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Joining and renewing your membership


We must carry out an assessment within 12 weeks of receiving your application, but will always try to do so sooner. Assessments typically take around two-and-half hours depending on the size and type of operation, although your first assessment may take a little longer.

During an assessment, our assessors must remain impartial and are therefore unable to give advice whilst conducting an assessment.


Your assessor will provide you with a copy of their assessment report. This will tell you which, if any, standards you have not met (non-compliances) and what evidence you need to send us, like an invoice or photo, to show that you have made the required changes.

You have up to four weeks from the date of your assessment to make any changes and send us your completed report and evidence.

Your assessor cannot advise you on how to make the required changes.

Preparing for your assessment

To ensure your assessment can be completed as quickly as possible please check the following:

  1. You have read and met the relevant RSPCA welfare standards
  2. You have a suitable person available to
    accompany your assessor
  3. You have the following documents available:
  • Defra advisory booklets
  • Veterinary health plans
  • Veterinary medicine and treatment records
  • Farm policies
  • Training records
  • Production records

Your assessment

On arrival, your assessor will confirm their identity, sign the visitors' book and ensure they comply with biosecurity.

  1. They will start by confirming the following:
  • assessment process
  • standards to be assessed
  • site information
  • who will accompany them
  • your report is confidential
  • what happens the following assessment
  1. During your assessment your assessor will:
  • look at the condition of your animals
  • inspect production and service records
  • speak to other stock people
  1. Following your assessment, your assessor will need time to complete their report. They will then:
  • discuss their findings
  • ask you to sign their report
  • advise you of the next steps

Our certification body will decide whether to issue a certificate based on the assessor’s report and, if applicable, evidence of any changes having been made.

Complaints procedure

  1. If you receive a complaint regarding RSPCA Assured, your animals, facilities or products etc. you must:
  • keep a record of the complaint and any action taken
  • inform RSPCA Assured of the complaint and any action in writing
  • make records available to your assessor if requested
  1. We will review any complaints we receive and will advise you of the following:
  • any changes that need to be made
  • any evidence needed to show changes have been made
  • any additional assessments that may be required

Complainants are informed of this complaints procedure.

Investigations & sanctions

An investigation will be launched whenever RSPCA Assured receives a complaint or is made aware of potential welfare issues on one of our members’ sites.

You can find full details of our investigations and sanctions policy here.

RSPCA welfare standards

The RSPCA welfare standards (set by the RSPCA’s farm animals department) are occasionally updated to take account of the latest scientific, veterinary and industry knowledge.

You will be given three months' notice of any changes. A longer notice period will be given when changes are significant.

Standards development

The RSPCA holds Standards Technical Advisory Group meetings (STAGs) for each species at least once a year.

If you have any feedback regarding standards or are interested in participating in an advisory group please contact the RSPCA’s Farm Animals Department.


You must read and comply with all the relevant RSPCA welfare standards before applying and being assessed, and maintain those standards throughout your membership.

If anything changes after you have renewed, for example, your contact details, facilities, vehicles, management, location, stocking density, or you take a break in production, please let us know in writing straight away.

Cancellations received less than 7 days before the inspection may incur a cost of £199.00.

Renewing your membership

Two months before your certificate expires you will be sent a letter inviting you to renew. As soon as we receive your membership fee your renewal certificate will be available on your members portal to view and download.

Your assessor will contact you during your new membership period to arrange your next assessment.


We must carry out your assessment within 12 months of renewing your membership. Assessments typically take around two and a half hours depending on the size and type of operation.

Adding a site or unit

If you wish to add an additional site, unit or vehicle etc. at a later date you will need to submit a new application and payment. The new certificate will expire on the same date as any existing certificates. This is so all sites can be reassessed at the same time.

Important info

Before applying to become an RSPCA Assured member we encourage you to read the full terms and conditions of our membership agreement, but ask that you pay particular attention to the following.

As a member of RSPCA Assured you agree to:

  • Adhere to the RSPCA welfare standards and RSPCA Assured membership agreement at all times throughout your membership and to not do anything that could damage the organisation’s reputation
  • Pay an annual membership fee based on the size and type of operation if you are a producer, and a licence fee if you are a processor/packer selling RSPCA Assured produce
  • Submit to an annual assessment by an RSPCA Assured assessor.
  • Allow RSPCA Assured assessors access to your premises, facilities, livestock, produce and records to confirm compliance with the RSPCA welfare standards, RSPCA Assured traceability standards and membership agreement as applicable
  • Immediately inform RSPCA Assured of any previous convictions or pending prosecutions relating to any offence involving the care, handling, rearing, transport, slaughter or sale of animals or produce
  • Contact us within 24 hours in case of disease, withdrawal/recall of produce, mislabelling, or being charged with an offence; or within five days in the case of higher than normal mortality or breakout, a change in circumstances, facilities, contact information, suppliers or a non-routine inspection by Trading Standards, the police or similar body
  • Treat our staff with respect
  • Only use the certification marks as per the RSPCA Assured membership agreement and brand guidelines, and obtain prior written approval
  • Remove the RSPCA name and certification marks from all communications, return your certificate and inform your customers should your RSPCA Assured membership be discontinued

Please note:

  • You risk your RSPCA Assured membership being suspended or withdrawn if you do not maintain the RSPCA welfare standards at all times, especially if you are found to have a major welfare non-compliance or brought the organisation into disrepute
  • Membership fees are not refundable if your application is unsuccessful
  • You have up to four weeks following the assessment to rectify any non-compliances and submit evidence showing that you have done so
  • If you do not renew within 28 days of your certificate expiring your membership will be withdrawn and you will have to submit a new application
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