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What is the new fee structure?
· The renewal fee has increased to £90 per year on 1 August 2015.
· The scrutiny fee for applicants from UK approved programmes has increased to £63. Those applicants applying within two years of their qualification will continue to receive a 50% discount on the fee for the first two years of registration.
· The readmission fee has increase to £225. This includes the first year of registration. Applicants for readmission applying within one month of their removal from the Register will continue to only pay the registration fee.
· The restoration fee will increase to £225. This includes the first year of registration.
· The scrutiny fee for international and EEA applications has increased to £495. Where an application is successful, the registration fee is also payable.
When will this take effect?
Existing registrants will pay the new renewal fee when their profession next renews its registration after this date, as follows:
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
Does the HCPC offer any discount of fees?
· Yes, newly qualified registrants, applying within two years of their qualification, get a 50% discount on the renewal fee for their first two years of registration with us.
· For registrants 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 here
I am newly qualified and will be coming onto the Register for the first time, what will I need to pay?
It will depend on whether you are paying in full or spreading the cost of future fees by direct debit. Newly qualified registrants applying within two year of their qualification also get a 50% discount on the registration fee for their first two years of registration with us. Registration cycles for each of the professions we regulate run across a fixed 2 year period. Each registration cycle consists of two professional years. If you are registered for less than six months before the start of the next professional year, you will receive this period free of charge. Please note, this free period only applies to applicants who have successfully completed a UK approved programme within the last two years.
Applying if you completed a UK approved programme more than two years ago?
The full registration fee is payable if you apply to be registered at any point in the professional year, even if only for a few days. If you do not need registration immediately in order to work, you may wish to check when your new professional year starts and apply for registration at the start of a new professional year. If you are applying for registration after 2 years of qualifying, and at point of a professional year, you will be subject to paying the full £90 fees for that year.
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.
Why have the fees increased?
The increase is partly because the Government has decided that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) will be funded every year by the regulators’ it oversees.
We have been mindful of the feedback we have received in recent years about the way in which we run fitness to practise hearings. We also need to invest in essential IT systems. The additional income will allow us to make improvements in both of these areas, which will be important in helping us to maintain and improve efficiencies and contain any future increases in the fees over the longer term.
We sought the views of our stakeholders on the proposals to increase the registration fees during a consultation in 2015. Further information can be found in the consultation document.
How did you come up with the figures for your costs?
Our fees are based on our projections of future activity levels. These are set out in our five year plan. 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.
We view this rise in the renewal fee as a consequence of both planned improvements and developments beyond our control. We have not changed our on-going commitment, whenever possible, to the principle of small, regular increases in the fees (where necessary).
How do you manage your costs?
We 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.
For example we introduced the ability for registrants to renew online in 2010 and the majority of registrants now choose to renew in this way. Online renewal has benefits for registrants in being able to renew quickly and easily with instant confirmation of their continued registration. It also allows us to manage our resources efficiently so that less time is spent processing paper renewal forms and more time is spent processing applications for registration and answering telephone calls from registrants.
A new IT system has been recently introduced to manage the work of our Education Department. The new system will make this area of our work more efficient by replacing a number of other systems and by driving time and resource savings. We introduced a similar system in recent years to help better manage the work of our Fitness to Practise Department.
How does the proposed fee compare with other regulators?
We agree with respondents who said that it was important that the HCPC was working to be as efficient as possible. Once the increase is implemented, we will continue to have the lowest fee of all the other health and care professional regulators overseen by the Professional Standards Authority. However, we are not complacent and we are still committed to ensuring that we are as efficient and effective as possible in order to keep fee levels as low as possible.
I have deregistered. Am I due a refund?
· If you deregister before the start of the next professional year, we will refund any payment you have made (or we have collected by Direct Debit) for the upcoming professional year.
· If you paid the full two-year fee at the point you last renewed your registration and you deregister during the first professional year, we will refund you half the fee. If you are paying by Direct Debit and we have collected the third instalment, we will refund you the third instalment.
· If you deregister during the second professional year, no refund is due.
If you have not received your anticipated refund within 30 days of deregistering, please contact the Finance Department on firstname.lastname@example.org.