ETS Inspection variants

From Wikicap - European Commission

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Reference parcel aggregation

The reference parcel aggregation method was introduced for agricultural landscapes where the visible cropping pattern often coincides clusters of complete reference parcels. The principle of crop aggregation is analogous to OTSC AP measurement, where a full crop group is measured if it spans several reference parcels. RP aggregation method is foreseen for cadastar and agricultural parcel designs.

Using the reference parcel aggregations option remains in principle optional, but it becomes mandatory where low “feasibility for measurement” results creates a methodological or perceived problem:

  1. a methodological problem arises when less than 200 reference parcel are measured as this is often the minimum sample size for LQ 12.5 indexed tests.
  2. a perceived problem can occur when more than 200 but less than half the RP measured. Indeed what is the true reference value of a LPIS when more than half of its reference parcels can not be measured?

So, application of the reference parcel aggregation is subject to an a priori decision made on LPIS quality assessment results from the previous year.

The estimated number of reference parcels that will not be feasible for measurement in the current year of assessment, can be equal to the sum of reference parcels found to be "not feasible for measurement" in the previous assessment year.

If that sum represents more than 50% of the inspected sample, then reference parcel aggregation becomes mandatory.

Any application of the reference parcel aggregation variant is systematic: if applied, aggregation and crop measurement needs to be performed for all sampled reference parcels where the conditions apply.


  1. By their very nature, all cadastral parcel and agricultural parcel designs could be more subject to the conditions that require reference parcel aggregation.

Field activities


The introduction of a limited number of dedicated LPIS QA image zones has two direct consequences:

  1. in areas with lower reference parcel density, there are fewer parcels in the sample pre-selection. It is no longer always feasible to skip an item, considering that the sample pre-selection list can be shorter than in ETS v5.3.
  2. there should be fewer logistical challenges to organize field activities.

Furthermore, field activities will yield a better overall inspection result as well as a better analysis of those results.

Finally, the EC services expect a raise in field activities as some inspections (classification correctness) might not be correctly assessed from the imagery alone.

Different types of field activities

ETS v6.4 still recognizes four processes where field activities are relevant:

  • field inspection - parcel inspection is fully based on GNSS field survey.
  • combined inspection - parcel inspection is based on merging CAPI delineation and field survey. This usually involves a border inspection in the field
  • perimeter inspection - inspection of a LUI to vindicate a critical defect (formerly called boundary inspection)
  • field observation - other activities complementing the normal CAPI inspection


All field activities are subject to a discretionary decision of the Member State whether it is to replace or support the CAPI inspection. However, that decision must be systematically, and not discretionary applied to all items in the sample. Any discretionary decision would lead to the inclusion of "nice" parcels in the sample and thus biasing the results of the ETS.

Conditional triggers

There are several alternative paths for item inspection. The path each item should follow is conditioned by the earlier findings on that item during ETS inspection. It is important to recall that any item can only follow a single path and cannot jump to activities that are not on that path. The path that an item follows will always determine the content of its inspection records of the ETS reporting package and will be subject to automatic screening during and after the upload of that package.

How to inspect land defined under Art. 32(2)(b) of R1307/2013 NEW

1. Reference parcels containing only non-agricultureal land cover, related to Art.32(b)(2)

These reference parcels will be checked for critical defects (all applicable, except of “total absence of agricultureal area). They will not be subject to area-based quality measures (etsReferenceArea is NOT equal the MEA available for payment); however, they can be measured and associated area can be mapped. Theoretically, they will fall within the scope of the classification correctness. Nevertheless, no meaningful test can be conducted as: (1) none of these non-agricultureal and at the same time eligible LC types can be attributed to any of the three agriculturale land categories; (2) the correspondent value in the LPIS for the presence of these agriculturale categories will be always zero. Thus, the RP will be in principle always conformant with respect to the classification correctness.

NOTE: If a given natural vegetation as defined in Art.32(2)(b)(i) of 13007R2013 can be qualified as permanent grassland in line with Article 45(1) of the same regulation, then it must the recorded as such in the LPIS and treated in the LPISQA as part of the agriculturale area envelope. It will be processed in the ETS the same was as any agriculturale land cover.

2. Reference parcels containing both agriculturale land cover (Art. 4 of 1307R2013) and non-agriculturale land cover, related to Art.32(b)(2)

In the ETS, these reference parcels will be processed the same way as the “normal” reference parcels having etsReferenceArea above zero. Since the etsReferenceArea will NOT equal the MEA available for payment, they will not be subject to area-based measures related to eligibilityal. They will fall within the scope of the classification correctness test: only the observed and the correspondent recorded agricultureal land cover will be taken into account - the eligible non-agricultureal land cover will be disregarded.

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