£16 annual HCPC registration fee increase goes ahead

CSP members will pay an extra £16 a year to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), an increase the CSP believes is unjustified.

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CSP: 'Members will be angered' by the HCPC decision to increase registration fees by 18 per cent

The physiotherapy profession’s regulatory body ‘reluctantly’ agreed to increase the registration renewal fee from £90 to £106 per year at its council meeting on 14 February.

CSP director Natalie Beswetherick said: ‘Members will be angered by the council’s decision. HCPC says it is was mindful of the economic environment that registrants are working in, however this concern is not reflected in their decision.’

Renewal date

The renewal period for physiotherapists starts on 1 February 2020.

The CSP put in a ‘robust response’ to the proposals when they went out to consultation at the end of last year saying the 17.8 per cent increase was ‘wholly disproportionate’.

Ninety per cent of the 2,398 individuals who submitted their views said ‘no’ to the proposed fees hike.

Physios top the respondees

Physiotherapists were the largest group responding to the consultation – at 25 per cent of the total.

The HCPC said it would be financially ‘unsustainable’ if the proposals did not go ahead and unveiled a raft of cost-cutting measures including deleting the £5,000 spent on the staff Christmas lunch.

Careful consideration

A HCPC spokesperson said: ‘This decision was carefully considered and followed an in-depth analysis of the responses to the consultation.

‘Council recognised that the majority of respondents disagreed with proposals to increase the renewal fee and explored the concerns of many organisations and the individual registrants who responded.

‘However, council agreed the need to safeguard HCPC’s financial sustainability, to ensure that it can continue to fulfil its statutory role to protect the public and its commitment to meet the expectation of stakeholders.’

Recognise concerns

HCPC chief executive Marc Seale said: ‘We are very sensitive to the concerns of respondents and recognise the strength of views expressed. We are also very aware of the economic context in which our registrants and the HCPC operate.

‘We have, therefore, identified cost reductions and income generation opportunities to minimise the impact of these increases.’

Lowest fee remains

As a self-financing regulator the HCPC does not receive any ongoing funding from other sources, Mr Seale said, and has the lowest fee of all the independent UK health and care regulators.

‘This decision means we can continue to invest in our regulatory performance, specifically our efforts to reduce the length of time fitness to practise investigations take and develop our registration services to meet modern-day expectations.

‘It also enables us to meet the HCPC’s commitment to move away from the existing reactive model of regulation, to one where we proactively help to prevent problems arising in registrants’ professional practice, reducing the burden and stress for all involved in the process.’

 

 

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by Gary Henson

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