13 November 2018 | by Chief Executive
Since my appointment as Chief Executive of the BPS earlier this year I’ve heard loud and clear that you want the Society to become more involved in supporting you with the issues that affect your working lives.
Issues just like the current proposals from the HCPC - the regulator of more than 23,000 practitioner psychologists - to significantly increase their registration fees.
For the practitioner psychologists within our membership, registration to the HCPC is mandatory. Yet the proposed 18 per cent increase in fees comes at a time when most of your incomes aren’t even rising as quickly as inflation.
If the planned increases go ahead, HCPC registration fees will have risen by nearly 40 per cent since 2014.
There’s no doubt the HCPC does an important job as the regulator for a number of health professions. There will always be a need for regulators to invest in prevention, and we will continue to support efforts to prevent fitness to practise issues before they arise.
But we’re not convinced the HCPC’s arguments in favour of such a significant fee increase stack up.
We know that social workers currently account for more than half of all fitness to practise cases the HCPC deals with, which is the single biggest area of expenditure for the regulator. So it would make sense that when social workers leave the HCPC register next year, the regulator’s costs should reduce dramatically.
All we’re asking the HCPC to do is to look at improving their own efficiency before passing on the impact of their reduced income to the remaining professions on their register.
We’re also concerned that the HCPC are proposing to remove the reduced registration fees that they offer for first time registrants. We’ve spoken to some of our newly qualified psychologists, and this is a time when registration fees can cause a real financial problem.
The ongoing consultation on HCPC fees allows us to make this case, and it will be a much more effective case if we are able to make it in partnership with you, our members.
Our policy team want your views on the fee rise and how it will affect you, and these will form the basis of our Society response to the consultation.
We are at our strongest when speaking with one voice, so I also want to encourage our practitioner members who are affected by the HCPC’s proposed fee rise to submit individual consultation responses directly to the regulator before the deadline on 14 December.
We will continue to keep you up to date as the deadline approaches, and do all we can to support affected members as the implications of the consultation become clear.