01/06/12 ~ Farmers get better service from Rural Payments Agency
Since the launch of a new Customer Charter six months ago, farmers are enjoying improved levels of service from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) with faster responses to customer contacts and issue of cattle passports.
Today (1 June), the Agency reported that in the six months ending 30 April, according to data collected by the Customer Service Centre, service delivery expectations had been exceeded with performance running at 99-100% across all targets.
When the charter was first launched in November last year, the Agency promised to review it regularly to ensure its commitments remained meaningful to customers and reflected the service issues they really cared about. The result of the first of those reviews was published alongside the performance information in a strengthened charter with firmer commitments on service levels.
The refreshed charter also includes more on what RPA and customers should expect from each other as they work together to ensure delivery of satisfactory outcomes. One key way customers could help, the Agency says, is by promptly notifying any changes to business structure, to land and to contact details.
Planning and Performance Director John Carter said:
“Farmers and food producers are now benefiting from faster and more accurate payments as well as prompt and responsive support when they need it from our customer service team.
“However, there will be no let-up in our drive to turn the Agency round and we will shortly be announcing details of how we plan to improve our performance even more for customers and the taxpayer in 2012/13.”
Full details of the re-launched charter may be found here.
Notes to Editors
(Data collected from calls made to the RPA’s Customer Service Centre)
|Customer Charter Commitments (to April 2012)||Target %||Performance %|
- Complete agreed customer call-backs within 24 hours
- Reply formally to letters received, within 15 working days
- Acknowledge e-mails received, within 2 working days
- Respond formally to e-mails received, within 15 working days
- Issue cattle passports within 5 working days of request
As part of a programme of improvements to support farmers and food producers, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) charter states clearly the standards of service customers can expect and what to do if things go wrong.
The charter principles are about dealing with any queries quickly, politely and professionally, within the published timescales, ensuring customers are always communicated with in a clear and open way, with transparent complaints and appeals processes. It will be updated regularly to reflect any new standards the Agency signs up to.
The charter covers the following:
The Rural Payments Agency’s
- How to register with the RPA, how to contact us, or visit our offices
- Answering telephone calls/replying to written correspondence – standards and timescales that customers can expect
- The inspection process – why we do it and what customers can do if they are not happy with the outcome
- Mapping and cattle passports – service standards that can be expected and timescales
- Our complaints and appeals process
- What we expect from our customers
work helps the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to encourage a thriving farming and food sector and strong rural communities. RPA makes Common Agricultural Policy support payments, traces livestock and carries out inspections. We manage more than 40 schemes, paying farmers and traders more than £2 billion each year. To administer such a wide range of schemes and meet EU requirements we manage information on more than two million land parcels
Media enquiries: Lynne Nasti
Media & Communications Manager
Rural Payments Agency
Direct Line: 0118 968 7680.
Page published: 28 August 2012