In late 2018, the Health and Care Professions Council put forward the case to increase their registration fees by 18%, well above inflation and the third such significant increase in just seven years. We believe this was unjustified. They consulted on the matter, and despite strong opposition from registrants and professional bodies, decided to push ahead with the increase in February 2019. However, later in 2019, the decision was made to review the increase, before in February 2020 the HCPC announced a halving of the increase and that graduate discounts would be retained. This represented a significant victory for the AHP bodies, including the BDA, and individual AHPs who campaigned agains tthe increase.
What did the BDA and our members do?
The BDA and our partners within the Allied Health Professions Federation opposed the change, and undertook a number of actions:
- We responded robustly to the initial consultation, setting out why we believe the increase is unfair and unjustified.
- Following the decision to push ahead with the increase, we mobilised our fantastic members to raise this issue with their MPs. Over 200 MPs were contacted by hundreds of AHPs - very many of them dietitians!
- Over 130 MPs from across the political spectrum signed an Early Day Motion opposing the change, making it one of the most heavily supported such motions in the past five years. A number of questions were also raised in the House.
- On 14th March 2019, Labour MP Jim Cunningham, with support from a number of other MPs, led a Westminster Hall Debate on this subject. Despite making a strong case following briefings from both UNISON and the BDA, the Minister responding refused to intervene to prevent the increase, although he did commit to writing to the Professional Standards Authority to seek assurances that the HCPC would spend the additional funding in the ways described.