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Fee review consultation FAQs
Why are you proposing to increase the fees?
As an independent regulator we are self-financing and our operating costs are funded by registrant fees entirely. We do not receive any regular funding from the Government. We do our utmost to ensure we operate our processes as efficiently as possible. The proposed increase is partly because the Government has decided that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) will be funded every year by the regulators’ it oversees and the fees charged will be calculated by registrant numbers. However we anticipate that PSA funding will initially amount to approximately £1 million per annum based on current registration numbers. HCPC is compelled to review our fee levels in order to be able to fund this substantial increase to our costs. We are disappointed by the decision because we believe it has a disproportionate impact on our registrants and the fees they pay.
How will this help the HCPC?
The increase will help us pay the PSA fee and ensure that we continue to be able to perform as an effective and efficient regulator over the medium to long term. Our consultation document sets out the specific activities which are driving our costs, including investment in IT systems, introducing dedicated quality control systems and managing fitness to practise processes.
How can I give my views on the consultation?
We will be consulting on the proposed increase to the fees from 27 March 2015 until 6 May 2015. You can respond to this consultation in the following ways.
Why is it such a short consultation period?
We are consulting for a shorter period to ensure that any changes to our fees are in place at the same time as the PSA funding regulations come into force.
When will this take effect?
If the proposals are adopted the changes to the fees will be effective from 1 August 2015 (subject to parliamentary approval of the changes to our Rules). Existing registrants would pay the new renewal fee when their profession next renews its registration after this date.
Don’t you receive Government funding?
We do not receive regular funding from the Government, the only occasion we have done so is to cover the costs associated with bringing a new profession onto the Register.
Does the HCPC offer any discount of fees?
No, but the fees are tax deductible for standard rate UK taxpayers. This means that the proposed £90 renewal fee would be reduced by 20% to £72. For more information visit our website at www.hcpc-uk.org/registrants/fees
Registrants can also spread the cost by paying the fee in instalments, by direct debit every six months.
Newly qualified registrants get a 50% discount on the renewal fee for their first two years of registration with us.
What if I work part-time?
The renewal fee is the same for all registrants, including those who may be working part time. We do not offer a discount for part time working because our costs in undertaking our role as a regulator are the same, regardless of whether someone is working full or part time. We also consider that the increased costs associated with establishing such a system and introducing measures to check whether people who registered as ‘part time’ were not working over a certain number of hours would be disproportionate and prohibitive .
How does the proposed fee increase compare with other regulators?
Our proposed renewal fee would still be the lowest of all the regulators overseen by the PSA and around a third less than the next highest fee. It continues to be the Council’s intention to be as efficient as possible in order to keep fee levels as low as possible.
How do you manage your costs?
We do manage our costs as efficiently as possible. This includes a rigorous budgeting process and regular financial monitoring. The annual budget is approved by the Council who also regularly scrutinise our financial performance .
Dates when the proposed new renewal fee would apply for existing registrants in each profession
Profession - Renewal period starts
Occupational therapists - August 2015
Biomedical scientists - September 2015
Radiographers - December 2015
Physiotherapists - February 2016
Arts therapists - March 2016
Dietitians - April 2016
Chiropodists / Podiatrists - May 2016
Hearing aid dispensers - May 2016
Operating department practitioners - September 2016
Social Workers in England - September 2016
Practitioner psychologists - March 2017
Orthoptists - June 2017
Paramedics - June 2017
Clinical scientists - July 2017
Prosthetists / orthotists July 2017
Speech and language therapists July 2017
How did you come up with the figures of your proposed costs?
Our fees are based on our projections of future activity levels. These are set out in the five year plan which is considered by the Council.
In reviewing our fees, we are mindful that because we register each profession on two-year cycle, it will take two full financial years before any increase in the renewal fee has full effect.
However in the case of PSA funding we have had little option but to consult on a fee increase earlier than anticipated although we are well aware if we increase our fees it will have an impact on our registrants and the fees they pay.
Won’t some professions have to pay an increase of £14 because the earlier fee rise of £4 hasn’t been applied to them yet?
Unfortunately yes, because some professions renew every two years the increase of £4 would not have been applied to them yet. However, given the PSA funding will come into effect on 1 August 2015, we have had to review our fee levels now in order to be able to fund this increase to our costs. However, it continues to be the Council’s intention to be as efficient as possible in order to keep fee levels as low as possible..
When is the next predicted fee increase?
We agreed as a result of feedback during a previous consultation that we would review our fees every two years, on the basis that our stakeholders would prefer us to take an incremental approach, avoiding substantial unexpected increases in our fees. However this has not been possible this time because of the PSA funding by the regulators it oversees and HCPC is compelled to review our fee levels in order to be able to fund this substantial increase to our costs.