At their meeting on Wednesday 25 March 2020, the Council considered our registration fees proposals and the review of the Standards of proficiency. Here is how we are adapting our approach to each in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having spent time listening carefully to the concerns raised about the impact the original registration fees proposals may have had, the Council considered significant changes; reducing the increase in the registration fee from £16.00 to £8.12 and retaining the 50% discount graduate applicants receive for the first two years of registration. Council noted that to achieve this significant cost efficiencies had been implemented across the organisation as well as a reduction in headcount by 20%; and even that with this approach the financial deficit would continue until 2022-23.
The Council acknowledged the extraordinary pressure that many of our registrants currently face during the COVID-19 pandemic, and strongly felt it would not be right to implement a rise at this time. We will publish later a revised timetable when it is appropriate to do so.
The Council also approved the draft Standards of proficiency consultation for all the 15 professions we regulate. Our original intention was to consult in phases from 1 April 2020. However, Council recognised the need to develop a revised timescale and approach in light of the current circumstances. No new date has been set and we will continue to monitor how the COVID-19 situation develops, only proceeding with the consultation when our registrants, employers and other stakeholders can meaningfully engage and feedback. When we do, we will consult with all groups at once and expect to hold the consultation for longer than our usual 12 weeks in order to give all stakeholders the opportunity to respond.
Further information can be found in the papers and minutes of the meeting.