Outcomes of the consultation on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration fees
At its meeting on 14 February 2019, the HCPC Council reluctantly agreed to proposals to increase the registration renewal fee by £16 from £90 to £106 per year. Council also agreed proposed increases to other registration fees. In reaching its decision, Council committed to continuing to identify cost savings wherever possible and to explore further income generation opportunities.
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.
It follows a detailed analysis of our income and expenditure, including an assessment of the impact of inflation on our current and future costs. This identified savings in our operations, including payroll and non-payroll cost reductions, as well as income generation opportunities. Even with these initiatives, our financial forecasts show we would be financially unsustainable without the proposed increases in our fees.
Marc Seale, HCPC Chief Executive and Registrar, 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.
However, as a self-financing regulator we do not receive any ongoing funding from other sources. Whilst our Council has agreed to these increases, we continue to have 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 Council’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.”
The full analysis of the responses we received, as well as our comments and decisions, is available on our website here.
Subject to parliamentary approval of our draft Rules and an equality impact assessment by Council, the new registration fee structure will come into effect on 1 October 2019.
Our Council is committed to being an efficient regulator, regularly scrutinising our financial performance and seeking cost savings and productivity improvements year on year. Information about our financial performance is in our annual reports.
The costs savings initiatives that we have implemented to date include: a reduction in our payroll costs, including the restructure of the senior management and communications teams; using Government procurement frameworks to secure best value contracts for suppliers and services; the introduction of paperless processes, including registration renewals and annual monitoring of education programmes; and securing additional income by letting office space in our building to another regulator. These savings are in addition to the reduction in the variable costs directly associated with the regulation of social workers, for example Partner fees, legal fees and transcription services.
As part of our financial budgeting process, we are continuing to identify further opportunities in the coming year.