CAFRE Opens For Applications For The Level II Agriculture Qualification For CAP Young Farmers’ Scheme and Regional Reserve

In 2015, the Single Farm Payment Scheme will be replaced by the Basic Payment Scheme, the Greening Payment and the Young Farmers’ Scheme. The Young Farmers’ Scheme is an annual ‘top-up’ to the Basic Payment (for a maximum of five years) for those who meet the eligibility criteria listed below:

  • Have established and activated payment entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme;
  • Are no more than 40 years of age in your first year of application;
  • Are “head of holding”; and
  • Have at least a Level II qualification in agriculture (or a related subject containing a farm business management module).

New entrants and/or young farmers who may wish to avail of support under the Regional Reserve will also need to have at least a Level II qualification in agriculture (or related subject containing a farm business management module).

A list of eligible agriculture qualifications is published on the CAFRE website, which you can use to check whether your qualification will be accepted by DARD for the purposes of the Young Farmers’ Scheme or application to the Regional Reserve as a new entrant and/or young farmer.

The list of eligible qualifications is not exhaustive. If you hold a qualification which is not listed, details on how to check its eligibility can be found on the CAFRE website (under Industry Support page). You can also contact CAFRE by calling 028 9442 6770 or by emailing:

If you do not have a Level II qualification in Agriculture or a qualification deemed to be equivalent then you can apply to undertake CAFRE’s Level II course which will meet the educational requirements for the Young Farmers’ Scheme and for the Regional Reserve.

CAFRE will provide this accredited training course during the forthcoming autumn and winter. This will be a part-time course with normal attendance on one evening each week over a 20 week period. Subject to demand, it will be delivered locally throughout Northern Ireland. There are no formal entry requirements. DARD will not charge for delivery of the course but there may be a charge for the costs of registration and certification.

The Level II course will cover two broad areas:

  • A business management unit which will involve analysing business performance, and assessing performance against benchmarks and the use of computers on the farm to record and analyse performance.
  • An enterprise unit which will focus on a specific livestock or crop enterprise. Participants will complete the enterprise unit which most closely matches their own farm.

In addition all participants will complete a health and safety unit, which will focus on managing the risks associated with working in the agricultural industry.

CAFRE is now accepting applications to study towards a Level II agriculture qualification. The application period for this course will open on 11th August 2014 and close at 4.00pm on 29th August 2014.

How to apply

Applications can be made online or an application form can be downloaded from the CAFRE website. Alternatively, you can request an application form by contacting CAFRE on 028 9442 6770.

It should be noted that completion of the CAFRE Level II training course, does not in any way, imply that you meet all the eligibility criteria of the Young Farmers’ Scheme or for an award from the Regional Reserve new entrant and/or young farmer categories. The training course is only one component of the eligibility criteria as set out.