Unions blast 18% HCPC registration renewal fee hike

HCPC confirms it will proceed 'reluctantly' with move to raise registration fees based on need to ensure financial stability

Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC will hand over responsibility to Social Work England on 2 December

Unions have criticised a decision taken yesterday by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to raise registration renewal fees by 18%.

The move will see fees for social workers rise by £16 a year, from £90 to £106.

The regulation of social workers is due to pass this year from the HCPC to a new profession-specific organisation, Social Work England. In a Twitter Q&A session this week, Social Work England said it “did not anticipate” imposing its own fee increases before 2020, and would consult before doing so.

But the handover date between the two bodies – pencilled in for spring 2019 – remains uncertain, with Social Work England still in the process of setting up its headquarters in Sheffield.

‘Need to safeguard financial sustainability’

The HCPC said in a statement that it recognised that the most people who responded to a consultation on the move disagreed with it, and that it had proceeded “reluctantly” based on financial concerns.

“[Council] explored the concerns of many organisations and the individual registrants who responded,” it said. “However, Council agreed the need to safeguard the HCPC’s financial sustainability, to ensure it can continue to fulfil its statutory role to protect the public and its commitment to meet the expectation of stakeholders.”

But Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison, described the fee rise as “hugely disappointing”.

“The HCPC should be doing all it can to encourage all [those] it regulates to continue in their professions, not discouraging them with such a disproportionate hike in fees,” Gorton said.

Gorton added that Unison was urging MPs to support an early-day motion calling on the HCPC to reconsider its decision.

‘Kick in the teeth’

Meanwhile Unite the Union described the cost increase as “extortionate”, citing a 38,000-signature petition sent to the HCPC protesting the decision.

“The HCPC has given a massive snub to our members’ legitimate concerns,” said Jane Beach, Unite’s lead professional officer for regulation.

“We consulted widely with our members who have to register with the HCPC – and they gave the proposed increase a resounding thumbs-down,” Beach added. “Now they have been given a financial kick in the teeth.”

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15 Responses to Unions blast 18% HCPC registration renewal fee hike

  1. Jules February 15, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

    What is HCPC for?

    • Joe February 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm #

      It appears the only reason this organisation exists is to scrounge money off people who have to be compulsory registered. I wonder if this wasn’t compulsory how many social workers would choose to register?

      • Eunice Hanley February 24, 2019 at 10:11 am #

        I agree totally.
        This is a body that once they received my re registration form by special (expensive) delivery, kept it in a queue for 2 weeks, sent it back saying I did not include payment ( attached direct debit completed and included). Again completed forms returned and the 2 week process began all over again…
        For a fee of over £200? Disgraceful!!

  2. Stephen P February 15, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    Yet again, let’s bash social workers, when will we get the same acknowledgement and respect in line with the other Emergency services

  3. John pilcher February 15, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

    It appears to be another government move to generate more money. For years we had nothing. Then we had to register and slowly this has increased. It seems like legal extortion, what do we get for our money & how is it used?
    I’m glad I’m retiring soon I’m sick of being a cash cow.

  4. Zed February 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm #

    Must want another Christmas party ? Disgusting that hard working Social workers don’t get anything at all from being registered apart from a PIN number .. the only thing we do get is public humiliation when a Social worker makes a mistake by publishing a deataild autopsy for all to see .

    • Darcey February 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

      Zed, you have encapsulated it in a nutshell.

  5. Diane Whitehead February 15, 2019 at 10:02 pm #

    They will be able to have a fabulous Christmas party again I guess at our expense

  6. Jane February 15, 2019 at 10:17 pm #

    Does anyone really understand what we are paying for?

  7. The Hulk February 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

    What is the issue, we can claim this back through our Tax. Typical unions raising an issue with misinformation.

    • Joffy February 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm #

      we may well be able to claim it back through our Taxes or through the Local Authority we are employed in but that money still has to come from somewhere. It either comes from the public pocket through claiming back from taxes or from an already limited and restricted budget within Local Authorities that could be used to provide dearly needed services for people. The only people who benefit are the people who are at the top, as per usual.

    • Tom J February 20, 2019 at 12:01 pm #

      The Hulk- your post is misleading. You cannot claim the £106 back through tax.

  8. John Stephenson February 20, 2019 at 8:05 pm #

    This orginisation is not fit for purpose,it is dominate by Health professionals who have no idea of the pressures social workersface.How many times do mangers appear on conduct and capability grounds.There for the grace go any of us.

  9. Phil Sanderson February 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm #

    So Social Work England is going to wait till 2020 to whack the fee up again after a “consultation” of course.

  10. Disillusioned February 22, 2019 at 6:21 pm #

    Why wouldn’t hcpc raise their fees.
    Any referrals received, they take over two years to decide the outcome being so thorough and robust and they completely vanquish, annihilate and finish off the workers in that process.
    Well done hcpc – every raise is justified.