24 Feb 2023

The HCPC Council has announced it will increase the annual registration fee from £98.12 to £117.74, following a period of consultation. The BDA expresses huge disappointment with this decision and fears it could result in dietitians leaving the profession.

In 2022, following talks with the membership, the BDA replied to the HCPC’s consultation outlining its concerns at the 20% price increase. The BDA felt this level of increase didn’t reflect the economic situation members currently face. 98% of respondents to the BDA’s consultation (766 members) said they were unhappy with such a price rise.

Liz Stockley, CEO of the BDA, met with Andrew Smith this week, in his interim role as Deputy Chief Executive Office at the HCPC. She shared her level of dissatisfaction with the above inflation increase, on behalf of members.

She said, “Going ahead with the 20% increase in fees is incredibly disappointing, especially when we presented such a strong case, following member feedback for why this is completely out of step with what our members can afford.

“The Equality Impact Assessment, which outlined the positive and negative impacts of the proposal mentioned the potential impact on people leaving the workforce, especially those who are lower paid, such as younger professionals, women, registrants from ethnic minority backgrounds and those with more than one of these characteristics. I don’t believe this has been fully mitigated and will continue to push for answers on this.”

The BDA has asked for full accountability for the HCPC’s decision and will be writing to the HCPC Council to ensure fee payers know exactly what this increase will lead to.

Liz has reviewed the Council report, which reflects the consultation responses. The report states that ‘The great majority of respondents (registrants, individuals, and organisations) to the online survey (88%) are opposed to the £19.62 increase on which we consulted.’ When coupled with the identified equality risk to the workforce, it makes it difficult to understand how the decision was supported by the HCPC Council.

She has asked for a quarterly reporting dashboard for the sector, which demonstrates clear progress against improvements that these increased funds are designed to pay for including:

  • Improvements in fitness to practice process
  • Impact of the increase on EDI in the workforce
  • Increased protected time for CPD in the workforce
  • Impact of activities to address poor practices by employers
  • Activities that are addressing the financial sustainability of the organisation

Caroline Bovey, Registered Dietitian and Chair of the BDA says, “It’s so disappointing to hear that the decision went ahead despite the BDA’s excellent response to the consultation. Thank you also to all members who contributed responses to it, there was a considerable feeling that this fee increase is unfair. The BDA will continue to work to ensure the HCPC is held accountable for the decision.”

You can see the full response from the HCPC here.

The Council paper here.

And, the EIA can be found here.