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HCPC ‘reluctantly’ agrees renewal registration fee increase of 12.5 per cent

15 May 2015 - 3:31pm

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration fees are to rise despite an overwhelming response of ‘no’ from physiotherapists.

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A 12.5 per cent increase from £80 to £90 will kick in from February 2016 when the renewal period for physiotherapists starts.

The HCPC council agreed the change on 14 May stating: ‘Reluctantly we have been compelled to review our existing fee levels now to ensure that we continue to be able to operate as an effective regulator.’

The CSP urged members to take part in the consultation and there were 2,273 responses from HCPC registered professionals.

A total of 92 per cent said no to an increase in the renewal fee.

Summarising the consultation result, the HCPC said: ‘It was considered unfair and unaffordable given it was significantly above the rate of inflation and because many registrants had experienced pay freezes.’

The HCPC said the proposed increase in its fees was ‘instigated’ by a government decision to cease funding the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which oversees the HCPC and other health and care regulators.

Instead, the bodies overseen by the PSA will be charged based on registrant numbers, which the HCPC estimates will cost it £1million a year.

Council members were told in a briefing that the following comments were frequently made by respondents:

  • Words frequently used by respondents to describe the proposal included ‘excessive’, ‘unfair’, ‘unjustifiable’ and ‘disproportionate’. This is illustrative of the strength of opposition to the proposal – many said that they were very angry about what was being proposed. We were urged to reconsider.
  • The proposed increase is unfair and unaffordable when salaries have been frozen, professionals have experienced a real terms fall in their incomes and the cost of living has risen. At the same time, pension payments have increased and funding for CPD, necessary to remain registered, has been cut.
  • A number said that they had only recently received a hard fought increase of one per cent in their salaries. Registrants in Northern Ireland reported that they had not received any increase in salaries for a number of years.
  • The proposed increase of 12.5 per cent is significantly above the rate of inflation and therefore cannot be justified. Some said that they would accept an inflationary increase but no more.
  • The proposed increase is unfair on top of a recent increase in the renewal fee to £80. Some physios said that they would be experiencing an 18 per cent increase as they had yet to be charged the £80 rate. A small number said that when we had last increased the fee we had said that we would not increase the fee for another two years and that this brought the HCPC’s integrity into question.

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