The Health and Care Professions Council has announced an £8.12 a year increase to their registration fee.
The proposals are due to be laid in the Scottish and UK Parliaments. If approved, the changes will come into effect on 1 July 2021 with clinical scientists, prosthetists and orthotists and speech and language therapists the first group to pay the increased fee. The final group affected by the rise will be paramedics and orthoptists, when they renew in June 2023.
The HCPC had originally proposed a massive 18% hike to its registration fee at the end of 2018.
Due to our relentless campaigning, which included full briefings to all MPs and MSPs, a debate in Westminster Hall, an Early Day Motion and encouraging thousands of UNISON members to write to their MPs, the HCPC was forced to pause their plans and reconsider their proposals.
Following this pause and further consultation, the HCPC stated that it still needed additional funding to improve its processes for registrants but that it would make changes where possible to reduce the costs of the plans.
While we recognise that the £8.12 increase represents a significant reduction in the original proposed increase, this is still disappointing timing, when health and care staff are working flat out through the pandemic.
During our campaigning, the HCPC committed to better engagement and working more closely with us, which has meant more regular dialogue and a joint webinar on the HCPC’s future strategy that gave UNISON members the opportunity to put forward questions and concerns.
If this increase goes ahead, we will hold the HCPC to account about where the funding has been spent and ensure that registrants should only bear the burden of future increases as a last resort.
We remain committed to continuing to lobby for a system of fair regulation; capping of fee increases by reference to public sector pay rises and inflation; and pro-rata fees for part-time registrants.
Branches are asked to remind registrant members that they can claim the tax back on their registration fee.
Registrants are also able to pay their registration fee in instalments.
The HCPC will keep in place the 50% discount graduate applicants receive during their first two years of registration.