We have strongly opposed the proposed rise, on the advice of our members, and urge the HCPC to rethink a move which would hit thousands of hard working staff in the pocket.
If it goes ahead, this rise would affect approximately 23,000 practitioner psychologists, hitting them with a rise of more than six times the rate of inflation at a time when real terms wages are falling across the sector.
Coming on the back of previous fee hikes, it would also mean that HCPC annual registration fees have soared by almost 40 per cent since 2014, a rise which would be completely disproportionate.
We are also concerned by the justification offered by the HCPC, particularly the impact of social workers transferring to a new regulator in 2019. Social workers account for more than half of fitness to practise cases, the biggest area of expenditure of the HCPC, so we would expect their costs to fall significantly.
The proposal to remove the 50 per cent discount offered to graduate applicants is also extremely worrying. With the cost of university continuing to soar, it can be a financial struggle for new graduates, and we do not want to see further barriers to talented people entering the health and care professions.
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive of the BPS, said:
“The response from our members on this issue has been loud and clear, and we have reflected that in our submission – this proposed fee rise is unjustified and excessive.
“We will continue to oppose this fee hike, and hope that the HCPC will change course as a result of the consultation response.”
The consultation closes today, with the rise set to come into force in October 2019.