Following extensive engagement with registrants, trade unions, professional bodies and policy makers, HCPC’s proposed fee increase is going through the approval process in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments.
Should it be approved, the increase of £8.12 will be effective from the 1 July 2021.
This rise is the first increase in fees since 2015, and is now half the original proposed increase. Clinical scientists, prosthetists and orthotists and speech and language therapists will be the first group to pay the increased fee, given their renewal period runs from the 1 July 2021.
The final group affected by the rise will be paramedics and orthoptists, when they renew in June 2023. The increase, the first since 2015, will affect all applicants to the Register and all our registrants. We would encourage professionals to check when to renew.
John Barwick, Chief Executive and Registrar, comments:
We know that this is an extremely challenging time for our registrants, and all health and care professions. They continue to play an essential role in the control of COVID-19, as well as delivering their usual services under immense pressure.
Given that context, the proposed increase, originally planned for last year, has been delayed until now and the original amount of the increase has been halved. We took these decisions in close collaboration with trade union colleagues, and based on feedback from a formal consultation with our registrants, and professional bodies.
Registrants and applicants will be able to reduce the cost of their fees by claiming tax relief, and they are able to pay in instalments if they choose.
We have also decided to keep the 50% discount graduate applicants receive during their first two years of registration.
John Barwick adds:
We have spent a considerable amount of time over the last two years listening carefully to the concerns, arguments, and views raised about the impact of our original proposals. The revised increase reflects these discussions, while enabling us to make important improvements to the way we regulate. This includes accelerating the pace of our Fitness to Practise improvement programme and adopting a more preventative approach, which will improve public protection and reduce the emotional burden on registrants.
It will improve our ability to collect, interpret and share data - enabling us to better predict and prevent issues arising in professionals’ education and practice. It will also improve our understanding of the impact of our work across different groups, and thus support our EDI objectives.