On 23 February 2023 the HCPC Council considered proposals to increase the annual registration fee from £98.12 to £117.74 as set out in this paper. The Council agreed to those proposals.
The reasons for the increase are set out in that paper, including the details of the UK wide consultation process we undertook. This process involved an online consultation, webinars with registrants, focus groups with members of the public and discussions with professional bodies, unions and government.
We understand that this is a difficult time financially for registrants and if it was not necessary for us to increase our fees now, we would not be seeking to do so. We have been obliged to run operating deficits for the past five years, which has led to our reserves declining steadily to a level below what is sustainable. Without a fee rise, our underlying financial position will remain highly adverse and we will be unable to fund essential further improvements and continue to face negative reserves, meaning we would be unable to continue operating and meeting our regulatory responsibilities.
In recognition of the difficult circumstances registrants are facing, alongside the fee rise the Council also committed to implementing a series of mitigation measures:
- Introduce more frequent direct debits as soon as practicable if (and only if) we secure the requested fee increase
- Retain the 50% graduate discount rate
- Work proactively with employers to promote protected Continuing Professional Development time, building on work we have already started
- More actively promote the availability of tax relief on HCPC fees, including through updates to our website guidance, and additional signposting on our online registration portal and through our renewal communications and social media activity
The fee increase will not be introduced until after a legislative approval process has been completed.
Chair of Council Christine Elliott said:
“Council, which includes members who are registrants, and members from all UK nations, regretfully approved this essential and urgent uplift to fees. Council is deeply conscious of the serious cost of living pressures that registrants are contending with. The fee rise would go hand-in-hand with measures to mitigate the burden of the proposed increase. The HCPC is committed to providing excellent service at the lowest sustainable price.”
If approved by the UK and Scottish parliaments, the fee rise would not come into effect until the second half of 2023 at the earliest, with most professions not paying the revised fee until 2024 or 2025.