How do I get Basic Payment Scheme entitlements? | Helping farmers in Scotland | Farm Advisory Service Skip to content

How do I get Basic Payment Scheme entitlements?

The Basic Payment Scheme began in January 2015, this superseded the Single Farm Payment Scheme. Basic Payment Scheme entitlements were allocated to eligible farmers who applied in 2015. Any business who did not get automatic allocation of entitlements could/can apply to the “national reserve”.

The National Reserve is the name given to the pool of money taken from the total funds available for the Basic Payment Scheme in Scotland, a total of 3% of the Scottish Basic Payment Scheme can be used for national reserve. It is used to allocate payment entitlements, as a priority, to Young Farmers and New Entrants to farming. The fund is refilled every year. National Reserve entitlements will be allocated based on the payment region your land is on.

If you have land and no entitlements, you can submit a national reserve application for an allocation of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements, this is an online form (available at You must complete your Single Application Form (SAF) application online by 15 May. For 2016 onwards, the only route to entitlement allocation is via the National Reserve and there are two categories you can apply under, they are:

  • New Entrant – if you started an agricultural activity in 2013 or later and did not have activity in your own name or at your own risk in the five years preceding the start of the activity
  • Young Farmer – if you are less than 41 years of age on 31 December of the year you apply for an award and are setting up for the first time an agricultural holding as head of the holding.

If you applied under national reserve in 2015 and were successful under either of the above categories, you will not be able to receive a further allocation in future years, for any additional land you may have taken on.

If your National Reserve application is successful and you have submitted a Single Application Form declaring at least three hectares of eligible land you will be allocated a number of Basic Payment Scheme payment entitlements. The number awarded will be equal to the number of eligible hectares that you declare on your Single Application Form and that are ‘at your disposal’ on 15 May.

The Basic Payment Scheme payment entitlements will be valued at the average entitlement rate per payment region classification in the year they are allocated and will move in equal steps to the final rate in 2019.

Those who already hold Basic Payment Scheme entitlements and also qualify under the National Reserve will have the value of those entitlements topped up to the average entitlement rate for that payment region applicable in the year of application.

There is an additional payment under the Basic Payment Scheme for Young Farmers called the Young Farmer payment which will need to be claimed for on the 2015 Single Application Form.

For more details and guidance see