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Communicate

Wednesday 13 August 2008

NoHPCfees - epetition response

We received a petition asking:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to abolish health professions council fees.”

Details of Petition:

“As a professional health care worker, I understand and agree with the need for registration of health care workers in order to maintain professional standards. However, I disagree with the existing and proposed fees imposed by the Health Professions Council. I believe that the council should be fully funded directly by government.”

· Read the petition
· Petitions homepage

Read the Government’s response

The Health Professions Council (HPC) is an independent statutory body that protects the public interest by regulating health professions.  All workers in the relevant health professions must be registered with the HPC.   Fees paid by registrants cover the costs of maintaining the HPC, which is self-financing and independent of Government.  By paying the cost of regulation, registrants have greater involvement in the maintenance of professional standards. 

As the Government’s White Paper on professional regulation made clear, it is vital that regulators are – and are seen to be – independent.  State funding of regulation would undermine that critical perception, diminishing the confidence placed in the regulator by the public and health professionals.  According to research published on the HPC website (www.hpc-uk.org), independent regulation is preferred by the UK public as it is considered to have greater credibility than state regulation.

The fees charged by the HPC are determined by the Council under its rule making powers, on the basis of full cost recovery.  Any rules made by the HPC are then subject to approval by the Privy Council.  In deciding whether to approve the rules about fees proposed by the HPC, the Privy Council will clearly be mindful of the HPC’s need to recover its costs.  Fees payable on initial registration and for retention thereafter are determined by the HPC. 

There is already transparency about the level of fees set by the health regulatory bodies because the HPC has to consult its membership before making any changes.  The deadline for responses to the HPC’s current consultation on fees is 14 July.  The consultation document is available at: http://www.hpc-uk.org/aboutus/consultations/index.asp?id=67 

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