CSP Council limits 2024 subscriptions increase to five per cent

The cost of membership will rise by a below-inflation five per cent, to reduce as much as possible the impact on members’ finances


CSP Council, the society’s elected governing body, has held next year’s subscription rise below the current rate of inflation, recognising that even an essential increase will be an extra cost for already stretched members.

Chair of CSP Council, Ishmael Beckford, said:

We have a priority to ensure members get good value from their subscriptions, and that these fund a CSP that is impactful and sustainable.

To do this, our services have to remain effective and efficient. That means replacing ageing systems and infrastructure so that we can meet members' needs and expectations, now and in the years to come.

We know that members continue to face real financial pressures, so we have made every effort to keep that cost to members as low as we can.

'Over the last 12 months, thanks to members’ funding, CSP has achieved a number of successes for members and the profession, including achieving national commitments to develop community rehab in England and Wales, securing better pay NHS rises than government’s offers in Scotland, Wales and England, and supporting more than fifty members facing HCPC proceedings.

'And in the year ahead, we will continue to campaign and influence on your behalf and provide you with advice, support and protection and a host of effective member benefits.'

As a not-for-profit organisation, CSP relies largely on subscriptions income to meet the costs of supporting and representing its 64,000 members across the profession. Those costs are continuing to rise at, or in some cases well above, the current rate of inflation.

On top of inflationary pressures, Council has had to balance limiting the extra cost to members with the need to invest in CSP’s core systems. In making its decision, Council examined the options closely to understand the level of investment needed and its urgency.

Under the new rates, which come into effect from 1 Jan 2024, a chartered member practising in the UK, will pay an extra £21.00 per year, a working associate member will pay an additional £6.48, and a student member will see an annual increase of £2.16.

Members will receive their individual renewal details later this week, setting out their payments for 2024.

Any members facing financial difficulties should contact the CSP enquiries team about support options, including the Physiotherapy Benevolent Fund.

Questions about the subscriptions increase

What increased costs is CSP facing?

General costs are increasing in line with those faced by most organisations. CSP's professional liability insurance (PLI) premium has increased by 30 per cent over the last two years. CSP staff are facing the same cost of living increases as members. Several core systems are reaching the end of their effective life-spans, needing replacement with more efficient, effective and sustainable solutions, that meet modern expectations.

How does CSP spend its income?

Our income is spent on member services such as PLI, legal advice and employment advice, advocacy for the profession and enabling members to come together. We publish accounts each year in the financial accounts presented to the AGM. This year’s one will be on 13 December. The 2021 report is in our annual impact report and the 2022 report will follow shortly.

Why can't CSP use its reserves or operating surplus to absorb costs?

CSP faces long-term liabilities relating to the previous staff pension scheme, that we closed several years ago. We are legally obliged to hold sufficient assets to meet the theoretical future call on us if the pension funds were inadequate to pay pensions.

Our reserves are part of the assets we need to offset and reduce this future liability, so we cannot use them to subsidise subscription rates without compromising the CSP’s future sustainability.

Couldn't CSP hold back any rises for a year or two? Why is CSP not freezing fees when members are struggling?

The financial pressures CSP is facing are happening now. Our Finance, Risk and Audit committee (external finance experts and appointed CSP members) advised an increase to Council of five per cent to manage costs and risks. While Council wanted to set subscriptions as low as possible, in recognition of the pressure members are facing, it concluded a freeze would leave CSP unable to deliver for members sustainably.

What benefits do I get as a CSP member?

Our membership section sets out the benefits you receive according to your membership type.

Why is CSP still based in London? Could it not move somewhere cheaper?

The CSP is selling Bedford Row and has already made cost savings by not occupying such a large building. Most staff are working from home for the majority of the time. We have staff teams supporting members in all regions and countries. The CSP is able to rent and run a smaller, more modern office for London staff using the savings of not occupying Bedford Row. While the property is currently for sale, selling it will not increase the value of the CSP’s overall assets. It will just allow the CSP to invest to seek better returns in addition to reducing the operational costs of maintenance and upkeep.

Why does CSP keep sending paper copies of Frontline?

We keep the format and costs of Frontline under regular review. But Frontline is one of the top three most-used methods of members getting information from the CSP. A majority still prefer to have a hard copy. Advertisers still want to target magazine readers and so Frontline provides a valuable source of commercial income. Members can opt out of receiving the hard copy by contacting our enquiries team.

Why is CSP membership more expensive than some other unions?

CSP is the only body providing physio-specific advice, support and advocacy, and is the only physio-led union. CSP provides not just union, but professional and insurance cover in one fee, so it is not a like for like comparison. CSP PLI is designed for physios so does not rely on people being covered by employers too, it covers members working voluntarily and for themselves as well as protecting employees against claims from their employer insurers.

We can only spread our costs across our physio community and this means it is more expensive than for bigger professions or multi-professional unions who spread costs across more people.

Why did CSP not consult with members on the increase?

Council members are elected with a remit to make certain decisions on behalf of the membership. The rise settled on by Council is below the current rate of inflation. The decision was made with reference to the Finance, Risk and Audit committee who provide expert advice on the CSP’s financial health and sustainability.

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