicate which type(s) of stock you will keep during the qualifying period. If you have suckler cows, please tick the box – we will be able to check our records. If you have breeding ewes or goats, or female deer, you should enter the number of each type you hold in the appropriate boxes. If you hold none, you should enter a zero (0) in each box.

Do you farm land in England, Scotland or Wales as part of this farm business?  - if you tick ‘Yes’ to this question, please put a check any or all of the regions you farm in, and if you are also claiming Basic Payment and Greening in any of these region(s).

Farm Woodland Premium Scheme - if you have previously registered for this scheme, you will be shown the area from your existing agreement. If you wish to claim on a different area, please amend the area in the second box.

Farm Woodland Scheme - if you have previously registered for this scheme, you will be shown the area from your existing agreement. If you wish to claim on a different area, please amend the area in the second box.

Forest Expansion Scheme (Annual Premia) - if you have previously registered for this scheme, you will be shown the area from your existing agreement. If you wish to claim on a different area, please amend the area in the second box.

Cross compliance Questions– you should answer these questions with the appropriate Yes or No answer.

When you have completed the question at Step 2, you should click 'next' to proceed to Step 3 – Land Details. Anything completed at this stage will be saved as you progress to Stage 3.

If you have missed any questions at Step 2, these will be highlighted and you will have to provide the appropriate answer to proceed.

Step 3 - land details

On this page, you will be able to confirm the fields you wish to claim for and make changes to the information we hold.

There are 3 parts to this page:

  1. Summary of all field data: This is a summary of all your land details. This will be updated when you save any changes in your field data table.
  2. Change my fields using a map: Here you can make changes to your land details using a map. This is the preferred option.
  3. Change my fields using a table: Here you can make changes to your land details using a traditional table. Note that some changes are only possible when using the map.

Summary of all field data

Total number of fields – this is the total number of fields declared on your application.

Total Maximum Eligible Area (MEA) – this is the total of the MEA of all fields on your application.

Total BPS Area – this is the total area that you want to claim for Basic Payment (and associated Greening Payment). Please note that this area is subject to checks and may not be the final area on which payment is calculated.

Total Area for ANC – this will be the total are you have claimed for ANC Scheme. Please note that this area is subject to checks and may not be the final area on which payment is calculated.

Total Area classified as permanent grassland - permanent grassland is land which has not been part of an arable rotation at any point in the previous five years. The total shown here will be the total MEA for all fields with a 'PG' field classification.

Total Area classified as permanent grassland sensitive -. The total shown here will be the total MEA for all fields with a 'PGS' field classification.

Total Area classified as arable – if a field was declared in an arable use in any of the last 5 years, it will be classified as Arable for 2016. If you activate 10 or more hectares of land which are classified as Arable, you may have a specific greening requirement on your claim for 2015. The total shown here will be the total MEA for all fields with an 'AR' field classification.

Total Area classified as permanent crop – land planted in a permanent crop (a crop which would be expected to remain 5 years or more e.g. an orchard) will be classified as a permanent crop from the year it was planted (declared on a Single Application) until the year the permanent crop is removed. The total shown here will be the total MEA for all fields with a 'PC' field classification.

Total Entitlements – total number of entitlements are shown. Click on the message to see a breakdown of the value of each type of entitlement held at the current date. Please note that any trades still not processed will not be shown in these totals.

Crop diversification

Greening summary – crop diversification -  if you have more than 10 Hectares of land shown as having a field classification of ‘AR’ (Arable) you may be required to undertake crop diversification unless more than 75% of your land is covered by grasses or is land lying fallow. Full details can be found in the 2016 Guide to the Greening Payment.

EFA – Ecological Focus Areas

If your business has more than 15 Hectares of 'AR' classified land, you may also have an EFA requirement. The application calculates the equivalent area needed to satisfy this requirement. If you have an EFA requirement, you will be prompted to return and complete when the EFA facility is available in early April.

Change my fields using the map

This new feature will allow you to do a range of options directly on the map. These changes will then be reflected on your field data table below. Any changes affecting the eligible area (e.g. change a field boundary, split a field) will mean that the Field Area and MEA of amended fields will show on your table as ‘unverified’. You can use these areas for claiming BPS and/or ANC but the areas are subject to confirmation by LPIS.

You can use this option to do the following changes to your maps:

Add a field to your claim - this will add fields to your field data table that you are actively farming and have control of. You do not have to own these fields.

Remove a field from my claim - this will remove fields from your claim that you are not actively farming. If you have a field on your application that another business is actively farming and claiming BPS and/or ANC, you should remove it from your application.

Change a field boundary - you can use this feature to amend the boundary of a field; you will be able to increase or decrease the size of the field.

Change a feature - if you have an ‘ineligible’ feature (e.g. Hard areas, trees, water etc) you can amend the size or shape.

Create a feature - you can add a new ‘ineligible’ feature to a field

Remove a feature - you can remove an existing feature, this will normally increase the MEA of the field if the area is now in agricultural use.

Split a field in two – you will be able to split a field in two and show the new boundary. If you need to split a field more than once, you can do this in stages. The application will apply the correct field IDs to the new fields and these will be shown on your field data table on the Land Details screen.

Merge two fields – you can merge two fields which share a common boundary. The application will provide the correct updated areas and field ID for the new field.

Further detailed information on how to make changes to your map are contained within the "How to amend your maps online" guidance.

Change my fields using a table

You can make changes to your land details using the table shown. You can use the table to merge two fields but you will need to access the map to split a field or change boundaries. The online map is the preferred option for submitting map amendments, but you may submit a paper LPIS correction form if you don’t wish to use the map.

Your fields

Field data filter – you can use this to filter your list of fields by Field Number, classification etc.

Your fields –we will normally pre-populate your fields based on information held on LPIS for your business.

Field Number - each Field ID is made up from the Farm Survey Number and Field Number

Field area - this is the LPIS total field area as shown on your map – if the area shows as ‘unverified’, this may because you have made a change to your map and this has yet to be confirmed as new area by LPIS.

Land Status - Your land status will be Severely Disadvantaged (SDA), Disadvantaged (DA) or Lowland (LL).

Field Classification - your land will be classified as : Permanent Grassland (PG), Permanent Grassland Sensitive land that cannot be ploughed (PGS), Permanent Crop (PC) , Arable (AR) or Unclassified (UC)

MEA - the MEA is our assessment of the maximum eligible area that you can use to claim Basic Payment and/or ANC in each field and is based on the boundary features less ineligible features that we have shown on your map. Ensure that you check the MEA is accurate before claiming; you should use the GSAA map function to make the appropriate changes to update the eligible areas of your fields. Any changes you make to your map will be reflected in the claim form land details screen but they will be shown as ‘Unverified’ until authorised by the Department. You can still claim payment up to the ‘unverified’ MEA, subject to normal scheme rules.

Usage - you must select an appropriate option from the drop-down menu to tell us what eligible usage(s) are on the field in 2016 – you can amend this information as necessary. If the code you need isn’t listed, you should check with the Department before submitting.

BPS area (ha) - you must enter the area of the field associated with the ‘Usage' selected that you wish to use to activate for Basic Payment. The area of the field should be entered to 2 decimal places e.g. '12.32' or '32.00’ and be equal to, or less than the MEA for that field. If the area you are activating is higher than the MEA shown, you can still submit your application. You can ignore the warning but you must notify or have notified LPIS of the change in MEA by amending your map online or completing a LPIS Correction Form.

ANC area (ha) - you must enter the area of the field associated with the ‘Usage' selected that you wish to use to claim for payment of ANC. You can only claim payment of ANC for field with the usage code FR1 or OT3 and Land Type SDA only. The area of the field should be entered to 2 decimal places e.g. '12.32' or '32.00’ and be equal to, or less than the MEA for that field. If the area you are activating is higher than the MEA shown, you can still submit your application. You can ignore the warning but you must notify or have notified LPIS of the change in MEA by completing a LPIS Correction Form.

+Add usage - click on the button to add more than one usage to a field. The total BPS and/or ANC for the usages must not exceed the size of the field except where you haven’t told us of a change to the field size.

Map icon - click on the icon to see the map centred on that particular field. You will be able to make amendments and submit for LPIS approval and update. However, you must still make amendment to the field data listed on the field data screen to reflect new area claimed.

Delete icon - this will delete the field shown on the line selected or additional usage if more than one is recorded against the field. Click the bin icon

+ Add a field to your claim - if you need to add a new field, enter the field ID details. The Total Field Area and MEA known to us will be shown and cannot be amended on this screen. You can amend other information as necessary. For entering multiple fields to your claim, you may find it easier to add these through the map function. You will be able to select each field by clicking on the map and these will then be shown on the field data table.

Merge selected field - You will be able to merge two fields from your field data table. Select a field from the table and then click ‘Merge selected field’. The application will show a drop-down list of field that can be merged with the one chosen. If any of the fields listed show ‘Not Claimed’ in brackets, the area of this field will be added to your claim automatically when merged with the first field selected. Choose a field to merge from the list, enter the date the merge took place and reason for change and then ‘Merge’ to complete. This action will also update your map.

Split selected field - This option will direct you to the online map to complete the split field function. This cannot be done on the field table itself as you will need to show where the physical split is on a map. When you split on the map and save, the two new fields will replace the original on your field data table and the new areas will also show.

Multiple delete - this will open a window and allow you to check several fields to remove at once. You can filter by FSN or Field number to show specific fields to delete.

If the Total Field Area and MEA are shown as '0.00', this could mean that the details of a new field (e.g. new, spilt or merged field) have not been entered onto the LPIS database yet. If you haven't done this, you must notify the change on a LPIS Correction Form as soon as you can. You should still enter the Activated area for Basic Payment and can ignore any warning telling you that the Activated area is greater than the MEA.

Save all changes - when you have made amendments to your field data and you wish to update your application, click 'Save All Changes' and the system will run validation on the data entered and let you know if there is anything you may need to re-check and show you only those field where it finds Errors and/or Warnings highlighted on screen. Click the Reset button to view all your fields again. 

Error - if the system identifies something that will prevent you from submitting your application (an Error), the field(s) in question will be highlighted in red and show a circular symbol before the field number. If you hover over this symbol, the reason why this information can't be submitted will be shown and you will need to change the information. For example, if you select ‘Yes’ to the ANC question in Step 1, but the field data has no areas entered for ANC, you will need to amend before you can proceed.

Warning - if the system identifies where inconsistent field data may have been entered, you will still be able to submit your application but you may wish to check your field data. If you hover over the symbol at the start of the line, the reason for the warning is displayed. For example, if you add a field to your claim and the system identifies that the same field has been listed on the claim of another business, a warning will be shown to let you know.

Step 4 - confirmation

This screen will allow you to review your Single Application before you submit. Scroll on the left hand side to review the answers entered and the fields declared.

‘I agree to the Declarations’ – you should click to view and read the declarations and undertakings associated with the Single Application before ticking that you agree.

When you click 'submit my application' you will be shown confirmation that your application has been submitted. You will also receive an email confirmation with a summary of your application attached. 

On this page you will also be given information in relation to your application and reminders of further information that may be required.

You can click 'print or save summary' to get a copy of your application. Your summary will appear on screen and you have to the option to save to your desktop for safekeeping or printing a hard copy.

You can now update certain business details from this scheme such as update National Insurance details or change your Government Gateway password by clicking on 'update my details'.

Updating application after Single Application submitted

This feature has been enhanced for 2016 Single Application Online where you will be able to revisit your whole application after it has been submitted to make amendments.

When you log in and access the application after submission, you will be presented with a 'Welcome back' screen. Click on ‘Continue Application’ and you will be able to change the answers to questions previously given or add/amend any land details entered.

In order for any subsequent amendments to take effect, you must resubmit your application each time. The summary in Step 4 will have a higher Version number to reflect that amendments have been made to the original application. Your summary will also show separately any fields that have been added since the previous version.

Please Note: Any amendments can be made to your field data before 31 May as normal i.e. you can add or remove fields / areas.

Fields added from 1-10 June may be subject to late field penalty, although fields / areas can be removed or reduced during this time without penalty.

Fields cannot be added after 10 June, but fields / areas can still be removed only if the Department hasn't notified you of a penalty or planned inspection.

After submission you will receive an email – for a business submitting their own application, the email will confirm receipt of application and have a copy of the summary and an acknowledgement letter. When an agent submits on behalf of a business, the agent will receive an email confirmation and a copy of the summary only. A paper acknowledgement letter confirming the scheme(s) applied for will be issued to the business separately.

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