ETS Documentation

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Executive summary

The quality assurance framework of LPIS is an integral part of LPIS management and upkeep processes. In this framework, the LPIS of a MS/Region is regarded as a system under test (SUT), which is composed of two major components: the local application schema and the data records stored in the system. The so called Executable Test Suite (ETS) targets at the data component by annually assessing conformity according to Article 6 of (EU) Regulation No 640/2014.

For data testing, the high level requirements (abstract test cases) are explicitly provided by Article 6 of (EU) Regulation No 640/2014. For simplicity and historic reasons, the abstract and executable test cases are merged into a single workflow and are referred to as ETS. The ETS proposed by DG JRC can be directly implemented by all MS/Regions. The conformance testing procedure is based on data quality assessment according to ISO 19157:2013 (Geographic information – Data quality) and ISO 2859-2:1985 (Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes, Part 2: Sampling plans indexed by limiting quality (LQ) for isolated lot inspection).

These standards are used to define the data quality measures, the prescribed sample sizes, and the acceptance numbers for the quality measures. These elements together with the basic concepts (inspected item, critical defect, observed area, contamination, and land cover classification according to MS eligibility profile) are detailed in the LPIS QA documentation, comprising a set of technical guidance documents (TG population, TG MTS, ETS Annexes, etc..) given in ETS Downloads and a structured list of the wikiCAP support pages.

The technical guidance (TG) on Model Test Suite (MTS v.2.0) can be found on TG MTS. The correspondent reporting schemas for the MTS can be found on MTS Downloads

Release notes - July 2017

The needs for update in the quality assessment methodology were triggered by:

  • EU Member state feedback (as usual)
  • Bilateral communication with AGRI (D3)
  • inputs from the IACS workshop in 2017
  • Findings from the GTCAP
  • External input

Revisions made in the ETS (v6.2) NO NOT affect the inspection procedure itself. They can additions to the instructions

  • for better consistency and clarity of both inspection and reporting
  • to reduce the loop of answering bilateral questions
  • to remove further bias in results

General and Inspection - related

  • General: Errata identified on the previous ETS version (v 6.1 from 2016) have been corrected

edits/revisions from version 6.1 2016

  • A skipping option is added for a parcel that already participated in an a priori RP aggregation
  • Clarrifications added on how reference parcels identified as totally lacking agriculture land cover (critical defect) are reported with respect to feasibility for measurement and area-based conformity
  • The procedure for categorization of the causes of non-conformity is rephrased to make it clear that a separate cause should be attributes to each of the non-conformities found within the Reference Parcel.
  • Clarrification is made of the calculation of QE6 in case the update of a LPIS QA zone/subzone was done in the current year (same year as LPIS QA exercise).

edits/revisions from version 6.1 2016

  • edits and rephrasing in the flow of events resulted from the modifications of Annex I
  • the requirement to conduct initial image acceptance is abolished (MS contactor should guarantee that quality assurance is respected by providing relevant metadata)

edits/revisions from version 6.1 2016

  • no changes from version 6.1, except for the errata corrections (discovered and reported in WikiCAP in the period June-October 2006).

edits/revisions from version 6.1 2016

  • no changes from version 6.1

Publishing (WikiCAP)

  • WikiCAP, point 1.2 (ETS Scope): The 3rd bullet for the scope (transfer of entitlements) is removed
  • WikiCAP, point 1.5.1 (Inspection workflow): Inspection procedure made in line with text in Annex II
  • WikiCAP, point 1.7.1 (non-structured evidence): information on last systematic LPIS update is added in the evidence list
  • TG Population (Relevance for the assessment year): Third bullet (transfer of entitlements) is removed as being obsolete
  • TG Population (Data Delivery): The production of informative report by JRC is removed as the LPIS QA portal provides the necessary functionality to compare the previous and current LPIS populations
  • WikiCAP (ETS Sampling zones): minor updates related to the number of the zones for 2017

NOTE: All important edits and revisions from ETS 6.1 to ETS 6.2, as well as all resulted modifications/additions in the Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 articles of WikiCAP are highlighted in Maroon colour. This includes any modifications in the wiki articles needed to ensure consistency between the WikiCAP pages and the ETS Annexes.


ETS schemas - There are NO modifications of the schemas. Last uploads are available on the LPIS Registry

A revision of the examples for better clarity and consistency is foreseen.



The importance of the LPIS comes from the requirement that it must channel all area based aids; the corresponding financial value exceeded €40bn for 2012 (see item 05.03 on pages 17-18) and 2013. It concerned in 2013 around 7.40 million beneficiaries ([1]). For this specific purpose, LPIS quality can roughly be defined as the ability of the system to fulfill two explicit LPIS functions:

  1. the unambiguous localisation of all declared agricultural parcels by farmer and inspectors,
  2. and the quantification of all eligible area for crosschecks during the administrative controls by the paying agency.

Failure of an LPIS in the unambiguous localisation induces risks for double declaration of land. Inadequate quantification of eligible area renders the crosschecks ineffective for preventing and identifying over-declarations by farmers. Both failures involve financial risks for the EU Funds.

Furthermore, any well functioning LPIS greatly facilitates operations by farmers, inspectors and paying agencies, resulting in a better overall performance. Obviously, a better LPIS substantially improves IACS effectiveness and management of EU Funds.

Quality Assurance

Figure 1: quality concepts

Both Member States and the EU have therefore a keen interest in demonstrating the quality of the LPIS and in addressing quality issues, if any. Such processes of planned and systematic quality demonstration form the hearth of a quality assurance (QA) system. A QA framework relies on mutually agreed quality testing between “consumer” (the European Commission) and “supplier” (the Member State). A test or series of tests assesses compliance for each specified quality requirement.

A distinction is made between “prime” and “secondary” quality elements. The prime elements are those that the European Commission considers fundamental for a correct LPIS operation. They are applicable to all LPIS systems. Secondary quality elements might not be applicable for all systems, but may provide additional input for analysing and remediating issues identified on the prime quality elements.

The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 640/2014 calls for an annual reporting on the six prime quality elements grouped into two conformance classes. For each quality element, one or more measures, the inspection procedure and conformance levels have been designed.

A former discussion document has been elaborated in 2011 on these LPIS properties and the reasons why they are essential for a good functioning. It also proposed a methodology to implement and integrate an adequate quality policy in the regulatory framework. The main application of this quantitative information is to provide an instrument for achieving business process improvement. Essentially, this quality assurance framework constitutes a yearly check-step within the commonly known plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.



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